- Easy STEM Challenges For Kids!
- EASY STEM CHALLENGES
- WHAT IS STEM?
- STEM TEACHES LIFE SKILLS
- 10 SIMPLE STEM ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
- 1. Build a Catapult
- 2. Build a Balloon Rocket
- 3. Build Structures
- 4. 100 Cup Tower Challenge
- 5. Think the 3 Little Pigs (Architectural Activity)
- 6. Learn Basic Coding
- 7. Build a Marble Run
- 8. Paper Chain Challenge
- 9. Egg Drop Challenge
- 10. Build A Simple Machine
- SET UP SIMPLE STEM ACTIVITIES AT A MOMENTS NOTICE!
- Some tips on starting off summer in spite of COVID-19
- 3-Ingredient Rum Cocktails That Are Shockingly Easy to Make
- Minimalist Rum Punch
- Rum Spritz
- 50 best indoor activities for kids
- 50 indoor activities for kids
- More indoor activities for kids
- 50 Best Healthy Popsicle Recipes For Kids – No Artificial Colors or Refined Sugars In Sight!
Easy STEM Challenges For Kids!
Stave off the dreaded “I’m bored” syndrome that hits partway into any vacation or downtime with a few of the BEST simple STEM activities that cost almost next to nothing.
We have a bunch of easy STEM challenges to get the juices flowing, keep the kids thinking, and best of all learning. As always we have plenty of science experiments and STEM activities to get through a whole year.
Shhh, don’t tell them!
EASY STEM CHALLENGES
So you ask, what does costing next to nothing look for a simple STEM activity? What materials do I actually need to do fun STEM activities? If I don’t know a whole lot about STEM, can we still do these activities?
Well, easy STEM activities can look exactly grabbing items from the pantry, recycling bin, junk drawer, and maybe a trip to the dollar store too. I always to make sure I have a few basic supplies on hand as you will find in our engineering kit for kids.
WHAT IS STEM?
First, if you don’t know a whole lot about STEM, we have a few great STEM resources to start with to get your feet wet.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, and activities involving these fields have a huge impact on kids. Even the simplest STEM activities the catapult I talk about below provide numerous opportunities for kids to learn and explore STEM.
It might look your kids are just playing, but they are doing oh so much more. Look closely, you will see the design process in motion. You will see experimenting and critical thinking in action, and you will notice problem-solving at its finest. When kids play, they learn about the world around them!
Looking for easy to print activities, and inexpensive problem-based challenges?
We have you covered…
Click below to get your quick and easy STEM challenges.
STEM TEACHES LIFE SKILLS
There are some great vacation or distance learning STEM activities here that will really keep everyone busy. I highly encourage you to get in on the fun if you can but hold back on providing the answers when things don’t go as expected.
Read more on how STEM provides real-world skills!
Younger kids may need more assistance while older kids might choose to work independently.
Frustration and failure go hand in hand with success and perseverance. You can provide encouragement when things aren’t working well and offer congratulations for a successful challenge completed.
It’s always good to talk about the importance of failing with our kids. Some of our greatest inventors Darwin, Newton, Einstein, and Edison failed and failed time again only to make history later on. And why is that? Because they didn’t give up.
10 SIMPLE STEM ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
So let’s get started with some of the best, simplest, and most fun STEM activities that will have your kids chanting your name and eagerly waiting for the next awesome idea.
Each of these easy STEM activities will provide you with a materials list or you can read about it under the descriptions below. The STEM supplies are pretty simple and you probably have most of it floating around the house.
1. Build a Catapult
Time to storm the castle with a homemade catapult that explores many parts of STEM and that is entirely playful. The kids will come back to this one over and over again. We have several popular versions of the homemade catapult, the best being made craft sticks and rubber bands.
POPSICLE STICK CATAPULT
2. Build a Balloon Rocket
Oh, the fun you can have with Sir Isaac Newton, a balloon, a straw, and some string. Explore Newton’s Third Law of Motion when you design a balloon rocket. Have races, conduct experiments, and explore physics while you play.
Here’s our Christmas theme balloon rocket… MAKE A BALLOON ROCKET
Alternatively, you can make a balloon car!
3. Build Structures
All you need is a box of toothpicks and a bag of mini marshmallows, gumdrops, or styrofoam peanuts. Turn it into a challenge to build a certain style of a bridge, a famous monument, or simply an abstract creation. Or you can challenge the kids to build a tower 12″ tall (or any other height).
GUMDROP BRIDGE BUILDING
POOL NOODLE STRUCTURES
4. 100 Cup Tower Challenge
Grab a bag of 100 cups at the grocery store and challenge the kids to build a tower with all 100! That will keep them busy. Grab a free printable too.
