Spring has sprung! Time to take the littles outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather. With that in mind, I’ve comprised an A-Z list of fun and free or nearly free activities to do with the kids. As I started thinking of and searching for ideas of simple games and crafts, most of them for the outdoors, suddenly I begin thinking of what snack would go so perfectly when coming back in. I don’t know if I started my brainstorming while I was hungry but I just couldn’t shake the idea of snacks after such fun activities. So, my A-Z list expanded a little, now to include an activity and a snack to go along with the letter of the day (if I may steal that quote from Seasame Street). Oh, but now, since we’re adding a meal into the mix, I keep thinking of how before every meal we must first say grace. Prayer and giving up thanksgiving is pertinent in our day to day lives individually and as a family.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
And because of this conviction of our faith, I thought I would broaden this A-Z list, yet a little more, now to also include an easy to memorize bible verse that starts with that particular letter. When I started this blog format, I honestly thought that it would be an easy enough challenge. Surprisingly what I thought might tip the scale on the easy factor, stretched my brain to the point of wanting to burst, in a good way though. I just love nice weather, being outdoors and enjoying that time with my children. It’s all memory making and isn’t that what matters most? So now that Spring has sprung, get out and enjoy some free or nearly free activities with your littles.
A – All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Activity: Make paper Angels or paper Airplanes. For angels, cut a large white triangle for the body and skin-colored circle for head. Trace hand prints on white construction paper for the wings. Glue together and draw facial features. My older boys enjoy searching YouTube for paper Airplane making video instructions. Or what’s easier than accordion folding?
Snack: An Apple, a handful of Almonds or an Avocado sliced. Yumm (my kids’ fav!)
B – Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. (Acts 16:31)
Activity: Everyone loves Bubbles and the best Bubbles are the Homemade kind. With the right concoction, come the biggest, most colorful and longest lasting bubbles you can get. Into one container pour 6 cups of water and 1 cup of dawn dish soap and slowly stir until the soap is mixed in. Try not to let foam or bubbles form while you stir. If you have glycerin or a personal lubricant add 1 Tbsp or just add 1/4 cup of corn starch to container. Stir the solution until it is mixed together. Use pipe cleaners to make your bubble wand or for the easiest and coolest big bubble wand instructions go to http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids/really-big-bubble-maker/
Snack: For a healthy and quick snack try a mix of Banana slices and Blueberries are my personal favorite.
C – Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is great. (Ephesians 6:1)
Activity: Sidewalk Chalk is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy some time with your little one.
Snack: Try a homemade Cream soda recipe to enjoy the time out in the sun even more! For an easy to make homemade cream soda recipe I found this incredibly easy and so good on the pallet from The Pioneer Woman at http://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/homemade-cream-sodas/
This orange cream soda reminds me of the push up you could get from an ice cream truck as a child.
D – Depart from evil and so good. (Psalm 34:14)
Activity: Dance! Be silly, turn up the music and dance your hearts out. Snack: My crew loves some Deviled eggs or Dill pickles for that go-to snack.
E – Every good and perfect gift is from above. (James 1:17)
Activity: Egg match up game. Cut 10 egg shapes out of cardboard. Cover each shape by gluing on a different pattern using wallpaper, scrapbook paper, wrapping paper or fabric. Let dry. When the glue has dried, cut the egg shapes in half. Mix up and find the matching egg halves.
Snack: We look for any reason to down some Edamame!
F – Fear not, for I am with thee. (Isaiah 43:5)
Activity: Play the Feeling game. Find objects (rock, apple, crayon, small rubber ball etc) close eyes and feel item to guess. Or if the weather is nice get out and go Four leaf hunting or Flower picking.
Snack: A Fruit cup is the perfect F snack for any day but especially for F day.
G – God is love. (1 John 4:8)
Activity: Grow a garden.
Snack: Grapes are great when you’re done doing yard work or maybe try a homemade Granola recipe.
H – Honor thy father and thy mother. (Exodus 20:12)
Activity: Give a Hug. Trace and cut out each hand (cardboard holds up longer). Attach each hand to opposite ends of a long piece of string. Give to a long distance relative, an elderly neighbor etc.
Snack: How about Honey toast or Hummus on spinach leaves..both, my gang would eat everyday!
I – I am the vine you are the branches. (John 15:5)
Activity: A good ole game of “I spy” is in order.
Snack: Ice tray treats. Grape kool-aid ice cubes go perfectly in a cup of lemonade.
J – Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
Activity: Jump rope, go for a jog or maybe practice up on your juggling skills.
Snack: Juice of your choice is also great poured into an ice tray and frozen into cubes. Perfect to add a little punch to a tall glass of water.
K – Keep thy tongue from evil. (Psalm 34:13)
Activity: Make a homemade kaleidoscope. I’ve seen everything from a pringles can to a paper towel roll to this one is an upcycled empty toilet paper roll. See instructions at http://buggyandbuddy.com/science-for-kids-how-to-make-a-kaleidoscope/
Snack: Another family favorite of ours are homemade kale chips. Simply clean and chop kale leaves in big pieces, throw on a baking sheet with a tad olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. I broil in the oven at 500 just stay close and watch until toasted just right. Best chips in the world, if you ask me!
L – Look unto me and be ye saved. (Isaiah 45:22)
Activity: Writing a Letter to someone special is a dying art. Help your child write a letter (or draw a picture) and leave it on the table for daddy, thanking him for all he does. Or mail a letter to a long distant relative or just because.
