The summer holidays are upon us – weeks and weeks of sunny (and not so sunny) days with the kids stretch ahead. Days out don’t come cheaply so we thought we’d put together a few inexpensive and completely free ideas to help entertain the kids at home. Most of them will use things you have around the house too. Feel free to share them with your friends on Facebook or Twitter!
Without further ado, I give you…
You will need:
An assortment of small plastic toys and objects
A plastic container
Some ‘tools’ ie a watering can of warm water, a plastic spoon, a plastic knife
Put plastic toys in your plastic tub. We had plastic pegs, Lego, magnetic letters and dinosaurs in ours. Fill with water. Put lid on, or if you are using a ready meal container, wrap in cling film. Put in the freezer. My son is three and finding the toys and making the ice explorer packs was fun to do together, but because they take a while to freeze its probably best to put them in the freezer the night before.
Once your ice explorer packs are completely frozen, pop them out of their container onto a play table, or onto the floor. It will resemble a giant ice cube with some toys trapped in it. Give your child their tools and they can pour warm water on the ice to melt it, use their spoon or knife to scrape ice away and free the toys. It teaches them about how ice works and they love touching it and watching the ice shrink and the toys emerge. This is a great activity for a hot day!
Watch out for:
Make sure you put the ice on a surface so they aren’t holding the ice continually in their hands or on their laps. Frostbite ain’t fun.
There’s another great version of this here.
About Alison McGarragh-Murphy
Alison writes and edits stuff for The Motherload®, and is also a radio producer and broadcast journalist, a mum of two and a wife of one. Since becoming a mother she has (mostly) gladly swapped a busy social life of gigs, pubs, art galleries and museums for dancing in the kitchen, drinking on the sofa, finger painting and hanging out at the park. She talks incessantly about not having slept for three-and-half years.
Photo credit: Alison McGarragh-Murphy