Staying Home for the Holiday? You Can Still Have Plenty of Fun!

As we head toward the unofficial start of summer – the long holiday weekend looks much different than it has in any other year.

For now, social distancing and limits on public activities are still in effect. But even if you aren’t dipping your toes in the sand at the Jersey Shore, there are plenty of ways to stay busy while you stay home.

Bancroft’s Therapeutic Activities Specialists have shared some of their favorite at-home activities with the staff in our group homes – and now we’re sharing them as a resource for you, too.

Here are four crafts and activities that are easy to make or do yourself… and most use materials and ingredients that are easy to find, including many that you likely already have at home!

 

1. Make Giant Bubbles!

Use a hula hoop or yarn tied between two strings to form your bubble wand.

Here’s a recipe for some homemade solution that will turn out huge bubbles guaranteed to make you smile:

Ingredients:
– 12 cups warm water
– 1 cup corn starch
– 1 cup dish soap
– 2 tablespoons baking powder
– 1 tablespoon glycerin (if you don’t have glycerin – check out your local craft store. Many continue to offer curbside pickup!)

Instructions
– Put half the water in a bucket and vigorously stir in the cornstarch until dissolved. Mix in the rest of the water and baking powder until combined.
– Add soap and glycerin to the water mixture. Stir with a large spoon – but don’t stir fast enough to make suds or foam in the bucket!
– Let the bubble solution sit for an hour or more before using. Stir gently for at least two minutes before making bubbles.
– While using, continue to stir your bubble solution gently every 10 to 15 minutes – otherwise your corn and baking powder may settle at the bottom.
– Use a hula hoop or yarn/string between two sticks as your bubble wand.

 

2. Play Frisbee Tic-Tac-Toe.

Tic-tac-toe

(Credit to HappyToddlerPlaytime.com for the idea – and lots of other DIY activities you can try!)

Some chalk paint and plates is all you really need to get started with this fun, outdoor version of a childhood favorite, but kick it up a notch with spray paint and duct tape. For full game instructions, click here.

Supplies:
– 10 microwave plates
– Duct tape
– 2 colors of spray paint
– Spray sealant
– Spray chalk paint
– Tote bag for storage (optional)

Use your spray chalk to outline your tic-tac-toe board on the grass or sidewalk, and then players take turns tossing their frisbee to hit each spot.

The rules of frisbee tic-tac-toe are the same as the traditional version – but here, you can use your frisbees to knock other players out of the space you want.

The first player to get three in a row wins! Store your supplies in a tote bag to make it easy to store and transport.

 

3. Make your favorite snacks!

If you have access to a firepit, cook up some s’mores. If not – mix together your favorite snacks into a trail mix. Or – we love these patriotic pretzel sticks, using white chocolate adorned with red white & blue sprinkles… or create your own with your favorite kind of chocolate and decorations of your choosing!

Supplies
– 4 pretzel sticks per person
– 1 cup meltable chocolate
– sprinkles
– wax paper sheets

Instructions
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper or a baking mat & set aside.
Using a microwave-safe dish, melt 1 cup of white chocolate in the microwave, cooking on medium-high power for 1 minute. Stir. If necessary, microwave 10-15 more seconds until melted.
Dip each pretzel into the melted chocolate & then hold it vertically over the dish for a few seconds to let the excess chocolate drip away. If you’d prefer – use a spoon to scoop up your melted chocolate and drizzle it over the pretzel.
Coat with sprinkles & place on your prepared cookie sheet.
Allow the pretzels to dry. You can place them in the refrigerator to speed up the process.

 

4. Make a Red, White & Blue windsock. 

Red, white & blue windsock craft

Display your craft outside your house!

Supplies
– 3 red streamers
– 2 white streamers
– 1 blue plastic cup
– Star stickers
– 1 piece of string
– Tape

Instructions
– Poke a small hole in the bottom of the cup. Put both ends of the string through the hole and pull it out. Tie the string into a large knot to keep it from going back through the hole.
– Place stickers all around the outside of the cup.
– Tape red and white streamers to the inside of the cup.
– Hang up and enjoy!

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