Activities and Recipes for the Young and Young at Heart
Hi Friends! We hope you’re all taking care of yourselves and your families and enjoying some new activities together! With no school and practicing social distancing, activities to keep everyone occupied and engaged are so important so we thought we would share some activities our staff has enjoyed to handle the challenge!
Segreto Designer, Leslie Simmons, has been coming up with all kinds of activities to do with her kids, Carter and Brynn. So Grab your aprons and plastic table clothes and let’s see what they’ve been up to. Marbleized paper was a big hit at her household!
You will need:
- Trays – a cookie sheet will work
- Shaving Cream
- Food coloring
- White paper
- Stick or something to stir with
Fill your tray with Shaving Cream.
Add drops of the first food coloring that you want to use scattered throughout, then add the second color, and so on. Try it out with 2 colors first and then you can add new colors for your next batches. This is a great way to teach kids the color wheel! What makes orange? Red and Yellow! How do you make pink? etc. I love this activity!
Use your stir stick to create the marbled effect then place your paper on top. Press it into the shaving cream.
Take the paper off and scrape off the shaving cream with dry paper towels and Voila! You have a marbled paper! If you like the colors in your tray, you can keep using the same shaving cream mix and continue adding food coloring. If you want to try a whole new color story, you can rinse out the tray and add a fresh layer of shaving cream before trying new colors.
Carter even used the extra shaving cream to practice some ABC’s on the windows! Leslie knows how to make learning fun!
Next, this classic fruit stamping craft can create really interesting artwork and can teach your child about symmetry in nature. Depending on the direction that you cut the fruit, the pattern will be different. Look how cool this lime works as a stamp!
You will need:
- Fruit and/or vegetable
- Different colors of paint
- Paper or surface to stamp
You could try other fruits and veggies too. Maybe half an apple? Roll an ear of corn in some paint? Use whatever produce you have to spare!
Simply dip the fruit into the paint that you want to use and then press it on the surface you want to stamp.
Thanks for sharing, Leslie and Carter! What fun crafts to experiment with! There are so many possibilities on what you could do with these techniques at any age.
These techniques don’t have to be for the little ones. Kirby and I had so much fun creating pieces for her apartment. Same concept different look! It all is about your color combinations.
Learn how to recreate our project step by step on this “DIY -Create Your Own Framed Art Pieces! “ blog! Choose colors that complement your décor and they will make the perfect abstract accent pieces.
All this crafting makes us hungry! Another activity that we’ve been doing a lot more of is – cooking at home! These yummy and healthy breakfast cookies are so easy and a perfect recipe to share with your little cooks! The best thing is you really only need 2 ingredients. Cooking is the best way to teach measuring, and counting if you count while you are stirring. You can improvise and play with flavors by adding in different toppings and spices.
I kept it simple for my first batch and just used the banana and oat mixture with some chocolate chips. They were really good but I wanted to make them a little more special. Before I baked the second batch, I added a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and a few shakes of cinnamon. YUM! Everyone in the family loved them! The texture is more like a soft, chewy cookie. I think next time I’m going to add some flax seeds or dried cranberries, too!
- 1 large over ripe banana *makes about 8 cookies
- 1 cup of rolled oats or quick oats ( I used Trader Joes Rolled Oats)
- Optional Add ins: Here are a few ideas but you can be creative here!
- 1/2 c. Chocolate chips, ½ tsp. Vanilla, ¼ tsp. Cinnamon
- Add-In Ideas: Nuts, Cranberries, raisins or other dried fruits, Chia or flax seeds, Coconut flakes, Cacao nibs, Peanut butter chips, M&Ms
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non stick cooking spray
- Measure out the rolled or quick oats and use a blender or food processor to grind them down a bit so they are closer to a flour like texture. It does not have to be perfectly ground up!
- Mix the banana(s) with the oats with a fork or spoon until they are evenly mixed. Then add in whatever extra add ins or flavors you want to try.
- Spoon round balls of batter onto the baking sheet about 2 inches apart and use your spoon or spatula to flatten them out a bit. They will not spread during baking, so make sure they are roughly the shape and thickness that you want them to be.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cookies are lightly brown and set.
Let them cool and enjoy!
Delicious with a morning cup of coffee or as a healthy afternoon treat!
Our other favorite comfort food is PIZZA! These little Zuchinni pizza bites are a tasty and healthy alternative that satisfy that junk food craving. They are also the perfect – non recipe- recipe that the kids can help with and have fun eating! You can cut up some mini toppings or just go for a classic cheese pizza bite.
- Zucchini (1 large zucchini makes about 10 bites)
- Tomato sauce – any will work, I like Marinara
- Shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Optional toppings- Oregano, Crushed Red Pepper, Pepperoni, veggies
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray
Cut zucchini into slices about 1/4 inch thick.
Put the zucchini slices onto the cookie tray and add salt and pepper and oregano to taste. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil and then mix the zucchini up to spread the oil around to lightly coat the zucchini
Spoon a little tomato sauce onto each zucchini and then follow with a little shredded mozzarella
Add toppings if desired
Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and starts to brown.
It is so heartwarming to see people coming up with creative ways to reach out to their communities! My sweet mom and her friends at the Village of Tanglewood had an “al fresco” concert where they were able to social distance while having some much needed fun! You can watch the video from ABC 13 here! She says she has been trying all kinds of activities and is even trying out adult coloring books! We’ve been running across a lot of really cool free coloring pages like these from the MET museum and these from New Orleans artist, Ashley Longshore. Need some more ideas for creative activities? There are so many amazing resources including The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft which is posting new craft activities 3 times per week on their website here.
Feeling inspired to do some home improvement projects? There are so many things that can be updated by just changing the colors or updating a finish a little bit. I love to change my house and you can see previous versions of the above picture in this blog. Or take a look at a few of our other before and after blogs, like this one about a home that was got a whole new look just through new colors and finishes or this one where we updated a few furniture pieces or this recent blog which featured a complete design change with only finishes and no construction and then give our designers a call! We would love to help you bring your vision of home to life!
Stay safe! Till next time! XO Leslie