1.31.2007

Problem Solved


Thanks for your suggestions on how to make the most of these indoor-weather days. Today, when J-Jo was at school, I took the twins to the public library in the next town, where they've just finished a brand new, self-contained play room. The best part: we were the only ones there!

And here's another life saver I came across: Kids Craft Weekly, a fresh, sophisticated (yet simple) new site straight out of Sydney, Australia. Subscriptions are free and the editor (also a SAHM) provides you with a "craft syllabus" for each week, delivered straight to your inbox. I can't wait to get started.

Here are a few of their solutions for what to do when all you need is 20 minutes and the kids are bouncing off the walls:

1. Paper chains

Cut some paper into strips. If your child is good with scissors – let them do the cutting. The strips don't have to be straight. Take a strip of paper and join one end to the other, forming a circle, and fasten with tape or staples. Take another strip of paper, thread it through your first loop and fasten as above. Keep on adding to the chain. As soon as they've mastered the art of the sticky tape dispenser young kids will be able to make paper chains on their own.

2. Foil coins

Cut a series of different sized circles from hard cardboard. Then cut some foil squares – large enough to completely cover your largest circles. Have your child wrap each of the circles up in foil. Get an old orange bag or purse to keep the coins in. These are great to use as money in pretend games of shop. You can also encourage your child to line the circles up from smallest to largest.

3. Confetti

This activity is so simple but so compelling for a young child. Introduce your child to the hole punch and provide some coloured paper from which they can punch out circles. Keep the confetti in your useful box – you can use it to decorate future craft projects!

4. Paper lanterns

Fold a rectangular piece of paper in half lengthways. Then make numerous cuts at even intervals from the fold towards to within about two centimetres from the opposite side. When you've made cuts along the entire long side of the paper, unfold and sticky tape the two short ends of the paper together. You can make handles using ribbon or another strip of paper. We recently had a great miniature lantern making session using coloured post-it notes. Just make sure you get the variety that are sticky at the short end and you won't have to use sticky tape at all!

5. Edible necklace

If you keep 'hole-y' cereal in your pantry (nutrigrain, cheerios, fruit loops etc) you can show your little one how to thread the pieces of cereal onto a piece of string or wool using a blunt wool needle. If you don't have a needle on hand you can wrap stickytape around the end of a piece of string to make it stiff enough for small fingers to manage. When they're finished with the necklace they can eat it!

You find the rest here.

6 comments:

Maia said...

Oh! I forgot about paper chains! I used to love to make those as a kid. But I think I used a glue stick or paste instead of tape.

I think the key to keeping your sanity with small children is just finding some other sahm who you really like and whose kids get along with yours. Then she'll introduce you to other moms and kids and pretty soon you'll have a whole circle of people to hang with. It's not exactly misery loves company - because I'd hate to peg early motherhood as miserable - but it was a group of people who knew the mind boggling boredom of pushing little cars around and making peanut butter sandwiches for days on end and weren't afraid to talk about it. Just folks who could relate.

When I first moved up here I didn't know a soul, so I gate crashed a la leche league meeting where I met a woman who had a little boy just my boy's age, and was a sahm and an artist (so she could talk about how hard it was to get any work done - and how she loved her kid but missed her art - which I could relate to big time) and lived right down the road from us. It was manna from heaven. Now, six years later, the boys are still total buddies (he was here last night) the mom and I are still good friends - and we have pretty much instant babysitters whenever we want them.

And now that my kid is in school full time and chooses his own friends, we're gearing up for our second child, so I'm starting to worry about finding appropriate friends (and stuff to do) for her as well! It never ends!

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