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Here are a few tips that will help you keep them busy but are fairly stress-free and easy to do.

Wreaths
For any occasion. Purchase an already made wreath, or if you have an abundance of grape vines in your area, make one yourself and incorporate that into your project. Next, assemble things to decorate with. Children don't really want a fashionable wreath, but tend to opt towards one that looks good to them. So, you should probably scrounge up bright ribbons, bows, toys, beads, glitter, or any other items you have lying around that you can bear to have on your wreath. Get the kids settled in and allow them to decorate. (You may have to use hot glue to attach some items, so you'll probably want to remain around for this part!)

Cards
Any kinds of cards are easy to make and don't require parental guidance. (Unless you have a child that loves to eat Elmer's glue! In that case, give them a glue stick!) You'll need blank cards or construction paper folded in half. Give your children glitter, ribbons, crayons, markers, and glue and let them get started making greeting cards for all occasions. This keeps them occupied for a good interval and makes great keepsake cards for family members. Also, if you're planning a birthday party, why not get your kids involved and let them make their own invitations this year?

Hand prints and foot prints
This is my personal favorite and I'm not a kid! Give your kids posterboard or construction paper, washable paint, and paint brushes. Let them paint their feet and hands, then press them to the poster board. Allow the paint to dry, then cut out and sign and date with each child's name. These are great keepsakes and I can't keep enough in stock for all my family!

Play Dough
You don't have to buy this and kids will love making it as well as playing with it. You'll need:
1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp boiling water
1/2 tsp white corn syrup or sugar
1/2 tsp lemon or vanilla extract
food coloring

Mix all these together, allow to cool, then you're ready to start playing. Well, the kids are ready to play and you're ready to clean up that kitchen!

Splatter-paint shirt
Does your child have a shirt with a stain on it? Well, don't chunk it in the garbage just yet. Set your child up outside, preferably, or on newspaper and give them washable paint and a paint brush. Let them decorate the t-shirt how they want to. Of course, try to encourage them to cover that stain! Once the paint dries, wash in cold water then dry and you've got a designer shirt on your hands. Don't forget to have your child sign or initial the shirt to make it authentic!

These are just a few projects that are great for kids. Just look around your home and I'm sure you'll find a million things for your child to do.