CHECK OUT: 100 Cup Tower Challenge
5. Think the 3 Little Pigs (Architectural Activity)
What happens when you take a classic fairy tale The Three Little Pigs and you join it with architectural inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright? You get an awesome STEM picture book called The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale written by Steve Guarnaccia. Of course, we had to come up with an easy STEM project to go along with it and a free printable pack too!
CHECK OUT: DESIGN A HOUSE (with printables)
6. Learn Basic Coding
Computer coding with LEGO® is a great introduction to the world of coding using a favorite building toy. Yes, you can teach young kids about computer coding, especially if they are highly interested in computers and how they work.
PRINTABLE ALGORITHM GAMES
LEGO CODING ACTIVITIES
7. Build a Marble Run
Building a marble run is full of design possibilities and really encourages those engineering skills. You can build it on the wall with cardboard tubes and tape, with LEGO bricks on a baseplate, or in a box top with tape, craft sticks, or straws.
LEGO MARBLE RUN
CARDBOARD TUBE MARBLE RUN
POOL NOODLE MARBLE RUN
8. Paper Chain Challenge
Only one sheet of paper needed to get started with this super easy to set up STEM challenge. As long as your kiddo can use scissors safely, this is a great challenge to try! Perfect for different ages, groups, and team building!
CHECK OUT: Paper Chain Challenge
9. Egg Drop Challenge
If you can stand to give your kids a carton of raw eggs, this type of STEM challenge will be a blast. Have each kid design a mechanism that will protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped. Look around the house for items that could work. Challenge your kids to only use what they can find and not buy.
CHECK OUT: EGG DROP PROJECT
10. Build A Simple Machine
Simple machines make our lives so much easier. Do your kids know all 6 simple machines? Have them do some investigative research and find a simple machine they can build from materials on hand.
LEGO SIMPLE MACHINES
HOMEMADE PULLEY SYSTEM
BUILD A WINCH
Looking for easy to print activities, and inexpensive problem-based challenges?
We have you covered…
SET UP SIMPLE STEM ACTIVITIES AT A MOMENTS NOTICE!
Discover more fun and easy science & STEM activities right here. Click on the link or on the image below.
Some tips on starting off summer in spite of COVID-19
Column by John Akal
At this point, saying that we live in strange times kind of goes without saying, doesn’t it? There is nothing to compare with what the world is going through and I know that so many people, including myself, are totally confused as to when things are going to get back to something that resembles normal.
I think we are all looking for some kind of defined time table so we can plan … anything. Unfortunately, there isn’t one. All we can do is wait and see if this virus starts to fizzle out.. Personally, I really don’t to have to bank on anything just fizzling out, but we don’t have a choice in the matter.
We hear about all kinds of models, and predictions, and loads of graphs and explanations but it all leads to one basic conclusion. Even with all of our testing and treatment to vaccine hopes, in the simplest of terms, all our lives are an ambiguous fizzle rate. It’s going to happen, we just don’t know when.
Which brings us to this coming weekend. It’s usually the big kick-off to summer — Memorial Day weekend. So let’s start with the bad news you probably already know. All of the live events, including any concerts, shows or even large services are canceled. You aren’t really going to be able to go to anything, with a few exceptions.
And that brings us to the good news. Some of the very important things surrounding this holiday are going to be open.
First of all, let’s put aside the usual weekend full of revelry we normally experience and go back to the basic idea that Memorial Day is the day that we take some time to turn our thoughts to those people in our hearts and lives that have passed away and remember them.
It’s also the time we recognize those people we may not have known that gave their lives in service to all of us.
Whether they were military, first responders or others that made the ultimate sacrifice, we can all still take the time to think about them, and be thankful they were once here.
It’s a time to step back from the numbers and statistics that we are bombarded with and recognize them as people. Folks with names, stories and histories that we should never forget. This year, the blessing in disguise is that since we won’t all be preoccupied with getting to some destination, we will have more time than usual to pause and reflect on those we need to remember.
For many of us, that means going to a cemetery to visit and put some flowers or a flag on a grave. I checked it out and it looks all of our local cemeteries are going to be open and allowing visits.
But, they won’t be having any large live services open to the public.
They also ask that people follow the social distancing recommendations and try to stay at least six feet apart from groups other than your own family members.
VA cemeteries will be open for visitations, and the wreath laying ceremonies, including the playing of Taps, will be happening, but those will not open to the public. The VA wants to preserve and honor the tradition, while keeping things safe for the public. They will conduct those in private as a gesture of appreciation for those that served.
If you are Catholic, Mt. Olivet Cemetery, on W. 44th Ave. near Golden will be running a Memorial Day live streaming mass at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 25. You can watch it at https://archden.org/livestream/.
