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90 free or nearly free activities to entertain kids

These might entertain adults, too.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 3:20AM

We have to admire anyone who can come up with a list of 90 tips about anything, let alone ways to keep kids occupied in productive ways. Debbie Dragon's list at Destroy Debt is incredibly creative and amazingly simple.

In fact, we want to try some of these because they sound like so much fun. There's "target squirting." Put plastic cups on a fence post or a person's head and squirt them off with a water gun or simple plastic water bottle. She also suggests a fun game to play with water balloons. (We're in!)

A lot of these ideas are great for summer when kids are out of school. There's "dirt restaurant." Send them outside with some plastic dishes. "They can make salads from leaves and flower petals, mud pies, and tree-bark chicken," Debbie writes. (Just make sure they don't eat it.)

She tells you how to make your own bubble solution and make "bubble art," and how to color sand for sand art.

Some of her suggestions are good for groups, like having an indoor picnic on a rainy day, organizing a bike parade, or starting an "activity co-op" with neighbors. A special section is dedicated to educational pursuits.

Her list includes one of our childhood favorites -- making puppets out of old socks and buttons and putting on a puppet show. And here's another idea that would be good for all of us: "Become a dancing fool. If you feel like you've been cooped up inside for too long due to bad weather or other reasons, put on some upbeat music and dance until you're too tired to dance anymore."

Published April 3, 2008



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