Activity Day Ideas #6

In my last post I mentioned that, due to weather, we had to postpone filming our movie twice. Which means that there were two activities where I had to come up with something at the last minute to keep the girls occupied for about an hour.

The first time I was lucky; I had a box full of plums that I got for free from my mom’s neighbor. So I passed out knives and cutting boards, gave them (what I thought was) a few reminders on knife safety and we all went to work chopping up the plums to make freezer jam. There were only three girls at that activity, so the adult to child ratio was high enough to do something with knives. I quickly learned that two of the girls had never used a knife before in their lives. So, more than making freezer jam, we learned very basic knife skills.

What I thought was going to be a place holder activity turned out to be a very big evening for them. I think that in the future I will definitely do another ‘learn how to use a knife’ activity for the girls that missed that night. This particular activity took just the right amount of time (about an hour), they all got to take home some jam. Since I got the fruit for free the only cost was the pectin and sugar (probably about 2 dollars total). If your mom doesn’t have a neighbor with a fruit tree, so to speak, then this activity would be fairly cost prohibitive.

The other night that we had to postpone filming, I made a last minute run to the dollar store and got a ball of yarn for each girl, which I used to teach them all to finger-knit (instructions here). The useful skill they learned that night was tying a slip knot (instructions here), but the finger knitting held their interest enough to make them want to know how to tie a slip knot. As we started one girl was very disdainful, however once she got the hang of it she kept saying how awesome it was. One girl lost interest very quickly, so I showed her how to make a braid instead.

Depending on the yarn you use, a finger-knit rope can be used as a scarf, a belt, a jump rope or just something neat that you made. The particular activity is one of the most expensive I’ve done ($10 for the group), but that was largely because I had to get a bunch of yarn at the last minute. With some foresight and extra time I could have found enough yarn or similar for much cheaper.

Both of these activities, I think, count as passing off a goal under developing talents.


Starfoxy is a fulltime caretaker for her two children.

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1 Response

  1. EmilyCC says:

    Knife skills–so important! I think most of my cooking training involved measuring and stirring. It wasn’t until I watched Food Network that I learned how to chop effectively and keep my knives sharp.

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