Indy Style

4 ways to keep your kids busy so you can get things done

Sure, you’re a hands-on parent. But let’s face it, even the most hands-on parents among us still have times when they need to get things done. 

Donna Bozzo, author Fidget Busters 50 Ways To Keep Kids Busy So You Can Get Things Done​​​​​​​, has created “fidget busters,” designed to not only keep kids attention, but also absorb the fidgety energy all kids inevitably get right at that moment you need them to, please, sit still. 

Here are some things you can make, have the kids make, or buy to keep them happily busy:

Falling Beads Bottle  

Beads cascade through a clear, dense mixture creating a mesmerizing, calming experience that goes great with dinner. Some beads fall slower, some faster all in lackadaisical fashion as a bright parade swims past kids’ eyes. As the last one falls, they won’t be able to resist tipping the bottle over and back again to watch them all drift by in random design. You can buy lots of versions of a Falling, Falling Beads Bottle, but they’re so so super fun and easy to make, you might as well try one at home. 
What You’ll Need
-    1 liter bottle with cap (a Voss water bottle works very well)
-    3 bottles clear hand soap
-    3 tablespoons clear dish soap
-    colored plastic beads
-    glue 
Instructions
Fill the bottle with both soaps. Add plastic beads. It’s a good idea to glue on lid.

Ocean Bottle 


Kids will be completely enchanted watching the deep blue ocean waves rock back and forth. This fidget buster is easy for older kids to voyage on their own. Just collect and set aside the supplies for that long family dinner with the in-laws. and set the fidgets out to sea. 
What You’ll Need 
-    mineral oil
-    blue food coloring, or a water-soluble color tablet
-    1-liter bottle with cap
-    Funnel
-    glue
Instructions
Fill bottle almost halfway with mineral oil. Add a few drops of blue food coloring. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. Glue on cap. Shake the bottle to mix.

Hidden Treasure Bottle


I spy with my little eye . . . a clever twist on the classic car game. These bottles are so much fun to shake and discover the treasures hidden inside for any place and time you need to bust some fidgeting.
What You’ll Need
-    clear bottle with cap
-    enough rice to fill it
-    small treasures such as plastic toys, coins, or bright pencil erasers
-    glue 
Instructions
Pour rice inside bottle stopping occasionally to put in items. Almost fill, leaving just enough wiggle room for the rice. Glue the cap on.
Kids can shake, turn, and rotate to discover the hidden treasures. 

Squeezy Balloon
Even grownups will get addicted to these. Squeezy Balloons are so great to have on hand to not only pass the time, but to give a reassuring squeeze during stressful times like right before the big game. They are so easy to make, and crazy inexpensive too. You may want to hand them out to the whole team! 
What You’ll Need
Similar to a Squeezy Balloon, a Stress Ball is a great way to alleviate stress and is quieter on the squeeze. They’ve been popular items in toy stores, doctor’s offices, on office desks, and as promotional gifts for years. You probably have one in a drawer somewhere right now. If you don’t, fear not, you can make them in a flash.
-    balloons (however many you want)
-    rice 
-    funnel
Blow up the balloons several times to loosen them. Put the funnel in opening, and slowly pour the rice through the funnel until it’s firmly packed. You may need to give the balloon a couple little shakes as the rice fills it up. Tie the end closed for fun fidget play. 

STRESS BALL


Similar to a Squeezy Balloon, a Stress Ball is a great way to alleviate stress and is quieter on the squeeze. They’ve been popular items in toy stores, doctor’s offices, on office desks, and as promotional gifts for years. You probably have one in a drawer somewhere right now. If you don’t, fear not, you can make them in a flash.
What You’ll Need
-    small, round balloon
-    funnel
-    1 cup cornstarch
Blow up the balloon a few times to loosen it. Blow it up again until it’s about 5 inches around. Place a funnel inside the opening, and quickly pour the cornstarch into the funnel until the balloon is filled to about 3 inches in diameter. You might need to tap the funnel or stir the cornstarch occasionally to keep it moving into the balloon.
Pull up tightly on the opening of the balloon and pinch out any extra air.
Tie the balloon closed as near to the cornstarch as you can. 


Whoosh Ball
Whoosh! Just the sound makes this Fidget Buster oh-so fun to squish and hold and pull and even make. You can buy a rubbery spiny ball at any store, but you can also make them, and making them is a fun activity unto itself for kids. Just grab a couple handfuls of rubber bands and a pair of scissors for this fun, low-mess activity, and in a few pulls, ties, and snips you’re ready to play ball.
What You’ll Need
approximately 100 rubber bands
scissors
Instructions
Start by stacking your rubber bands, placing them evenly one on top of the other. Pick up the stack, pinch the middle, and secure with a thick rubber band, looping it around the stack a couple of times. Snip the loops of each rubber band and whoosh. 

Keep your Whoosh Ball, or better yet Whoosh Balls, on hand for fast, distraction-free fun. They’re great in the car or in a store, but they can do so much more. Whoosh Ball + friend = a game of toss. Whoosh Ball + an empty coffee container = a mini basketball game. Whoosh Ball + a few containers = a game of Bozo Buckets (rules can be easily found online). Whoosh Ball + an embroidery hoop = a game of aim. Fun to touch and hold, a Whoosh Ball is also great for solo toss and catch.


Parenting and family lifestyle expert Donna Bozzo is author of the book, Fidget Busters 50 Ways To Keep Kids Busy So You Can Get Things Done. Purchase the book at Barnes & Noble or on Amazon

For more information about Donna, visit www.DonnaBozzo.com, or follow her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/donna.bozzo) or Instagram (@donnabozzo).
 


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