May 15, 2020 - Economy & Business

Pro Rata for Kids

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

Today is the two-month anniversary of Pro Rata for Kids, which we launched as a daily newsletter feature to help give work-from-home parents some time to... well, work.

Several readers asked for a collection of the project suggestions, so we've put together 25 of them here.

  1. Make a "coronavirus" out of stuff you can find around the house.
  2. Create a Henri Matisse-inspired collage. You'll need some paper (colored construction or white with markers) and then ask watch this 5-minute YouTube video.
  3. Make your school classroom. This could be out of blocks or Legos or paper or whatever. The walls, the tables, the kids, the teacher, the pet hamster (hey, who's feeding it?), etc.
  4. Create a brand-new superhero. On a single sheet of paper, please draw and name your superhero, and list three superpowers (the more unusual the better).
  5. Make a pizza. It can be a real pizza, a bagel pizza, a drawn pizza, a Lego pizza, or something else. BUT: It needs to include at least one unusual (and edible) ingredient. Bonus points if it's real and it becomes lunch or dinner.
  6. Write and decorate a thank you sign (like a card, but single sheet that can be easily photographed). It could be to someone you know, like a parent or sibling or neighbor, or to someone you maybe don't, like doctors, nurses, or the Amazon delivery person.
  7. Build a fort. I know, some of you might already do this regularly. If so, step up your game. Add flags, or something besides just couch cushions, etc. The. Best. Fort. Ever.
  8. Use all of your Legos. You heard me, all of them. They can be from kits or from boxes of loose ones. They can be turned into something recognizable, or just a massive boulder of rigid plastic delight.
  9. Make a food house. All you’ll need is some toothpicks, and then small, soft foods like grapes, berries, cherry tomatoes, or marshmallows. Bonus points for unusual foods. For examples, just click here.
  10. Draw a picture of what your parents do for a living and write a one-line explanation.
  11. Make a "monster" out of a tissue box (or other sort of box, with an oval cut into it). Just do a Google image search for "tissue box monster" to see what I'm talking about.
  12. Create a brand new snack, by combining two or more other foods. This could be a new breakfast cereal, some fruits that don't normally go together, unusual cracker mini-sandwiches, etc.
  13. Write a haiku about what it's like to be spending all your time at home. Reminder, the syllable count goes 5-7-5.
  14. Do the Getty Museum Challenge. The idea is to pick a famous work of art and then "recreate it" as best you can (not with paint, but via photograph). Amazing examples here. To make it easier, you can use any picture or drawing from a favorite book. It's the effort that counts.
  15. Make paper plate rainbow fish. For inspiration, do a Google image search. Bonus points for giving your fish an interesting name.
  16. Cook "different" pancakes. Maybe they're blue or a special shape or with something unusual in the batter. And, yes, they've got to be edible.
  17. Create a carnival midway game. It could be something traditional like bottle ring toss or knocking down a can pyramid, or something unique. Try to include a sign with the game name, plus there should be some sort of prize. Note: The game will cost your parent exactly $1.00 to play.
  18. Create a brand new type of animal. It could be a drawing or a craft. Does it have wings? Claws? Two heads? What does it eat? Where does it live? Please be sure to give it a name.
  19. Design your dream bedroom. Giant bunk-beds, slides, or whatever they'd want if space and money were no object. Draw them, craft them, Lego them, write about them, etc.
  20. Do a black box cooking challenge. Ask your parent to put 5-7 different ingredients in a box, or on a counter, and then make a single dish that you will both taste (parents: don't overthink it — items like breakfast cereals, crackers, pre-cut veggies, and cold cuts all work. And be sure to add one challenge ingredient).
  21. Make a musical instrument out of items found around the house. It could be something recognizable (guitar, horn, drums, etc.) or a brand new instrument (be sure to give it a name).
  22. Draw or "make" yourself (out of Legos, etc.). Maybe just a traditional portrait, or maybe doing one of your favorite activities.
  23. Make a robot. For older kids with circuitry skills, this could be an actual robot. For younger kids, it could be a drawing or Legos or craft supplies. Or maybe designed via an iPad. What's its name? What can it do?
  24. Decorate a facemask. You can use such tools as fabric markers/paints, permanent markers, or little glued decorations. (Note: These masks would be for in-home fun or one-time outside use, as it may be difficult to sterilize such masks after such alterations).
  25. Make a bug out of fruits and/or vegetables. Either follow an existing recipe – like this one for apple butterflies or this one for a banana caterpillars – or create their own.

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