If you are of another faith or denomination, you can check with your local house of worship website to see if they have something similar. I only single out Mt.
Olivet’s here as it is directly connected with that particular cemetery.
OK, so more good news. Enough stores are open so you can get steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, charcoal briquettes or gas cylinders and crank up that barbecue.
You can also get chips, potato salad, beer, popsicles and all the other stuff that goes with having a fun and festive summer party, even if it’s just for the immediate family this year.
It actually tastes better without having to wait in a line of 50 people.
John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at email@example.com
3-Ingredient Rum Cocktails That Are Shockingly Easy to Make
Daiquiri | Photo: Shyripa Alexandr/Shutterstock; Illustration: Maitane Romagosa/ThrillistDaiquiri | Photo: Shyripa Alexandr/Shutterstock; Illustration: Maitane Romagosa/Thrillist
the explosion of tiki drinks and new releases of rums that are every bit as complex as whiskey, it seems everyone suddenly remembered that rum is delicious. It works well in lowbrow drinks a rum & Coke, which can be enjoyed at the seediest of dives, and is also equally at home in an elaborate parrot-shaped mug or as a neat, top-shelf pour.
You can also make a fantastic, complex cocktail it with just a few simple ingredients. Next time you’re bartending at home for anyone — from your in-laws to your co-workers to, well, just you — break out these three-ingredient rum cocktails to impress everyone with minimal effort.
any sour, when done correctly, a daiquiri is sublime. Not the fructose-filled, blended variety you see at resorts, either. We're talking about the kind Hemingway enjoyed — the boozy, simple kind.
It's incredibly hard to mess up, which makes it a simple go-to cocktail, and a good benchmark to size up new bars.
If you order a daiquiri and it's anything but amazingly refreshing, switch to beer or a new bar.
- 2 ounces rum
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a coup glass, serve straight up.
Hands down the fastest way to achieve tropical vacation mode, the creamy blend of pineapple, coconut, and rum makes everything better. Insanely easy to make, this should be a year-round staple. It's perfect for celebrating the warm weather of spring and summer, and for pretending it's warm during the chill of fall and winter.
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- 2 ounces Coco Lopez cream of coconut
- 2 ounces rum
Combine all ingredients in a blender on high until frosty and creamy. That's it.
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Ginger beer and lime make just about anything taste good, and seem especially well suited to sweet-and-spicy dark rum. This adult soda beverage pairs well with BBQs, sunny afternoons, and Instagram.
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- 2 ounces dark rum
- Lime wedge
Combine ginger beer and rum in a tall glass over ice, garnish with a lime wedge.
Credit: Dan Q. Dao, spirits writer and bartender
Sure, your daily chain iced coffee does the job, but have you ever tried dripping your own java (and more importantly, adding rum?).
Traditional Vietnamese iced coffee is made by a small metal drip filter slowly releasing ground coffee into a cup with sweetened condensed milk, then chilling it on ice.
Kick things up a notch and add spiced rum — Dao suggests Chairman’s Reserve for hints of molasses and nutty flavors.
- 2 ounces spiced rum
- 5 ounces chilled coffee
- 1 ounce sweetened condensed milk
Combine ingredients in a shaker tin with several cubes of ice. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds, or until shaker tin is frosted over. Strain and serve in a highball glass with fresh ice cubes. Optional: garnish with a coffee bean.
This attempt to make a rum & Coke fancy by adding a lime and a Spanish name is a little silly, but very delicious.
That's not to say you should order it by name at a bar if it's not on the menu, because chances are you'll sound a pretentious ass.
Just ask for a rum & Coke with lime, and if they roll their eyes and say, “So a Cuba Libre,” then chances are they are a pretentious ass. Either way, the drink is delicious.
- 4 ounces Coca-Cola
- 2 ounces rum
- Lime wedge
Pour the rum and Coke in a glass over ice, garnish with a lime wedge. Hold the self-deprecating comments and be confident in drinking what makes you happy.
Presenting the Justin Timberlake of cocktails: a triple threat of flavors that will have you making your next round before you’re done with your first.
Firstly, add tamarind cordial to your arsenal — the pod- fruit of tamarind combines with lemon zest and golden brown sugar for a unique liqueur that is equal parts sweet, tangy, and nutty.
Its distilling methods also happen to make it the perfect companion to rum. But don’t stop there: add a heavy-handed splash of ginger beer for a drink with invigorating zest.
- 1 ounce Tamarind Cordial (try: Von Humboldt’s)
- 2 ounces rum
- Splash of ginger beer
Stir ingredients over ice, then top with a splash (or two) of ginger beer. Garnish with a lime slice and serve.
