Seize the Day Instructions

Fishers Parks is on a mission to find ways for you to creatively play and explore in your own backyard during social distancing - from silly science experiments, to creative crafts, and more.

New activities and experiences are added every weekday on the Play Fishers app and our Facebook and Twitter page.

Don’t forget to check in on the Play Fishers app after you complete these activities to win prizes! To get started, simply download the free Play Fishers app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and enable push notifications for event updates and exclusive fun.

NEW! Seize the Day and play with our new videos! Fishers Parks staff are coming to you from our homes as we work remotely and practice social distancing. Watch our latest how-to videos below and check back soon for more ideas!

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Check out our Fishers Parks YouTube Channel for Seize the Day & Play videos!

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Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • /3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon multicolored sprinkles

1. Position rack in the center of the oven, preheat to 375. Line 1 large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

2. Microwave butter in a large microwave-safe bowl on high until completely melted, about 1 minute. Whisk in both sugars, then the egg and vanilla, until smooth; let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Scoop the dough onto the center of the prepared baking sheet. Spread the dough with spatula into an 8-inch circle that’s 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle the top of the cookie with sprinkles (they’ll look crowded but will spread out as the cookie bakes). 

4. Bake, rotating the baking sheet from back to front halfway through, until golden but still soft in the center, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then use a large spatula to transfer the cookie to a rack to cool. Slice the cookie into wedges, and serve.

Rainy Day Memory Game

  • Fill a cookie sheet or tray with at least 20 small household items, like paper clip, pencil, Lego pieces, marbles, spoon, etc.
  • Take turns showing the tray to the first player for 30 seconds.  
  • Take the tray away and secretly remove 1 or 2 items. Return the tray to the player. Can they figure out which 2 items were taken off the tray?

Make Pressed Flowers

What you need: fresh flowers, scissors, paper towel or tissue paper, heavy book, microwave.

  • Step 1: Gather flowers you want to press. Best flowers to press are in full bloom and have flat surfaces, like pansies, daisies, buttercups, and violets. Snip the flower leaving 1/2" stem attached.
  • Step 2: Arrange flowers between several layers of paper towel or tissue paper.
  • Step 3: Place the tissue paper and flowers inside a page of a heavy book, like a telephone book (make sure there is no metal on it!) and place in the microwave. 
  • Step 4: Microwave the book for 30–60 seconds at a time, checking flowers as you go.
  • Step 5: Continue microwaving flowers in 30 second internals until they are almost completely dry, then leave them in a warm, dry location for 1–2 days.
  • Step 6: After the flowers are dry, display them in a clear picture frame, scrapbook page, or on a greeting card.

Pine Cone Creativity

Pine cones are in abundance right now!  Take a walk to collect some from your sidewalks and get creative. Here’s some ideas to get started:

  • Make critters out of them with art supplies
  • Make up your own game or use them as giant board game pieces
  • Become a scientist by researching and comparing and contrasting their features.  

Make Your Own Bookmark

Create your own bookmark using supplies from around the house. The more creative, the better!

Ideas include:

  • Cut the covers off of old greeting or birthday cards or coloring pages
  • Fold strips of paper together to make a flat braid-like bookmark
  • Make a tassel out of yarn and tie it to the top of the bookmark
  • Use stickers, puffy paint or markers
  • Glue on leaves 

Make Homemade Lemonade

What you need:8-10 large lemons, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 1/2 quarts water, ice. 

Use the standard ratio of 1 cup of lemon juice to 1 cup of sugar added to 1 1/2 quarts of cold water

  • Step 1: Halve the lemons, then squeeze juice from the halves to make 1 cup of lemon juice.
  • Step 2: Add the sugar to  strained lemon juice and whisk until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Step 3: Transfer lemonade base to a serving pitcher. Add water and stir to combine. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy for up to 4 days when refrigerated.

Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars

What You Need: Two toilet paper rolls, tape, yarn or string, markers, stickers, etc. 

  • Step 1: Save two toilet paper rolls, or cut a paper towel roll in half, grab some tape, yarn, markers, stickers, and any other decorations you want to use.  
  • Step 2: Tape the two tubes together with the yarn under the tape to make a strap to hang around your neck.  
  • Step 3: Decorate and go on an adventure in your backyard!

DIY Stilts

  • Step 1: Find a set of empty tin cans (the larger the can, the more stable). Decorate them with paint or paper! 
  • Step 2: Flip them over with open side down and use a hammer and nail to create a small hole just below the bottom of the can.
  • Step 3: Thread a piece of string through the holes and pull the string until the length is thigh-high for hte operator. Tie the strings together at the top of the string.
  • Step 4: Step on cans and hold on to the strings to walk!

