Monday, November 21, 2011

Keeping busy

Cold weather is upon us, and I've been keeping busy trying to, well, keep the kids busy! Thank goodness for Pinterest (my new best friend), where I've found a ton of ideas for fun and ridiculously easy ways to keep little ones occupied indoors. Best of all, the materials cost next to nothing! Here's what we've tried out so far:

Isaac with the Letter Box

The Letter Box: You can't get much easier than this. Just cut out letters from food boxes before you throw them out! I pull these out at restaurants when we're waiting for the bill, and the kids (especially Mr. Alphabet) love trying to find all the letters in the alphabet or putting random letters together and asking me what they spell. I keep the letters in a clear zipper pouch and sweep them all back in when we're done. And if the kids drop some on the restaurant floor, no biggie ... I'll always have more boxes to dissect!

Jude with Pom Pom Stuff-It-In

Pom Pom Stuff-It-In: Cut a hole in the lid of a disposable storage container, supply the kids with enough pom poms to fill it up, and—voilà! This simple (and, as it turns out, very popular) activity holds my kids' attention for a surprisingly long time as they push in all the pom poms, one by one, and then dump them all out to start over again. We also like to count the pom poms or sort them by color (and it gives the kids great practice at taking turns, too).

Lucy with Popsicle Puzzle

Popsicle Puzzle: Glue a picture to a row of popsicle sticks, and then use an exacto knife to separate the sticks—instant puzzle! Since my kids are obsessed with the royal wedding, I chose a lovely photo of William and Kate for them to assemble. Lucy is an especially big fan of this activity, and she's pretty good at it, too!

Dahlia with Ribbon Snake

Ribbon Snake: For a great fine-motor activity, sew buttons to each end of a ribbon to make the "snake," and cut slits in square pieces of felt to thread the ribbon through. Now I'm no seamstress, but I was pretty sure I could handle making this. When I asked my friend Lindsay (of Craft Buds) for materials, though, she surprised me by creating—and presenting the kids with—the cutest version I've ever seen. The girls especially love the colorful flowers and often ask to play with them.

Can you tell I've been having fun with Pinterest? I'm just so happy to have my creative juices flowing again!


Beth said...

Love these!!

I have somehow not gotten into Pinterest, but I could see my kids loving these activities. My favorite is the letter box. So simple!

Christy AKA Trippin' Mama said...

Hear, hear on loving Pinterest! My kiddos love their button snakes, too. I just made a super cute version that is a sandwich. Two pieces of bread, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, pickles, meat, mayo, mustard. My kids love to make me a sandwich, and I love that they are busy doing it!

Emily @ play talk learn said...

Thanks so much for linking to play talk learn. I'm delighted that your little ones have had fun with the letter box - the ultimate renewable resource! And yes, pinterest-ing is my new hobby too. It's amazing how quickly work-related searching gets sidetracked into christmas decorations and party planning!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you hear this a million times a day, but they are each truly adorable!

Suzy said...

@Christy: What a cute idea! Did you freehand the sandwich ingredients?

@Anonymous: Thank you so much! I think they're pretty cute, too. ;)

Healthy Branscoms said...

I love your blog! I hope you don't mind that I became a follower! :) Erin

Treva said...

I haven't really used Pinterest since my sister-in-law introduced me to it a few weeks ago, but you have inspired me. I am going to make some of these for my kiddos! Keep me posted on more easy ideas that you come across.


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