Basically a smoothie, this drink is one of the more appropriate day-drinking options. It's not really about the spirit as much as it is basically about drinking a boozy popsicle, so any rum that is not spiced or super aged works well. For those who it strong, add a rum floater on top.
- ⅔ cup frozen strawberries
- 1 ounce lime
- 2 ounces rum
Mix all ingredients in a blender on high until just combined.
Minimalist Rum Punch
This classic, which many of us remember from our honeymoon phase with alcohol, is still a potent, fruity mix worth your attention. Just in the old days, pour a bunch of juice in a (probably Solo) cup, and add rum. Fresh, 100% juices are definitely best, but hey, there's no shame in substituting fruit punch juice product if that's your jam.
- 2 ounces orange juice
- 2 ounces pineapple juice
- 2 ounces rum
Combine ingredients in a cup over ice. Repeat. Frequently.
Move over whiskey, because rum is about to school you at your own game. You'll need an aged rum for this twist on a classic, and un many of the other tutti-frutti rum drinks, this one is very much about the spirit, so splurge on something nice. Go ahead, you deserve it.
- 1.5 ounces aged rum
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine bitters and sugar in a rocks glass, add ice and whisky, stir to combine. Classy.
Ah man, you’ve used up all your vacation days for the year, too? Luckily, you can still pretend you’re on a tropical getaway with this pineapple-infused rum cocktail and your feet up on the ottoman. This is not your mother’s Señor Frog’s punch, with a little cardamom bitters adding a gingery, citrusy kick. Hey, it’s cheaper than a flight to Maui.
- 2 ounces pineapple rum (try: Maggie's Farm 50/50 pineapple)
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup
- 2 dashes cardamom bitters
Stir all ingredients together and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with pineapple frond.
If you are looking for a light — but not too light – and flavorful drink to sip on all day long (ideally from the dock of a boat), this should be your go-to. The ultra-hydrating coconut water allows you to put these away without having to stop for water breaks in between. Genius.
- 2 ounces aged rum
- 4 ounces coconut water
Combine over ice, sip, repeat.
It's easy to overdo it with rum, since it goes down so easy. Break out this little number when you and your friends need something a little lighter on the liver but aren't quite ready to call it quits. The club soda and lime will make one serving of rum last longer, and your probable hangover shorter.
- 1.5 ounces rum
- 3 ounces club soda
- Lime wedge
Combine rum and soda in a tall glass over ice and garnish with the lime wedge and a tiny umbrella if you're feeling extra fancy.
“Brass Monkey” by the Beastie Boys is, and always will be, a bop. The drink it references — orange juice dumped in a 40 of Olde English — is a fitting, albeit scummy, source of passion.
This isn't that. It is basically a rum-spiked screwdriver. And un the original, it won't make you say “Hello Nasty.
” If you're feeling extra frisky, you can always batch them and serve them in 40s.
- 1 ounce dark rum
- 1 ounce vodka
- 1/4 ounce orange juice
Stir and serve over a highball glass full of ice.
Who needs a stuffy, pretentious cocktail a Manhattan when you can mix up some rum and lemonade and call it a day? Many believe bourbon is the quintessential American spirit, but rum actually came here first. The founding fathers even celebrated signing the constitution with 14 large bowls of rum punch.
- 2 ounces rum
- Store-bought lemonade
Add rum and cracked ice in a shaker and fill with lemonade. Shake. Pour into a pint glass and garnish with half a strawberry and an orange slice.
The Cable Car — born the Starlight Room atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco — is Tony Abou-Ganim’s modern twist on the classic Sidecar (cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice.) It’s simple and balanced, yet a little ritzy.
- 1 ½ ounce Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
- ¾ ounce Marie Brizard orange Curaçao
- 1 ½ ounce fresh lemon sour
Rub the rim of a chilled cocktail glass with a lemon and dip in a plate of cinnamon and sugar to frost. Add Captain Morgan, Curaçao, and lemon sour to an ice-filled mixing glass, shake, and pour into the cocktail glass.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, get Eatmail for more food coverage, and subscribe here for our channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
Tess Rose Lampert is a Manhattan-based philosopher-turned-drink expert who spends her nights grappling with tough decisions what to pair with Thai takeout and Netflix binges. It's often mezcal. Follow her to south-of-the-border pilgrimages: @TessRose211.
Brooke Sager is a contributing writer for Thrillist. Follow her winey adventures on Instagram and .
Alex Erdekian is a former editorial assistant at Thrillist.
50 best indoor activities for kids
In today’s post: Find 50 indoor crafts and activities for kids, perfect for rainy days!
Years ago we lived in Madison, WI, and we absolutely loved it everything about it. Well, almost everything–there was that very long, very cold winter.
Our kids were young when we lived there (the oldest was four and the twins were two), and even though we played out in the snow regularly, there were days I just couldn’t bear the rigamarole of getting everyone suited up in snowgear just to end up back inside fifteen minutes later when someone needed to go to the bathroom. Sometimes I just wanted an easy way to keep my kids busy (and myself sane) during those long winter days.
In case you’re also looking for some simple, easy ideas that will keep your kids busy on days you’re cooped up inside, here are 50 indoor kid crafts and activities:
50 indoor activities for kids
1. Paper plate fish from MADE. I don’t always love paper crafts for kids because they spend 15 minutes making it, and then it just clutters up my house. But the creative possibilities here are sure to keep them busy for some time.
2. DIY laser maze from It’s Always Autumn. Give the kids a roll of crepe paper and some masking tape and let them go crazy designing mazes and working their way through them.
3. Kids are sure to love these Big Mouth Monster coloring pages from It’s Always Autumn. Print out one of the five designs and let kids color them in – then they can open and close the monsters’ mouths by folding on the lines.
4. Sewing cards from Dandee. I’ve gone through at least three different sets of lacing cards with my kids – we use them mainly at church – but for some reason I never thought of making my own. Kids could design their own shapes, get your help for the cutting and hole punching, and then go to town lacing and unlacing.
5. Slotted building discs by Made By Joe. This is another DIY of a product we’ve purchased before – download the free printables, cut from construction paper or card stock, and let the kids go to town. The blogger mentions how perfect these would be to take along when you go out to dinner. Tons of good stuff for kids on this blog!
6. Download the free templates for these Print + Fold origami bookmarks from It’s Always Autumn, then let kids watch the included video to learn how to fold them into bookmarks. Seven different woodland animal designs.
7. For a fun game that helps reinforce letter recognition, print + play Alphabet bingo from Crazy Little Projects.
8. This is a great activity for school aged kids: Origami jumping frogs from It’s Always Autumn. Click through for step by step folding instructions, then let kids make as many frogs as they . They actually jump, so they’re pretty fun to play with once you’ve folded a bunch.
9. I’ve seen tons of painted rocks tutorials, but I love these Snowman painted rocks from Frugal Fun 4 Boys because you can paint a bunch and then mix and match them to create different snowpeople.
10. This Mini Foosball table for kids from UCreate is genius! Kids can help make the table a shoebox, then spend time playing with it.
11. Fingerprint Art is one of our FAVORITE rainy day activities. Click through for details on the book that teaches kids how to turn their fingerprints into hundreds of different animals, people, and designs. I love this kid activity because it doesn’t require any parental help!
12. These pretty Heart Suncatchers from Fireflies and Mudpies are easy for kids to make, and could be made in any shape or colors for different holidays.
13. Learn about Salt painting from The Best Ideas For Kids – it’s easy to do with supplies you probably already have on hand and great for younger kids!
14. Reinforce number sense with 10 different Counting printables from The Best Ideas for Kids.
15. Kids will have a blast with these Print + color Unicorn masks from It’s Always Autumn. Print out the free template and let kids design and color their unicorn. Then help them cut it out and add elastic so they can wear the masks for make believe play.
16. Paper spinners from Make and Takes are easy to make with cardboard and string, and mesmerizing to play with!
17. How cute are these Clothespin Paper puppets from Moms and Crafters? Kids will have fun coloring them, adding hair, and playing with the completed puppets.
18. This is one of the cutest ideas I’ve seen online: use a toilet paper tube to make a Fire Breathing dragon from One Little Project.
19. This Marshmallow Toothpick building challenge from Munchkins and Moms is a great one: it doesn’t require much help from mom and it gets kids’ brains working! Plus it’s fun and will keep little hands busy for quite a while.
20. If your kids want to paint but you don’t want to clean up, try this No Mess Painting from Powerful Mothering. It’s the perfect indoor activity for kids!
21. If you’re looking for an easy, engaging game to play with your kids, check out The Dice Game from It’s Always Autumn. The free printable instruction sheet makes it easy to learn how to play, and the game is a great way to teach addition. Best for kids 5+ although younger kids can play with help.
22. Make a classic activity a little more fun with Paper airplanes + target from Good Housekeeping. Kids can design their own “target board” which will keep them playing with the airplanes they fold longer.
23. This idea is so simple and so much fun, and can be done anywhere you have room to tie up a string. Balloon Rockets from The Family Fun Spot
24. Print out the Lego letters from Little Bins for Little Hands and combine the fun of legos with the fun of learning. Perfect indoor activity for rainy days.
25. I love this Target practice idea from Toddler Approved! Even the littlest kids can have fun tossing balls at the targets.
More indoor activities for kids
26. Wish your kids would spend more time coloring when the weather has you stuck inside? Make a personalized coloring page from a photo to keep their interest!
27. How cool is this Floating Ball activity from For all the Boys?
28. It’s amazing what you can do with masking tape and a little creativity. Click through to see the indoor games you can play with Tape lines from What Moms Love.
29. This Paper Plate Snake from Crafty Morning lets kids experiment with painting and cutting.
30. Super easy and super fun: Sticky Spider Web from What Moms Love
31. Tissue paper transfer art from It’s Always Autumn is another perfect indoor activity for kids, and it’s really fun to see the designs you can make with nothing but tissue paper and water!
32. Challenge your kids to some Engineering building challenges from Frugal Fun 4 Boys.
33. My kids love working on these Color by numbers pages from Kids Activities Blog on rainy days! It’s a great way to practice number recognition as well as simple addition and subtraction.
34. Cardboard marble maze from Therapy Fun Zone. What a great indoor kid activity idea! My big kids could do this with no help at all, then battle to see who can get the marble through the maze the fastest.
35. CD case labyrinth by Giddy Giddy. Similar idea, different materials, with the added bonus that everything is closed inside the case.
36. Pretzel log cabin from Spoonful. Ok, so this will take some parental involvement, but it was too cute to pass up. This adorable log cabin is built around a small milk carton.
37. Marshmallow catapults from It’s Always Autumn. These are SO easy to put together and SO much fun to play with – even I had a good time seeing if I could fling a marshmallow into a target taped on our table. One of our very favorite indoor activities.
38. Marble run from Powerful Mothering. My kids have always loved marble runs, so it’s great to find a DIY version that even they could create.
39. Origami is a great way to keep little hands busy. Find some ideas in this Origami roundup by Simply Modern Mom. Many of the instructions linked to here are simple enough for older children to follow on their own and even teach to younger siblings.
40. Start a one-kid-band with this Kid-made drum set and kazoo from It’s Always Autumn
41. Walking stilts by Make it and Love it. Another perfectly genius idea! Throw together a couples pairs of stilts using dollar store supplies and wait for the giggles to begin as the kids practice walking with them.
42. Flashlight games from Kids Activities Blog. I remember playing these games when my boys were little and I was too worn out to figure out anything the least bit complicated.
43. Illustrated cookie recipe from It’s Always Autumn. One thing I’ve always loved doing with my little kids is baking. Who knows how many hundreds of cookies we’ve made winter boredom!
50 Best Healthy Popsicle Recipes For Kids – No Artificial Colors or Refined Sugars In Sight!
Cool off your kids with one of these healthy homemade popsicles
There’s not much better than cooling down on a hot summer’s day with a refreshing popsicle. But those neon-colored store-bought pops are full of nasty artificial flavors and dyes – not to mention heaps of added sugar.
But alas, we’re here to help. We’ve rounded up the best healthy popsicle recipes from across the web that are made with real ingredients, no refined sugars, and won’t stain your child’s tongue electric blue.
These homemade frozen treats are packed full of nutrients and wholesome fruits (some even have veggies!). They’re so guilt-free that you can let your kids eat them whenever they’d – breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert, or heck, why not dinner? These better-for-you pops are the answer to summer time (or any time!) meltdowns.
We’ve even included our recommended popsicle molds, so you can make big batches of these yummy frozen confections to have on-hand for when the temperatures rise. So grab your kids, and start your blenders – healthy pops for all!
Please note: this post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please see our disclosure policy.
PIN to keep these healthy popsicle recipes on hand all summer long
(1) These delicious Coconut Blueberry Smash Pops use Coconut Milk and blueberries, and are sweetened with just a little maple syrup. They’re dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and best of all…easy to make! (via Wallflower Kitchen)
(2) Strawberry Watermelon Popsicles are 100% fruit with just a hint of lime – yum! (via One Lovely Life)
(3) Scroll to the bottom of this post to find these beautiful Rainbow Popsicles, made with nothing other than 100% fruit! (via Bigger Bolder Baking)
(4) The secret ingredient for Healthy Homemade Fudgecicles….ripe bananas! These contain no added sugars and are allergy friendly – there’s no gluten, grains, dairy or nuts. We also love that they use Raw Cacao instead of the more processed Cocoa. (via One Lovely Life)
(5) How can you not sink your teeth into these Banana Coconut and Chia Popsicles?! Leave off the chocolate drizzle if you can resist. (via A Beautiful Mess)
(6) Combine Banana, Pineapple, OJ and spinach and watch your kids devour these Green Smoothie Popsicles…we promise, they won’t be able to taste the spinach! (Bigger Bolder Baking)
(7) How pretty are these aptly-named Lava Flow Popsicles? Creamy pineapple coconut smoothie is swirled with a fresh strawberry layer to make a yummy gluten-free, vegan and paleo treat. (via One Lovely Life)
(8) These Juicy Grape Pops are one of the easiest pops on our list to make – just one ingredient and a high powered blender needed. (via Super Healthy Kids)
Our very own Healthy Strawberry “Cheesecake” Frozen Yogurt Popsicles are easy to make and bursting with fresh fruit flavor. They’re thick and creamy, and can be whipped up with a few simple ingredients in a matter of minutes!
