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Johnson County

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Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax

Map to our office

K-State Research and Extension is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Johnson County Extension at (913)715-7000. Notify staff of accommodation needs as early as possible.

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Free Fun for Kids

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The crisp cool air, shorter daylight hours and bare trees are all signs of winter quickly approaching. The lack of sunlight in the evenings and schools being closed for the holiday break leave families with younger kids looking for inexpensive, creative and fun activities. Whether you have 15 minutes or several hours for an activity, the possibilities are endless.

Often the supplies for a fun filled afternoon are inside of your kitchen cabinets or storage closet. With a little creativity anything is possible. The following are a few fun winter activity ideas to try with your child:

Snow Painting

  • Supplies needed: Food coloring, water and wide mouth squeeze bottle.
  • Directions: Put 5 - 6 drops of food coloring into a squeeze bottle, fill with water and put on the lid.
  • After a snow fall, kids can use the snow as their canvas and the squeeze bottles as their paint brushes.

Homemade Play Dough

  • Supplies needed: 3 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 5 teaspoons cream of tartar, 2 cups water, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and food coloring.
  • Directions:
    • Mix the first three ingredients in a large sauce pan.
    • Blend water and oil in a separate pan.
    • Add water and oil mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens.
    • Remove the play dough from the sauce pan and knead for a few minutes.
    • Add flour to stiffen mixture if needed.
    • Store play dough for up to three months in an air tight container.
  • Play dough can provide hours of fun. Kids can sculpt figures, use cookie cutters and create shapes with their homemade play dough. (http://www.easy-kids-recipes.com/play-dough-recipes.html)

Milk Carton Bird Feeder

  • Supplies needed: Any sized milk carton, pencil for perch, stapler, scissors, acrylic paint/brush and string or wire for hanging.
  • Directions:
    • Wash and dry milk carton,
    • Staple shut,
    • Cut 2 ½ inch wide or cut a square hole (make a hole on both sides),
    • Paint bird house and let dry and
    • Attach a wire or string to hang feeder.
  • Kids can use their artistic creativity to decorate their own bird feeder. (http://www.ziggityzoom.com/activities.php?a=302)

Additional resources for kids activities: