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.
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.