(1) Here you’ll find 3 different Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Popsicles recipes to try including Coconut & Pineapple Yogurt, Kiwi & Yogurt and the slightly more exotic Coconut & Dragon Fruit Yogurt Pops. (via Alana Jones Mann)
(2) Pure fruit, chia seeds and coconut water combine in these Strawberry Mango Chia Popsicles – a perfect treat to hydrate and replenish electrolytes after playing outside. (via Super Healthy Kids)
(3) The layered granola in these Berry Parfait Yogurt Popsicles softens to create delicious bites of oatmeal-cookie-dough- flavor. A welcome treat morning, noon or night. (via Well Plated)
(4) You only need 3 simple ingredients to make Watermelon Raspberry Popsicles — they taste as good as they look! (via Life Made Sweeter)
(5) Blueberry Smoothie Pops will hit the spot any time of day, with blueberries, yogurt and bananas blended together to make a creamy smooth treat. (via Good Life Eats)
(6) This recipe requires somewhat of a more adventurous palette, but if your kids are up for it, they’ll love these creamy and refreshing Coconut Lime Pops. (via The Charming Detroiter)
(7) Use freshly squeezed OJ, strawberries and just a little maple syrup to create these pretty (and tasty!) Orange Strawberry Sunrise Popsicles. (via The Healthful Ideas)
(1) Celebrate 4th of July all summer long with these pretty Red, White and Blue Popsicles reminiscent of the American flag. (via Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke)
(2) If you have a difficult time getting green veggies into your kids, these Green Monster Popsicles are the solution. They’re power packed with spinach and kale, plus plenty of fruit! (via Pamela Salzman)
(3) Fresh fruit and a little Apple Juice create these visually stunning Fresh Fruit Pops kids simply can’t resist. (via One Little Project)
(4) You’ll find 7 Healthy Fruit & Veggie Popsicles for Baby & Toddler here with creative flavors including Carrot Orange Ginger, Kiwi Honeydew Spinach and our favorite, Banana Sweet Potato Chocolate Fudgsicle. Check out the Zoku Mini Pop Mold in our recommended mold section below to make these perfectly-sized treats. (via babyfoode)
(5) We featured these Frozen Peanut Butter Berry Pops in our post 23 Genius Twists On The Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich – we love the natural ingredients and that they’re made into small bites by using an ice cube tray! (via Super Healthy Kids)
(6) Super charge with Homemade Kiwi Fruit Popsicles made with kiwis, coconut water and a splash of lime. (via Raw Edibles)
(7) These fun Watermelon Popsicles involve a little extra effort…but the result is so stunning, it’s well worth it. (via Bigger Bolder Baking)
(1) Nectarine Banana Blackberry Homemade Ice Pops pair sweet blackberries with juicy ripe nectarines and creamy bananas for a no-sugar-added treat. (via Know Your Produce)
(2) Add your favorite fruit chunks to these All Natural Mango Popsicles for a tasty, no sugar added snack. (via Homemade Interest)
(3) Got a teething baby or toddler? These Avocado and Pear Popsicles are great for self-feeding and gum soothing! (via The Spunky Coconut)
(4) Despite their name, these Pineapple Lemonade Pops, don’t include any sugary lemonade – just fresh lemons and pineapple, of course. (via Courtney’s Sweets)
(5) These Candy Corn Fruit Pops don’t actually contain candy — or dyes for that matter. Instead they’re naturally sweetened and colored with nature’s candy: fruit! (via Super Healthy Kids)
(6) Citrus fruits unite in these swoon-worthy Mango Kiwi Pineapple Protein Pops. (via Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke)
(7) These “Blueberry Pancake” Frozen Yogurt Pops are made to look pancakes, but are really just blueberry-studded yogurt with a peach square as the “butter”! (via EatingWell.com)
(8) Kids will love the chocolate drizzle on these Frozen Yogurt Kiwi Pops – although it’s optional, it may help get your kids excited about eating something green. (via Super Healthy Kids)
(9) Channel dessert time with a Pineapple Upside Down Pop – made with protein-packed Greek Yogurt and real fruit. (via House of Yum)
(10) Peach Pie Popsicles are super creamy with Greek yogurt, fresh peaches and a fun graham cracker crust. (via Super Healthy Kids)
(11) Pack in a little extra protein in your child’s diet by making Peanut Butter & Banana Yogurt Pops – we even recommend substituting Greek Yogurt in the recipe for even more protein punch! (via Homecooking Memories)
(12) Don’t have a blender handy? Try these Frozen Pineapple Ice Pops by slicing up a fresh pineapple into rings, adding a stick and freezing! Add toppings if you want to jazz them up a little. (via Eats Amazing)
