Cooking, reading and water fun provide a few options for parents looking to give their children something fun to do while staying closer to home this summer.
Here are some ideas for sprinkler fun from the calendar:
Play follow the leader and run, jump, or crawl through the sprinkler.
Play freeze tag and run around while the water is off and then freeze when it’s turned back on. The first person to move while the water is on, loses.
Eat them up animals
I’m all for getting kids into the kitchen to learn basic measuring and mixing skills. Most kids love to touch and play with dough.
Create a zoo in the kitchen by shaping bread dough into creatures, bake them in the oven, then enjoy eating the warm creations. Use your favourite bread or bun dough recipe or mix up the following dough.
1 1/4 c. warm water 310 mL
1/4 c. oil 60 mL
2 tsp. salt 30 mL
1/4 c. sugar 60 mL
1 1/2 tbsp. quick rise yeast 22 mL
3 1/2 – 4 c. bread flour (all white or half white and half whole wheat) 875 – 1000 mL
1 beaten egg
1 tbsp. water 15 mL
For creature features have a variety of raisins, currents, dried fruit bits, nuts, poppy, sesame, pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Combine and mix the water, egg, oil, salt and sugar.
Add one cup (250 mL) of flour and mix. Stir the yeast into the next cup of flour and add to the dough mixture. Mix in the third cup of flour and add more flour as needed to make soft dough.
Knead until the dough is soft and smooth. Allow the dough to rise until double in bulk. This dough can also be mixed and kneaded in a bread machine and then taken out and formed into creatures.
Tear a piece of foil the size of the baking sheet. Tape foil to the counter and lightly grease the foil. Create animal shapes with the bread dough on the foil. Start with a medium-sized ball for the body, flatten out slightly, and shape smaller balls into a head, legs, and tail.
Decorate to give the creature features.
Remove tape from the foil and carefully lift the foil and dough onto the baking sheet. Brush the dough with a mixture of egg and water.
Place the creatures in a preheated 375 F (190 C) oven and bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and place creatures on a wire rack to cool.
Combine ooey-gooey fun, a story, and a little science and mix up some oobleck. If you don’t know what oobleck is, consider reading the Dr. Seuss book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck.
In the story, oobleck, a gooey green substance, fell from the sky and wreaked havoc in the kingdom.
In reality, oobleck is a mixture of cornstarch and water that has the properties of both a liquid and a solid. You can slowly dip your hand into it like a liquid, but if you squeeze the oobleck or punch it, it will feel solid.
This is messy so is best made on a table outside.
1 c. cornstarch 250 mL
1/2 c. water 125 mL
Put cornstarch in a bowl or plastic container. Add food colouring to water and slowly add to the cornstarch. Use hands to combine cornstarch and water.
Now play with the mixture. Grab a handful and squeeze it. Let it ooze through your fingers or quickly drag your fingers through it. Jab at the oobleck and then slowly let your finger sink in. Roll some oobleck into a ball. It becomes solid, but when you stop moving it, it will melt back into your hand.
Put it into a plastic container and shake it or quickly bump it against a table.
Place some on a cookie sheet and put on top of a speaker and watch the oobleck dance.
Adjust the oobleck by adding a little more cornstarch if it feels too wet or more water if it feels too powdery.
To dispose of it, add to the compost bin or dig into the garden. Do not pour down the drain because it could cause plumbing issues.
Raspberry ice cream
Who doesn’t like ice cream on a hot summer day. What is even better is making your own ice cream. I have a ball ice cream maker; an alternative is to put the ice cream mixture into a sealable plastic bag and then place this into a large coffee can. Add the ice and salt to the coffee can and put on the lid. Kids can have great fun rolling either the ice cream ball or the coffee can on the grass or deck to make the ice cream.
1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries, partially thawed 250 mL
1/2 c. sugar 125 mL
1 c. heavy whipping cream 250 mL
1/2 c. half-and-half cream 125 mL
6 c. ice cubes 1.5 L
1/4 – 1/2 c. pickling salt or other coarse salt 60–125 mL
extra berries for garnish
Place raspberries in a blender; cover and pulse until chopped. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in sugar until dissolved. Stir in creams until blended.
Pour mixture into ice cream ball and seal lid. Add salt and ice to the other side and seal lid.
An alternative is to place the ice cream mixture in a medium-sized sealable plastic bag, squeeze to remove the air and seal the bag. In case of leaks place into a second sealable plastic bag and seal.
Place the plastic bag into a large coffee can, Fill the can with ice and add one-quarter cup (60 mL) of salt. Close the can lid. Roll the ball or can for about 10 minutes, check to see if the ice cream is freezing, stir to distribute the ice crystals, close container and add more ice and salt if needed. Continue to roll for another five to 10 minutes.
Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.