Add a little brightness to your family's day—play with food, make rainbow dough—and get in some nature play, too. Ready to turn ☹️ into☺?
Nature Rainbow Scavenger Hunt
Lace up your hiking boots, grab a camera, and a buddy. Spend the afternoon exploring the city, a suburban neighborhood, your local wildlife preserve, or go off the grid. See if you can find something that was not made by a human in every shade of the rainbow, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. It's extra challenging, but totally possible, even on the rainiest, grayest, most muddy early spring day. There are always gorgeous hues shining bright, even if they are tucked away behind the dirt. When you do find something colorful, snap a picture! The end result is a gorgeous collection of nature's treasures that just may help us remember that there is always something beautiful to find. Sometimes, you just have to look a little harder to find your gallery of gratitude...
Coloring in the Kitchen
Hey, kids, here are three recipes that make playing with your food even more fun!
Instead of just regular old salad, fruits and veggies can be so much cooler to make and eat when you add a little imagination. Trick picky eaters into gobbling up their healthies, add some brightness, and subtract the blah by turning food into art. Use what you have in the fridge, and look for fruits or veggies in a fun variety of colors, which is not too hard to do since they are mostly all gorgeous shades of the rainbow naturally. Wash, slice, and arrange a variety of fresh produce on a serving dish like it was paint on a canvas. So yummy, and almost too pretty to eat!
This treat you can't eat, but it's always fun to smush! Here is an easy to make recipe for stove-top play dough...
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 4 tbsp. cream of tartar
- 2 cups oil
- 1 tsp. color, scent, glitter
Directions: Mix ingredients in a large non-stick pot, turn heat on low, stir until dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the pot. Remove, cool, then knead dough. Store in an air-tight container.
This is a good one to let the kids make themselves. You can find popcicle-making tools at the grocery or dollar store, or use regular, old ice cube trays. Sometimes we like to hunt through our toys for fun- shaped plastic "molds" to make icey treats in, too. Put out a few different types of fruit juices or lemonade, and an array of berries and peeled orange slices to plop into each pop. Let kids fill the forms with their own juice/fruit combos, then freeze. This is a decently healthy solution for sweet tooth cravings. Tip: Running under warm water helps frozen treats pop out of their mold with ease.
This one I have to give full credit to my daughter Laila for dreaming up. What a randomly wonderful idea she had one morning. "Mama! Do you have flower seeds in every color? I want to make a heart-shaped rainbow garden of flowers in our yard! Can we? Can we?" Uuuum yes, we sure can. And so here we are. I will have to report back as gardening season rolls into play, but so far it went like this...
We searched through our seeds to find flowers & plants that would work in the same light/soil conditions, and bloom in every shade of the rainbow.
A plan was formed, using these chosen seeds:
Yellow—Teddy Bear Sunflowers
We planted seeds using a seed-starting kit we got from the grocery store, and took notes about what seeds we used and when we planted them. After watering and monitoring for a couple weeks, our babies are getting so big, and they are ready for more space to grow into a rainbow.
Abstract Tub Art
One part Jackson Pollock, one part bathtub gin, this is explosive fun for colorful kiddos with a ton of energy + creativity who are stuck inside. Pretty simple setup: mix multiple flavors of Kool-Aid, using only half the water called for in the recipe. No Kool-aid? Just use water and food coloring. If you happen to be dyeing eggs for Easter, the leftover dye works awesome, too! Put the liquid mixtures into plastic cups; aim for at least five different colors. Line them up in the bathtub, and let your little artist go to town mixing, dripping, blending, flicking, splashing away. Then rinse it all down the drain. Ahhh, perfect time for a bubble bath!