(1) When all else fails, try these super simple Frozen Watermelon Popsicles – no blender needed! (via Cook The Story)
(2) Try any one of these 3 Veggie-Packed Popsicle recipes loaded with fruits and veggies – the Orange Delight (includes carrots!), Green Dinosaur (spinach) and Tickle-Me-Red (beets!). (via Live Simply)
(3) 3 ingredients make these Cherry Ice Pops deliciously sweet (we tried ours with 1tsp Maple Syrup and not refined sugar and they had just the right amount of tartness!). (via Know Your Produce)
(4) These Raspberry Cheesecake Freezer Pops work for snack or dessert – the plain Greek yogurt, lemon juice and honey in the recipe create a super creamy base that tastes eerily similar to cheesecake! (via Super Healthy Kids)
(5) Feeling slightly more indulgent? You can still create a delicious healthier option with these Chocolate-Covered Banana Ice Cream Bars made with frozen bananas, creamy peanut butter and a vegan chocolate shell. (via EatingWell.com)
(6) Make these bold Pineapple Blueberry Pops with your favorite fruits and pop them into these reusable Zipzicle tubes – your kids will feel they’re eating those popular colored ice pops, but with no food coloring in sight. (via Our Thrifty Ideas)
(7) Despite the bright colors, these Rainbow Unicorn Fruit Popsicles contain zero food coloring and are instead packed full of vibrant, healthy fruit. (via Eats Amazing)
And of course you can always try experimenting to make your own fun and fruity flavors — grab your blender, ask your kids to throw in their favorite fruits, blend and pour into one of our recommended molds below. We’ve tested so many molds over the years, and these are the ones we use over and over again.
(1) Norpro Frozen Ice Pop Maker
The Norpro Frozen Ice Pop Maker is our go-to popsicle mold for professional-looking results. It makes 10 pops at a time and has a lid that holds the popsicle sticks in place while they freeze.
There are no special handles, just good ol’ wooden sticks (it comes with 24 and you can buy them in packs of 100 for under $5) that you don’t have to worry about your kids throwing out by mistake or misplacing.
Once frozen, place the bottom of this pop maker in warm water and your popsicles will come out without much fuss.
(2) Zoku Quick Pop Maker
If time is of the essence, and your kids aren’t up for waiting hours for their popsicles to freeze, the Zoku Quick Pop Maker is the genius solution. Pre-freeze the base and this nifty gadget will freeze your liquid concoction in only 7–10 minutes – no electricity required.
It comes with reusable pop sticks, drip guards and a really cool tool that painlessly removes the frozen treats from the mold with just a few easy turns.
You can’t make huge batches at once, but this unit can make 3 pops at a time, and we’ve found you can easily do 2–3 rounds to make 6–9 pops before having to place the base back into the freezer.
There are also all sorts of fancy tools and recipes for this maker that allow you to make some pretty show stopping treats!
(3) Zoku Mini Pop Molds
We love the Zoku Mini Pop Molds for creating smaller pops perfect for babies and toddlers (or more reasonable kid portions). Un the Quick Pop Maker, this is your standard fill-n-freeze mold, but it works great and will make 9 golf-ball sized popsicles.
(4) Tovolo Character Molds
If you want to amp up the fun-factor of your homemade pops, try one of Tovolo’s inventive character molds, which include dinosaurs, monsters, penguins, robots and zombies, complete with fun handles and lots of details.
(5) Zoku Summer Pop Molds
These Zoku Summer Pop Molds are a fun alternative to your typical popsicle-on-a-stick.
They’re super simple to use (just fill and freeze) and once frozen the pops can be squeezed up with ease thanks to the flexible, non-stick silicone tube.
The molds come with a spill-resistant lids so you can reseal the pops to finish later, and when not making popsicles, they make great on-the-go containers for dry snacks.
If you don’t want to invest in a fancy pop mold, deep ice cube trays and small dixie cups can make great small-sized popsicles. We suggest filling the tray/cups and then placing a piece of plastic wrap tightly over them and then poking through your popsicle sticks — this will help them stand up straight when freezing.
We hope this provided you with the inspiration you needed to create some delicious healthy popsicles for your kids…and hey, who are we kidding, for yourself as well!
Which recipe will you try first? Let us know your favorites in the comments below.