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There is nothing to do... How many times have your kids whined to you that same statement? Next time they do, get out these simple recipes and have some fun, both making them and then playing with the results.

Everyone loves to blow bubbles, and this is the easiest recipe ever.

You will need a clean container, at least 8 oz., with a tight fitting lid. Opening needs to be big enough for a milk lid or other similar sized ring to fit easily into it. Next, mixing equally:

½ cup dish soap
½ cup water
½ cup glycerin

Glycerin will help you blow better, bigger bubbles, and can be purchased at any pharmacy. Mix well. To make a bubble blower to go with the new bubbles, you will first need a ring. The plastic ring on a milk jug works perfect. To go with it you will need to make it a handle. A plastic straw folded in half over the ring and taped works great, or a plastic clothespin if the child is old enough not to keep squeezing the clothespin open.

Playing with clay is one of the best ways to spend a rainy afternoon. The only problem is that when you think of the clay, there is none in the house. Short of having to run to the store just to buy some, what is one to do? Make your own. All the ingredients for clay can be found in virtually any kitchen. Again, you will need a container to store the clay in once made. A tight fitting lid is a necessity to keep the clay from drying out. You should have a container for each color you make. For each color you will need:

2 cups flour
¾ cup salt
¾ cup water
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Food coloring of your choice
Glitter if desired

Mix flour and salt, adding in water, oil, and coloring as needed. Knead clay and add a bit more flour if mixture seems sticky. Once each color is mixed, adding glitter to a few of the colors gives the clay some added dimensional fun. This should be stored refrigerated to last longer.

Silly Putty has been a favorite of kids through the years. It stretches, pulls, bounces, and can even copy the funnies! What more could one ask from a toy? A substance similar to this fun stuff can be made right from ingredients found in many households. While it can be gooey to first mix, once you get the consistency down, is fun to play with no matter your age. Again, a clean container with a tight fitting lid is required. Spraying your hands with a cooking spray will help, but is not necessary:

Two parts white school glue
One part liquid starch
Wax paper

Mix ingredients in bowl, dump onto wax paper and continue kneading until desired consistency.

That’s all there is to the recipes. Easy as can be. Besides all the fun making and playing with these recipes, is the ease of cleaning them up.

Now what to do with these that you have made them? First, if the kids were involved in the actual gathering of supplies, and the measuring and mixing, the fun has already started. Next, go ahead and blow some bubbles. Besides the blower made of the milk ring, experiment with other items. Do you have some string? Pour some of the bubble mixture into a shallow bowl. Lay the string into this and carefully pick up. See how big a bubble you can make. If your kids are old enough, let them take a straw and blow into the mixture the same way kids all over blow into their milk. You will be surprised just how many bubbles this will make. Just make sure they do not suck up the mixture.

The clay can be fashioned into animals, (snakes are easy and a favorite) bowls, flowers, even rings and other small jewelry items. The clay if left out will air-dry and preserve some of these fine creations. The silly putty stretched out and flattened onto a comic strip from the Sunday paper will let kids see and learn about mirror images. Have them roll some of it in their hands to see if they can make a perfect ball. The putty, besides being just plain fun, seems to have a soothing effect on whoever has a ball of it in their hands. The kneading and squeezing of it seems to let kids release tension.

Only your imagination and theirs limit the fun you and your kids can have with these simple recipes. Have fun!