Indoor Flashlight Tag

Just like the game you play outside, but play it inside! Set up a "base" where everyone meets together, then turn out all the lights, & everyone but the person who is "The Seeker"  hides in the darkened house. Once everyone is in place, "The Seeker" quietly hunts for the hiders. The first person they find & "tag" with the flash light becomes the next "Seeker". Everyone meets at the base & the game starts again.

Little Chefs: Apples Cinnamon Oatmeal

What you need: 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, 1 medium apple (diced), 3 tbsp. honey, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 2 cups water, 1 cup old fashioned oats, pinch of salt

  • Step 1: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. 
  • Step 2: Add 1 cup of apples (saving some for later), honey, spices and salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until apples are soft. 
  • Step 3: Pour in water, turn up heat to high & bring to a boil. 
  • Step 4: Add oats & reduce the heat to medium. Cook stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Continue cooking until most of  liquid is absorbed. 
  • Step 5: Divide between two bowls & sprinkle with remaining apples & more honey or brown sugar if desired.

DIY Quicksand

What you need: Cornstarch, water, small toys or trinkets

  • Step 1: Mix 1 cup of cornstarch with water to make a consistency that’s gooey & thick. 
  • Step 2: Take a small toy, like a car or mini action figure, & place it on top of the quicksand. 
  • Step 3: Let the toy begin to sink & then try to remove it. The quicksand will hang on to the toy!

Plant a Mystery Seed

What you need: A seed, a pot, & soil

  • Step 1:  Go for a walk around your home & neighborhood on a seed search. You only need a few seeds - but make sure you have permission if it’s not in your yard! Snap a photo of the plant as a reminder of the plant & location.
  • Step 2: Plant the seed in a flower pot with potting soil. Need a pot & soil? Get creative! Look in the recycling for a container & gather soil from the yard. 
  • Step 3: Plant your seeds. Always plant several seeds in 1 container to increase growing chances. Add water & place the container in the sun. It might take awhile before anything happens, so don’t give up!
  • Step 4: In the meantime - solve the mystery! Research to discover what you planted, & record daily observations of what you see. Don’t forget to add a little water once in awhile!

Write a Secret Message with Invisible Ink

What you need:Lemon juice, water, cotton swab, paper

  • Step 1: Mix 1/4 cup lemon juice with a few drops of water.
  • Step 2: Take your cotton swab and write a secret message on your paper. Let it dry completely.
  • Step 3: Read the message by holding the paper close to a light bulb. The heat will turn the lemon juice brown, making it readable to the recipient.

Healthy Habits for Our Feelings Workbook

Help Fishers’ littlest residents stay mentally healthy and create healthy habits during these tough times with this free activity book from Give an Hour. Download it here.

healthy habits for our feelings

Plastic Egg Maracas

What you need:

  • Plastic spoons
  • Plastic eggs
  • Rice
  • Tape
  • Markers

  • Step 1: Start out by finding and touching cement, wood, metal, tree bark, grass, brick, gravel, and leaves.
  • Step 2: Make a list of what you’ve found and what it felt like. Was it bumpy? Smooth? Sticky?
  • Step 3: What else can you find to touch? Add more  surfaces and descriptions to your list as you discover them!

Make Your Own Bubbles

What you need:

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dish soap

  • Step 1: Whisk together the sugar and warm water. Then, slowly whisk in the dish soap.
  • Step 2: Put your bubble solution in a sealed container or separate for each person to have their own.
  • Step 3: FInd an old bubble wand, or make your own with a pipe cleaner. Start blowing bubbles!

Take a Tactile Trek

Take a tactile exploration walk, and try to find and touch things in nature!

  • Step 1: Start out by finding and touching cement, wood, metal, tree bark, grass, brick, gravel, and leaves.
  • Step 2: Make a list of what you’ve found and what it felt like. Was it bumpy? Smooth? Sticky?
  • Step 3: What else can you find to touch? Add more  surfaces and descriptions to your list as you discover them!

Phone Compass Hunt

Kids will love using their parent’s cell phone and learn cardinal directions as they hunt for a hidden toy. 

  • Step 1: Hide a small toy (a toy car, marble, etc.) in the yard.
  • Step 2: Record easy cell phone compass directions (under “utilities’ on your phone) to read to your child. (i.e."From the back door go 5 steps south. Turn, and go 10 steps east.) 
  • Step 3: After some practice, let your child make a treasure hunt for you!