Snack: A homemade Lemon icee is the first thing to comes to mind when thinking of an L treat. Gosh, do love a Lemon icee.
M – Marvel not, you must be born again. (John 3:7)
Activity: Make your own Marching band! Bring out the pots and pans and utensils and what ever else other kind of noise makers you have and strike up your own marching band!
Snack: Mix up cereal, nuts and fruit.. We like cheerios, toasted pecans and raisins mixed and drizzled with a little honey.
N – No man can serve two masters. (Matthew 6:24)
Activity & Snack: Make an edible Necklace of cheerios or fruit loops strung on yarn, ribbon or dental floss. It’s the your N activity and snack all in one.
O – Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good. (Psalm 118:1)
Activity: Make a fun Obstacle course. Use large cardboard boxes to crawl through, pillows to jump over, a long board to walk across and a footstool to crawl over.
Snack: Oatmeal cookies for snack.
P – Praise ye the Lord. (Psalm 127:1)
Activity: How about a Princesses and/or Pirates day? Who doesn’t love dress up especially with a pirate accent and using mom & dad’s wardrobe!
Snack: Peanut butter on apple slices are quite satisfying.
Q – Quench not the Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
Activity: Make a paper Quilt. Take a piece of paper and fold into quarters and cut. Decorate each of the four pieces with whatever kinds of materials you have (stickers, stamps, crayons, sparkle glue). Now punch holes around each piece and use yarn or ribbon to lace together the “quilt” pieces.
Snack: A small cup of Quaker oatmeal with some fruit on top, my children never make a fuss over..
R – Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8)
Activity: Have an art lesson on Rubbings, using white construction paper and put various small objects under the paper like coins, paper clips, buttons, leaves. Rub with pencil.
Snack: Raisins are great in a bowl of homemade trail mix, baked in a cookie or stand alone They are a must with my little one. He honestly gets more excited over a small box of raisins than he does over a piece of chocolate. I don’t mind that one bit!
S – Seek ye first the kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:33)
Activity: Straw painting. Place a small drop of tempura paint in the center of a large piece of paper. Then with a straw blow (lightly) the paint around the paper to make a design.
Snack: Strawberries and cream. Clean and cut off tops of strawberries. Slice in halves long wayside. Place in bowl, sprinkle a good amount of sugar on top and pour enough milk in bowl so that all strawberries are submerged. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours or prepare in advance and refrigerate overnight. Oh my, my mouth is watering just thinking of it.
T – Trust in the Lord with all thine heart. (Proverbs 3:5)
Activity: How about a T movement game. Give simple ideas of movement that begin with letter T, like Tip-Toeing, Twirling, Tossing or Tumbling. Tower stacking and pretend Tea time are fun playtimes too.
Snack: Tuna salad on crackers is a very satisfying letter T snack.
U – Unto us a child is born. (Isaiah 9:6)
Activity: Try a game of U toss. Cut out U shapes out of cardboard about 9″x7″. Set out a wooden spoon, standing upright in a pot of dirt. Then have your child toss the U’s, aiming to ring the U around the handle of the spoon. Sometimes a picnic underneath the Umbrella is a fun way to change things up.
Snack: Unsalted nuts
V – Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord. (Romans 12:19)
Activity: (With my daughter who is named Violet and plays the violin, in mind) Make a Violet from tissue paper and construction paper stem and leaves And make while listening to symphony or Violin music. (Mother’s Day is just around the corner, as this is a great craft to gift to those special women in our children’s lives) For something simpler, have your little one try out the vacuum.
Snack: Vegetables and dip.
W – Wait on the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)
Activity: Work on your Whistling skills. Have a Water play day or on a Windy day fly a kite.
Snack: Watermelon or frosted mini Wheats when they’re not in season.
X – eXceeding great and precious promises are given unto us. (2 Peter 1:4)
Activity: Make an X-Ray. You’ll need a piece of black construction paper and white chalk. Trace around child’s hand and then draw “bones” inside the hand to make it look like an X-ray.
Snack: Show child how to make “X’s” with their pretzel sticks.
Y – Ye are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)
Activity: Grow a Yam plant. (With plenty of supervision and assistance for little ones) Stick several toothpicks into the side of the yam around the middle. Balance the toothpicks on the rim of the cup and fill the cup with water. Place the cup in a sunny spot. Every day, check the yam for signs of root or leaf growth. Add more water as necessary.
Snack: Make yummy Yogo-sicles! 1/4 C yogurt (vanilla, banana or plain), 1Tsp frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed), 1Tsp honey. Mix well and pour mixture into small paper or plastic cup and freeze. When mixture is solid enough to hold up a popsicle stick, put one in and refreeze until firm.
Z – Zion heard and was glad. (Psalm 97:8)
Activity: Marble painted Zebras (with much assistance for the little ones). Materials: white construction paper, zebra pattern, box lid, marbles, black paint. Directions: Cut out zebra pattern from white construction paper. Place zebra into box lid. Place marbles into black paint. Next place marble into box lid. Have child (carefully) move box lid back and forth to paint on black stripes. Maybe a trip to the zoo would be an easier idea of a fun Z activity.
Snack: Cut Zucchini into strips like French fries. Bread and fry and serve up with ketchup! My little ones prefer these fries over the real deal.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this A-Z list of fun and free (or nearly free) activities that you can do with your littles. Remember, it’s not about the places we go or the things we give, but in the moments that we spend together that leave us with the sweetest memories. Feel free to leave me a comment of your suggestions and enjoy them babies!