Busy Bees

When I first discovered Pinterest, I thought it might just be the answer I’d been looking for to help pass time on those endless stay at home mom days.  Yet every time I tried one of  the DIY projects for toddlers I had pinned, it was a big letdown.  There was the popsicle stick velcro project and then the food coloring/dropper in baking soda pin.  And this one that didn’t work at all ’cause I’m sure I did something wrong.  And how can I forget the felt Christmas tree I spent hours crafting for her to play with all season that she barely cared about.  The point is it feels like a decent amount of effort to run out and buy the supplies, prep it all, and then my daughter does the project for ten minutes.  Doesn’t seem worth it.

There are certain activities I’ve found that take no time or prep on my part and she focuses on them exponentially longer than the Pinterest crafts I’ve tried.  I feel like they’re worth sharing because other moms shared some of them with me and I’m so grateful!

  • Shaving cream in the bathtub.  This one’s a favorite in our house.  Grumpy kids in the middle of the day?  Put them in water.  Shaving cream is an added bonus.  They’ll make designs, wash it off, do it all over again.
  • Art board.  I’ve mentioned this activity before.  Hours, and I mean hours, of use you’ll get out of this one.

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  • Fill up a squirt bottle with water and let them go to town spraying outside.  It’s only a dollar at Target and they’ll be happy anytime water is involved.
  • Keep a button / bead jar and bust it out on slow days.  My 3-year-old spends time sorting by color or type, counting, and arranging in a shape.  I had one of these when I was little and I kept adding to it for years.  We have most recently added marbles to our collection.

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  • Get out the piggy banks.  Let them dump out its contents.  Same type of thing as the bead jar – she will sort quarters, pennies etc., count, and make cool designs.
  • Paint the sidewalk with water.  My sister gave me this idea.  The sun dries it instantly, so they feel that it’s their duty to paint it again.  And again…again.  Add chalk to mix it up a little.

What are some of the activities your child loves?

The Anti-Pinterest Project

Summer is here and with the changing of seasons comes longer days and more outdoor play.  I am definitely not that mother who can throw some crafty project together for my kids like some other blogs out there – and you know what?  I think when left to their own imaginations, they do way better than anything I could have come up with!  Plus, I think self-directed play is important for their development.

One of the best investments I’ve made is a whopping $1.50 for a thick, white poster board from Michael’s.  My daughter has managed to glue on it, paint, draw with markers, stick stickers on it, you name it.  She alternates working on each side, depending on what she feels like doing and how much space is left.  Here’s one side of the finished project – I think she did a great job!

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Another project they love to do (and baby can participate in) is using water to paint on the sidewalk with chalk.  The colors become way more vibrant this way and I think any kid loves making a mess with water!  It gets all over their clothes but thankfully, chalk washes right out.

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Both of these activities are practically free and best of all, they don’t require any Pinterest crafting to put together!