DIY Rain Sticks

April showers are on their way! Make your own rain stick with some simple items found in your recycling bin, pantry and desk drawer.

  • Step 1: Get a cardboard tube from an empty paper towel roll, a small cardboard box, or something similar and decorate it with markers or stickers.
  • Step 2: Close off one end of the tube with paper and tape. Coil up a sheet of aluminum foil and put it in the tube, adding rice, cereal, or a similar food. The foil should slow down the rice, creating the sound effect of rain.
  • Step 3: Seal the open end of tube and your rain stick should be complete! 
  • Step 4: Check in by taking a photo of your masterpiece.

ABC Nature Hunt

  • Step 1: Grab a backpack and empty it.
  • Step 2: Write out letters A-Z on paper.
  • Step 3: See if you can fill your backpack with items from around your house or yard that start with each letter.
  • Bonus Step: Take a walk in your neighborhood to find even more!

Play Spring Bingo!

 Grab a piece of paper and draw out your Bingo card. Fill each space with an outdoor or spring-themed item. Check around your house and in your neighborhood to get your Bingo card filled. Need ideas? See tips here. Show us your cards by tagging us on Facebook or Twitter.

Family Time Capsule: 

Bored at home? Find a plastic container and fill it with photos, notes, and other objects and mementos that define this time for your family. Pick items that show each family member’s personality. Seal the container with duct tape and plastic wrap. Bury it in the yard, but be sure to mark the spot in the yard with a rock, plant, or other marker. Set a time in the future to dig it back up! 

Love a Worm

Spend some time digging for worms, and then dig into some research about these fascinating creatures. Did you know? Worms benefit the soil, and soil is a precious resource. Why do worms appear on the sidewalk after a heavy rain? Find out why by visiting!

Living Room Camp Out

Step 1: If you have a tent, clear some space, and set it up inside your living room. If you don’t have a tent, let your creativity show by making one out of sheets or blankets.

Step 2: Make your own nighttime stars by hanging holiday lights or drawing some on paper, cutting them out, and hanging or taping them up. Safely keep a candle lit, or make a pretend campfire out of paper and sticks.

Step 3: Gather together with your family, tell stories, sing songs, eat snacks, or watch a movie. Sleep under your stars in your tent, next to your campfire, and enjoy the memories you’re making.

Neighborhood Art Gallery

Challenge your neighbors to create chalk art masterpieces on their driveways and sidewalks. Then, take a walk outside to see everyone’s work as a neighborhood art gallery. Don’t have sidewalk chalk? Make your masterpiece on paper and place it in your yard, near your mailbox, or on your front door for your neighbors to see. Take a photo of your masterpiece to check in!

Rainbow Hunt

National Find a Rainbow Day is April 3!

  • Step 1: Take part in the fun by creating a rainbow at your house using art supplies or found objects.
  • Step 2: Hang your rainbow in the window that is viewable from outside. Snap a photo in the app to check in!
  • Step 3: Take a walk through your neighborhood and count how many rainbows you see.

Make a Human Sun Dial

  • Step 1: Start at any hour of the day when the sun is shining. Go outside and stand facing north. Trace your shadow with chalk or have someone else do it.
  • Step 2: Continue this every hour, on the hour. Mark the time above your head every time you make a tracing. For variety, make silly poses for tracing. Be creative!
  • Step 3: If your traces don’t get erased, go outside and determine what time it is each day by standing in the same spot and seeing which outline you fill.

Celebrate National Puppy Day

Celebrate the day by:

  • Drawing a picture of a dog and taking a photo to check in.
  • Taking a walk and counting how many dogs you see.
  • Taking your dog for a walk around your neighborhood, or check out to find a park within walking distance.
  • Posting a picture of your favorite dog or type of dog

Colander & Pipe Cleaner Activity

Use a colander and pipe cleaners to make a bug, hat, or whatever your kiddos can imagine! For kids ages 3-5, this activity will help develop fine motor skills.

How Old is That Tree?

  • Step 1: Determine the species of the tree you want to measure. Grab a calculator and measuring tape.
  • Step 2: Measure the circumference of the tree at 4.5 feet from the ground. Divide that number by 3.14.
  • Step 3 Multiply that number by the tree’s growth factor. The result will give you the age of the tree in years!
  • Learn more.

Make Your Own Rain Gauge

Want to know how much it has rained? Make your own rain gauge with supplies from around the house. Learn how.