Build bird banners

Need a fun project to get your girl out in nature? Help her create outside decorations that birds can eat. She should start with a piece of thread that’s at least 2 feet long, and thread it through a sewing needle. Then provide popcorn (unsalted and unbuttered) and fresh cranberries for her to string on the thread. Once the thread is full, help her hang it from a bush or branch. Then watch the neighborhood birds flock!


Enjoy kid-friendly culture

Plan an outing to your local library or children’s museum, or to attend a play or concert. Let your girl help with planning. Look online for reading recommendations and make a list of books to check out. You could even help her set up her own book club with her friends. Before a museum visit, do a bit of research together so you can be sure to hit all the highlights. If you’re attending a performance, plan time to chat afterward to share what you each enjoyed and to explore upcoming events to attend together.


Have a cozy campout

Summer isn’t the only time to pitch a tent. Have your girl invite a few friends over for a winter campout—indoors! Help her hang twinkle lights for stars and a round paper lantern for a moon. Drape sheets over furniture to create snowdrifts. Then circle sleeping bags around a pretend campfire. Layer a few pieces of yellow, orange, and red tissue paper. Then place a battery–powered LED light inside and fold the ends of the paper up around the light.


Set up a screen-time scavenger hunt

If your girl is begging to play on the computer or tablet, make her earn her screen time. Set up a scavenger hunt in your house with clues that make her think—math equations, riddles, or word games. Make each clue worth a certain number of minutes that she can spend online. Maybe reward her with extra time for helping you set up a similar scavenger hunt for her younger sibling.


Bake & make

Tap into your girl’s creative side by suggesting a craft or cooking project. In addition to plenty of fun ideas on Explore, be sure to check out the craft and DIY videos on American Girl’s YouTube channel. If you find one you like, you can watch the instructions together and then help her gather supplies.
For a sweet way to start, try this project to create Sweet Spoons:
● Arrange four plastic spoons with the handles balanced on the edge of a plate to keep the spoons level.
● Microwave 1/3 cup chocolate or white chocolate chips in short bursts until melted.
● Have your girl use a small spoon to drizzle melted chocolate into each spoon and then decorate them with colored sugar, sprinkles, or small candies. Let cool.
● Stir one spoon into a small mug of warm milk until melted.

For more fun ideas, check out American Girl magazine.