As you all know, we’ve been snowed in practically forever (Check out Stay-at-Home Moms: I Salute You! ). Or so it seems. Between sickness and poor weather, we’ve seen nothing but the four walls of our tiny home for weeks.
So it was time to dig deep and hit the craft cabinet for a project. What is the craft cabinet? Well, in truth, it’s a cabinet and a drawer, but essentially, it’s a hot spot where I stash go to supplies, crayons, paper, Play-doh, and other quick attention getters. Here’s a pic.
Thanks to a very generous friend, Dana of CereusArt, our craft cabinet is super well-stocked with odds and ends. We’ve played with different little crafts here and there, and I discovered that a big favorite for the boys was gluing buttons on anything. So I decided to twist it up and go V-Day style on it.
First, I kept them occupied while I set up. (Quick tip – My husband brilliantly dumped the crayons onto a plate one night after 15 trips back and forth to the table to pick crayons off the floor. This plate idea has been a lifesaver! No crayons rolling away, easy clean up, works like a charm.)
This craft is beyond super easy. All you do is gather up some old buttons, a few pieces of paper and some Elmer’s glue. Draw a heart on the paper and you’re ready to go! We added paper hearts to our craft that I happened to have, but you could add stickers, color on it, etc. The sky is the limit.
Hand off to the kiddos and voila! Happy crafters for at least 15-25 minutes. I add glue as they need it, and they keep on sticking.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art
It’s Monday!! You know what that means…it’s time for another Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series challenge! This week…Kool-Aid. Last week, I thought I hit the bottom of the barrel as far as low cost, spending less than $6 on an afternoon of family fun with Paper Bag Maracas, but I blew it out of the water this week! Kool-Aid was on sale at Target for $2. I already had the rest of my supplies, so $2 and we were ready to go! Time to get messy and creative with Kool-Aid Sprinkle Art.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Kiddy Noodle Carnival
10 Sorting Games for Your Math-Loving Child – Sorting Bears by Eureka
When J’s teacher told me he really enjoys math and that sorting toys would be a great idea for Christmas, I ran straight over to Amazon Prime and began the hunt for the perfect toy. I bought about a million puzzles, little projects and a whole slew of other games. But none so far can compare to these bad boys:
Before I get started, here is my only CON for this toy. These bears are a relatively good size and really hard, so they don’t scream “Put me in your mouth!” But, as all mothers know, this means nada. So…while they are awesome, this is a toy that requires some observation on the parent’s part. This is not the toy to busy your kid with while you hop in the shower or run the vacuum.
Now, the good stuff.
The opportunities are endless for free play with these little dudes. Here are the 10 sorting games I play with the boys (and they then play with each other – which is super cute):
1. What color is this? I have them identify the color and then place the bear in its matching cup.
2. Here are 3 bears (different colors). I have them identify each color and count them back to me as they place it in its matching cup.
3. Pick a “red” bear and give it to Mommy. I line up all of the bears (or even dump them in a big pile) and give them a color to pick out and give to me. This can be taken up a notch for more advanced kiddos, by asking them to give you a certain number of bears of certain colors.
4. Count our colors. We separate the bears into piles of their colors and then count them together back into the cups.
5. Clean up the bears. Seriously, they love this one. It’s like 52 pick up with animals instead of cards.
6. Line up your colors. Everybody loves to build a mini army of color-coordinated bear squadrons.
7. Stack and unstack the cups. Tower! When the bears get old, I swap to the cups. Some simple towers always bring a smile.
8. Flip cups – Bears on top. Instead of lining up the bears or grouping them in piles, we switch it up by using the upside down cups as platforms for whatever game we are playing.
9. Color patterns – What’s next? I set up simple patterns and ask them to pick the bear that fits next.
10. Give me “7” bears and count. I give them a number of bears that I want and they get to pick what colors they give back to get to that number.
One final twist that they love…turn the tables! They’re in control and get to ask me the questions. They LOVE to ask “Mommy, what’s this?” or order me to “give them a red bear.” Let them play teacher for a bit and you’ll keep them busy for hours!