Guest Post by Nicole
A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided the insanity was at its’ limit in our kid’s fun closet. (The “fun closet” is the place where we keep all of the arts and crafts/activities so that our small little house is not destroyed.) We purchased some cheap bins from IKEA (I think 5 for $15) and went to organizing.
(All the fun stuff we actually had under a messy pile of disorganization.)
I wish I had taken a picture of our “fun closet” before I organized it. I did not maintain it very well and my kids went in and out of it as they pleased. It was a DISASTER! Thinking back, my frustration was SO HIGH that I was ready to throw all of it away and start over again. I thought it had all been trashed. However, while we were organizing it, I was delightfully surprised to find out how wrong I was. I was shocked at the number of resources my kids had available to them! I rarely purchase craft stuff and I am also a bargain hunter, so most of this stuff had to be laughably cheap and marked down on some Target end-aisle.
There was so much there and all my kids needed was a little direction from me to use it!
(Everything writable has gone into one container and been organized in ziploc bags for easy usage.)
I knew then that there was no need for kid’s boredom any longer – especially on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when I work on Mealr. On those days, the kids typically watched endless hours of PBS Kids. Yes, I am guilty! In my excitement of all this fun stuff, I came up with the idea of writing down every activity the kids had available to them so that I would not forget. The key to this list of activities was that it had to be an assortment of things that I could allow my 3-year old and 5-year old do with a little supervision. These activities were not going to work if the kids could not figure out how to do them on their own or if they were going to destroy the house in the process. I wanted this list to be a loose lesson plan of sorts – it was simply the idea of knowing what we had and what the kids could do.
(“Damage Control Bin”: Items that need adult supervision to keep from damaging the house!)
Now, I know everybody’s list will be different depending on what they have available to them in their own “fun closet.” However, since we do not have anything extra fancy in our closet, I thought I could share these activities with other moms and dads.
Activities for my children who are 3 and 5-years old:
- Playdoh – Always outside in our house because my kids REALLY know how to make a mess.
- Bubbles outside
- Stencil drawing
- Making holiday cards
- Making birthday cards
- Drawing a house using straight edges (This is my personal favorite since I am an architect.)
- Color wonder art work
- Cut out magazine pictures to make a collage
- Sticker collages on drawings
- Cut out snowflakes
- Coloring books
- Educational activity books
- Weaving with construction Paper to make a placemat
- Create a door hanger
- Make jewelry/beading
- Dot a picture
- Glitter artwork
- Make an ornament
- Play a board game
- Sidewalk chalk
- Magnet Science Kit – This is by far, the coolest and fanciest item my son just recently received a couple weeks ago as a birthday gift.
- Felt picture story boards
- Plastic needle and yarn ornament creation
- Picture scavenger hunts (Pictures drawn by mom and then sending the kids on a mission to go around the house and back yard to find the items.)
- Floor puzzles
What other ideas do you have that could be added to this list? Also, do you have a list like this? If not, have you thought about creating your own list?
**Stacie’s Note: You can see one way we’ve managed our ideas with an index card box. Also, consider a rotation of learning baskets or bags (sometimes called “busy bags”) to keep your little ones engaged and involved.
Nicole Lakra is a frugal wife and mom of 2 young children living in Littleton, Colorado. She is an architect who spends most of her days trying to manage her household and take care of her family. When she is not chasing after the two kids, she works on Mealr – a subscription website devoted to helping you eat wholesome dinners while saving you time and money in the grocery store. She loves all things related to travel, culture, art, food and above all, Jesus.