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Make the Most of the Long Weekend, Whatever the Weather Forecast

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Make the Most of the Long Weekend, Whatever the Weather Forecast


The first long weekend of the year is almost upon us, and that means an extra day to get out and enjoy the company of our families (it is Family Day Weekend in Canada, after all).

But living in the Great White North, we know that the weather can be unpredictable this time of year and can play a huge part in determining the types of activities you can do outside.

Fortunately we have Dawn Isaac, author of the 101 Things for Kids To Do series, on our side with plenty of creative activities for kids to try indoors and outside.

Whether it’s wintry or warm, blustery or balmy, we have a fun activity for your family to try this Family Day.


If it’s snowing… Build a Snow Lantern

What you need:
Warm clothes (ski gloves are particularly useful)
Tea light
Matches (and a grown-up)

How to do it:
1. First, you need to pick up some snow. Now shape it into a nice ball and then… No! Don’t throw it.
2. Okay, let’s start again. 
Mold your snowball and then, just for once, resist the temptation to hurl it at someone. Instead place it on the ground and add more balls, with a gap between each, until you make a circle.
3. Now add another layer of snowballs on top, bridging the gaps, but also making the circle slightly smaller.
4. Keep adding layers, in smaller and smaller circles until the final circle just leaves a small opening at the top that will serve as a chimney. Then push the tea light carefully through a gap between the bottom ring of snowballs until it’s in the middle of your lantern.
5. Finally, when it’s starting to get dark, ask a grown-up to come out with you to light your lanterns using a very long lit taper.
6. Not only will you enjoy some brilliant winter lighting but, best of all
next day, you still have a pile of snowballs pre-rolled and ready to hurl.


If it’s sunny… Blow Giant Bubbles

What you need:
Two 3-foot (1m) long bamboo canes or dowels
Dish-washing liquid
Glycerine (optional)

How to make it:
1. First, take your two pieces of dowel or bamboo cane. Then cut a piece of string, just longer than the length of the cane, and tie the ends to the top of both poles, about 1 inch in. Now take a piece about half this length and tie the ends to the bottom of each pole, again about 1 inch from the end. This bottom string will help 
stop you pulling the canes too widely apart.
2. Finally, cut a piece of string just over twice as long as one of the poles and tie it to either end of the top string, about a half inch in from each pole.
3. Now it’s time to make your bubble mix. The simplest way is to mix ½ cup of dish-washing liquid with 1½ cups of water and mix them thoroughly.
4. You can put this concoction in a shallow container before dipping the string in so it can absorb some of 
the mixture. When you take it out, gently pull apart the canes and you should see a bubble start to form in the triangle of the string. If there’s no wind to blow your bubble, walk along to make the bubble form.


If it’s raining… Pitch an Indoor Camp

What you need:
Mops, brooms and/or canes
Sheets or duvet covers
Cushions, pillows and/or sleeping bags

Optional extras:
Clothes pegs
Fairy lights
White paper or silver foil
Sticks or paper towel roll tubes
Red or orange tissue paper

How to make it:
1. If you have a small pop-up tent you could use this, but it’s much more fun to create your own sleeping quarters. Mops and brooms can be used to make the front entranceway — just tie them together at the top with string.
2. The back of a chair makes the rear of your tent, and when you tie a broom handle or cane to this and the entranceway it forms a top pole.
3. You can use large sheets or duvet covers to drape over the structure and give you sides and a back to the tent. Tuck these in around the brooms, mops and chair, or use clothes pegs to keep them in place.
4. Now, why not get comfy? You could bring in your sleeping bags if you have any or just lots of blankets, pillows and cushions.
5. String fairy lights around the room or even the entranceway itself and you can pretend these are stars lighting the night. Alternatively, you could stick “glow in the dark” stars around the room or make some of your own from white paper or silver foil.
6. If you have a flashlight, place this in the centre of some stones or blocks, prop up sticks — or even painted paper towel roll tubes — around it, add a little red and orange tissue paper and you’ve made your own mock campfire.
7. You now have the perfect spot for reading books by flashlight, playing cards by the fire or scaring each other senseless with your favourite ghost stories. Just make sure you remind any grown-ups around that camping isn’t camping without a flask of hot chocolate and some marshmallows.


If it’s windy… Fly a Homemade Kite

What you need:
A square of paper, about 10x10 inches (25x25 cm)
Hole punch
Empty paper towel roll

How to make it:
1. Homemade kites can be a little bit complicated. So try this version instead. Five folds, three holes, a bit of tape, four knots and you’re away. Yes, that’s right, it’s the five-minute kits.
2. First, take your square of paper and fold one corner over to the one diagonally opposite, then press down the fold to form a triangle. Now bend back one of these corners so its side lines up perfectly to the middle fold and press it flat. Do this again for the other side. It should now be looking a bit like a paper airplane.
3. Take the free corner of the smaller triangle and bend 
this backwards so it lines up perfectly with the second fold. Do the same with the other side.
4. Add some tape to the base of the ridge (middle fold) line as well as the top inside corner of the smallest triangle — this will help straighten and reinforce these areas. Finally, puncture all three of these taped areas using a hole punch.
5. Cut two 10-inch (20cm) long pieces of string and tie each to the two midway holes before tying the pieces to each other in the middle. Now attach a long piece of string (about 20-25 feet) to this middle knot and tie the other end to your empty paper towel roll before wrapping it around to form your reel.
6. Finally, attach some ribbon to the bottom hole to act as a tail.
7. And that’s it. Now all that’s left is to run around outside and launch your kite. You can let out different amounts of string from your reel depending on the wind and how high you want to fly the kite.


Get the books:

 101 Things For Kids to Do Outside

 101 Things For Kids to Do on a Rainy Day

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