Fun kid activities

It might be cold, blustery, and snowy (or maybe you're experiencing a heat wave!) and perhaps the kids are stuck in doors. Before cabin fever sets in, we've got you covered with some fun kid activities that will take you from the kitchen to the craft room and even get you creating art in the snow!

Under the Sea in your own kitchen!
Put on the soundtrack to The Little Mermaid and get cookin' with the Jello- Aquarium, courtesy of our favorite cook, Rachael Ray!

* 1 6-ounce package blue Jell-O gelatin
* A few very thin slices ripe fruit, such as cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon and/or kiwi fruit (any kind you like)
* Aquatic-themed cookie cutters

In a mixing bowl, prepare Jell-O according to package directions. Place bowl over an ice bath, stirring occasionally, chilling it just until it becomes the consistency of honey, about 30 minutes. (If the Jell-O is in a metal bowl or pot this process will go much faster.)

While the Jell-O is chilling, use fish-shaped cookie cutters to cut the sliced fruit into the shapes. Assemble them against the sides of clear glass cups, a clear glass trifle dish or a bowl lined with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for a few minutes so the fruit is nice and secure on the sides.

When the Jell-O is at the right consistency, carefully pour it into the glasses or bowl then refrigerate until set.

Yield 6 servings

For video instructions, visit:

Mod Crafts for Cool Kids
Mod Podge is a brilliant glue-like adhesive that dries in a clear, smooth finish allowing you to decoupage almost any surface. Try it out with your kids! Have them rip fun pictures out of magazines, cut out shapes or even color their very own pictures. Then, use these items to "cover" everything from plain serving trays to glass candleholders, the surface of old tables, wooden boxes, journals or picture frames. Simply paint some Mod Podge to the back of the picture like an adhesive, press picture down on the surface of your choice and, when all your pictures are in place, paint a layer of Mod Podge over the top of each image. Mod Podge may look white when you paint it on, but it will dry clear. Once it's dry, display the item, give it as a gift or use it however you like!

Jo's friend, Rosie O'Donnell, LOVES Mod Podge and uses it to make one of her favorite crafts, Candy Switchplates! Follow along at home with this step-by-step video from Rosie!

Permanent Sand Castles Remember last summer when you made that beautiful sand castle on the beach and then had to watch the tide come in and wash it all away? You never have to say goodbye to this permanent sand castle. It looks like the real thing but stays forever, just like a sculpture. Get the sand from your sandbox, or buy play sand at the hardware store.

First get an old saucepan or one that can withstand scratches from the grittiness of the sand. In it, mix together 1-cup play sand, ½ cup cornstarch, 1-teaspoon cream of tartar, and ¾ cup hot water. Cook over medium heat on the stove until it gets so thick that it can't be stirred anymore. Cool slightly. Using sand moulds, sandbox toys, margarine containers or just your hands, mould the sand mixture into a castle or whatever you want your sculpture to be, have fun and then, if you want to keep your castle, let the final product dry for several days.

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