What fun things can I do with a 7 y.o. & 3 y.o.?

Nicole - posted on 10/17/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I work 7 days a week with a couple of free hours on the weekends. My kids are 4 years apart and it'd hard to find activities for both to enjoy. Please help me.

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Cheryl - posted on 10/19/2009

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My boys, 7,5, and 3, LOVE to tell stories. so you could sit around on the floor and start a story. Then leave it open for the next person to add to it. But here's the trick, you have to make it completely ridiculous. It gets the kids to use their imaginations, it is entertaining for everyone involved, and it can take up as much or as little time as you like.

Joy - posted on 10/19/2009

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My Kids all enjoy putt putt! We take my 6 year old, 4yr old and 1and a half year old all the time. And they love it! Also at home we do lots of puzzels! And they like to help me in the kitchen, expecially when I am making sweet stuff! lol!

Sue - posted on 10/19/2009

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Chutes n Ladders, Petting zoos, playdo, kitchen projects (cook/bake), Scavenger hunts (Have them team up). Create your own puzzles together. Have them trace and color eachother/themselves then cut up the pics and turn them into puzzles. Have the 7yr. old help lable body parts on the puzzles for the 3 yr. old. Read. Watch movies together. You can be discretely reading next to them while they watch.

TV is NOT the root of all evil!!

Alternatively: Pay the 7yr. old to keep the 3 yr. old amused for a while or to bathe the 3 yr. old.

Teach them magic. Get them crafty toys.

Jennifer - posted on 10/18/2009

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Quoting Louise:

Cooking is a great one for different ages. Youngest could chop soft veg like mushrooms with a butter knife, older one can do the hot cooking under your supervision. Get them set up like a Head Chef and Sous chef and let oldest pick recipes!

Art is also an easy one, set them up with a huge piece of paper, paints and brushes and let them create something together, also paper mache where they make the mash together then build their own things out of it.


i agree mine are 7 & 2 & i offen get stuck when they both want my attention but cant play the same games i do alot of activitys with them in the kitchen while im also cooking/cleaning ect mine like to do there own pizza toppings we make our own sauce & they always have lots of little bits they can help with chopping & mixeing, makeing things from old boxs & art bits also works well again i have them at the kitchen table so i can get more done but still be involed & they are prety independent as to what they can make more suited to there age hope that helps

Louise - posted on 10/17/2009

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Cooking is a great one for different ages. Youngest could chop soft veg like mushrooms with a butter knife, older one can do the hot cooking under your supervision. Get them set up like a Head Chef and Sous chef and let oldest pick recipes!

Art is also an easy one, set them up with a huge piece of paper, paints and brushes and let them create something together, also paper mache where they make the mash together then build their own things out of it.

Carisa - posted on 10/17/2009

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You have to find someplace that the 7 yr old can be independant at so you can focus on the 3 year old with out the 7 year old feeling ignored. A hands on museum is a good idea, or an indoor play land like mcD's or Chuckie Cheese, that way they both have something to age appropriate. But keep in mind, when you go to the museum, just pay to go to the museum, it doesnt mean you have to buy lunch out or stop at the gift shop also. The museum is the extra expence. If you go to McD's, you dont have to get happy meals, you can order off the dollar menu, and if you go to chucky cheese, you dont have to order food their either. You can make these places cheap activities.



Here it is getting to cold to go to the park, but this summer when we started really cutting back on expences, we looked at finding cheap family outings. The best one we had was a near by metro park. It cost $4 to get in for the day and $5 for a bucket of golf balls at the driving range. At this park, they had a nature center, bike paths, parks, golf coarse and range, water play area, and hiking trails. 4 of us spent the day, had a picnic, and spent $9.

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Go to the park and play hide and seek or kick a ball.

Go on a nature walk and give them each a list of items to collect and then use those things in an art project.

Go to your local library and read books together, bring some home to read too.

Ask both of them what their favorite things are to do with Mommy and write them on Popsicle sticks and when you have time to play have one of them choose a stick and you can do that activity.

Kirsten - posted on 10/17/2009

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With Christmas coming around the corner you could use the following to make Ginger Bread Men Ornaments:



EASY GINGERBREAD MEN



(Makes 6 ornaments)



1/2c Applesauce



1/2c Cinnamon



2T Household glue





Mix all ingredients together and roll on wax paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the shapes of the intended ornaments. Poke a small hole in the top of the ornament using the end of a straw, knife, chopstick, small dowel, pencil, or similar object. Allow ornaments to air dry for 1-3 days. When ornaments are ready to be decorated they will be completely dry and very hard.







SLOW BAKE GINGERBREAD ORNAMENTS



(Makes 15 ornaments)



16oz. Applesauce



1c Cinnamon



2T Allspice





Preheat oven to 150-degrees.





Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Roll dough on wax paper. Cut out ornaments with appropriately shaped cookie cutters. Poke a hole in the top of each ornament using a straw, knife, chopstick, pencil, or similar object.





Bake in 150-degree oven for 90 minutes. Turn ornaments over. Bake for an additional 90-minutes. Allow ornaments to cool and continue drying for 1-3 hours after baking.







HEAVY DUTY GINGERBREAD ORNAMENTS



(Makes 30 ornaments)



1c Sugar



6T Shortening



2t Baking soda



2t Cloves, ground



2t Ginger



2t Cinnamon



7c Flour



1-1/2c Water





Preheat oven to 325-degrees.





Mix shortening and 1 cup of sugar together in a large bowl. Add baking soda, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, flour, and 1-1/2 cups of water. When mixed completely, refrigerate for 4-6 hours.





Roll gingerbread out to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured surface or on wax paper. Poke a hole in the top of each ornament using a straw, knife, chopstick, pencil, or similar object.





Put cutouts on cookie sheet and bake 20-minutes in 325-degree oven. After 20-minutes, turn oven off, leaving cookies inside oven to continue the drying process. After 1-hour, move cookies to a rack and allow to sit untouched for 1-3 days or until completely dry and hard.





When cookies are dry, spray with clear acrylic paint or brush with clear varnish and allow cookie coating to dry completely.









BROWN GINGERBREAD MEN



(Makes 30 ornaments)



1c Sugar



6T Shortening



2t Baking soda



2t Cloves, ground



2t Ginger



2t Cinnamon



7c Flour



1c Water



1/2c Molasses



2T Cocoa powder





Preheat oven to 350-degrees.





Mix shortening and 1 cup of sugar together in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for 4-hours.





Roll dough out on floured surface of wax paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Poke a hole in the top of each cookie with a straw, knife, chopstick, pencil, or similar object.





Put cutouts on cookie sheet and bake 20-minutes in 325-degree oven. After 20-minutes, turn oven off, leaving cookies inside oven to continue the drying process. After 1-hour, move cookies to a rack and allow to sit untouched for 1-3 days or until completely dry and hard.





When cookies are dry, spray with clear acrylic paint or brush with clear varnish and allow cookie coating to dry completely.









DECORATING IDEAS



Gingerbread cookies can be decorated by children of all ages. You can change the body color of the gingerbread men/women by applying colored frosting, colored glues, and more. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:





GLUE



Gingerbread cookies can be decorated or colored by using household glue. Since no one will be eating the cookies, glue is a cost-effective alternative to using frosting, which often cakes off and doesn't preserve well. Use glue to attach eyes, ears, clothing, and other objects to gingerbread men and women. Glue can also be colored by adding dyes or paints to the glue and mixing well.





PAINTS



Acrylic paints can be used in place of frosting or glue to decorate ornaments. Children and adults can use paints to add clothing, features, or body parts (such as fingers, toes, eyes, mouths) to ornaments. Paint on with a paint brush or purchase small spray cans of acrylic paints to color coordinate each ornament before adding features.





CANDY



RED HOTS can be glued to ornaments and used as eyes, buttons on clothing, noses and more.



LEMON DROPS make great eyes and buttons, too.



LICORICE strips torn into thin bands can be glued to the face of the ornament to make a smile or frown or other facial expression.



CHOCOLATE CHIPS can also be used as an easy decoration for gingerbread men.



SUGAR SPRINKLES that are colored can be sprinkled over large areas to color in clothing or hair.



LIFESAVERS add color to wreath shaped cookies.





HOUSEHOLD OBJECTS



SMALL BUTTONS make great realistic decorations. Use them to make eyes, buttons, or noses.



RUBBER BANDS (cut in quarters) can be used to make a smile or hair.



YARN can be added to ornaments to make hair or outline an outfit.







TIPS AND TRICKS



Don't limit yourself to making gingerbread men. Use any cookie cutter shape! Stars, houses, animals, even circles and squares make great ornaments!





Use the top of a glass to make perfect circle ornaments.





Gingerbread ornaments can be strung together with garland, string, or tinsel rope.





Gingerbread men and women can be hung from a window, in hallways, used as wall decorations, on wreaths, on the tree, or anywhere else you want to add a festive feel.





You can coat cookies with two or more layers of clear acrylic or varnish to help preserve cookies before and after decorating.





Store cookies in a hard box year round. Wrapping them in paper towels or newspaper and storing in a dry area will help to prevent breakage and preserve quality.

Kirsten - posted on 10/17/2009

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Using pipe cleaners and other things such as feathers, little fuzzy balls, the bouncy eyeballs, ribbon and anything you can think of, you have the kids twist the pipe cleaners into different shapes such as animals, birds, dinasours, and such and then they glue on the items suggested above. You can buy these things in the craft sections at stores such as Walmart, Kmart, or even Arnies Craft Stores. These are easy for all ages and fun.

Kirsten - posted on 10/17/2009

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Another fun thing is making playdough, easy and fun:

Kool-Aid® Play Dough

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid



1/4 cup salt



2 tablespoons cream of tartar



1 cup water

Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and Kool-Aid® in a medium pot. Add water and oil. Stir over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes. When mixture forms a ball in pot, remove. Knead until smooth. Put in a plastic bag and refrigerate.

Kirsten - posted on 10/17/2009

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Something that is fun and easy with the help of an adult is making Sun Catchers. First gather up old broken crayons, you will need quite a few. Remove the paper from them. Then you will need to shave them or use a grater. I use a grater that is for cheese. Get out the ironing board and iron. Take a paper bag and lay half of it on the ironing board. Save the other half for the top. Then take waxed paper or freezer wrap and lay on top of the paper bag. Spread the pieces of crayon on the wax paper making sure they are not to far apart. Then cover with wax paper, then the other piece of paper bag. Using a hot iron (mom only) melt the crayon pieces together. When all melted let the kids use cookie cutters and cut out shapes. Poke a hole in them and use a piece of ribbon to tie through them and hang them in a sunny window. The kids can help with most of this probably just not the ironing.

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