With five kids, four being under the age of six, I have to be pretty creative to come up with things for them to do. One of the biggest misconceptions is that we must entertain our kids. Not so. I have found that providing just a few simple items, my kids entertain themselves for hours! Plus, they get to use their imaginations and be creative!
Here's some ideas for fun things we like to do in the house and outside!
Playdoh. You can make your own (here's a recipe from essortment.com) or use the store bought kind.
I recently purchased a playdoh set with rolling pins, cutters, etc, but you really can use anything from your kitchen. Break out the cookie cutters and rolling pins and the kids will have a blast. We like to make snowmen in the winter...use toothpicks for arms!
The Craft Box: I keep a box full of glue sticks, pipecleaners, pom poms, foam shapes, stamps, yarn, stickers, craft sticks and a hodge podge of paint. On any given day, kids can make lots of little projects putting all these things together. Add some macaroni from the cabinet and you can make your own macaroni art, or string it on some yarn for a fun necklace! I also pick up craft projects from the dollar bins at Michaels' and AC Moore to give them another option for a gift per say?
Paper and Crayons: What could be more simple? Being a scrapbooker, I have oodles of leftover paper scraps and 12 x 12 sheets that I wont' ever use, so I relinquish these to my kids. My daughter draws masterpieces of portraits of everyone in the family. We have crayons and markers and colored pencils. Even Sam gets in on it. His scribbles may be considered art by some! Folding paper can also be fun. Fold it up, cut little snippets and see what kind of pattern comes out. Great for kids learning cutting skills and patterning. I must say, our crayon bin and papers get used every single day
Collage: Found items from the outdoors (leaves, a pine cone) can find their way onto a texture filled collage board. Take a small artist canvas and glue the items on. Add pictures from magazines and bigs of fabric and ribbon and you have a creative unique piece of wall art.
Sorting: My daughter loves to sort and count. Like items, unlike items. Buttons, small toys, ribbons. She lines them up, groups them together, collects them in little bins. Helps with her counting skills too! Just be mindful of the choking hazards of small items.
Salt Dough: Oh this is an easy and fun project to do. You can make snowmen, ghosts, you name it. If you can shape it, you can make it. Let it air dry and you can paint it too! Here's an easy recipe from easychildcrafts.com.
Crochet and Weaving: Crocheting and using a weaving loom are excellent craft projects for a young child. They can build up their skills and do more intricate projects. Weaving looms are great for potholders to give as gifts. With a little parenteral help, they can really master this. On a funny side note, my daughters potholder loom will have to be replaced. Her younger brother decided to use it as a necklace and got it stuck around his head. Thankfully we didn't have to call the fire department to remove it. My husband simply wrapped a towel around it and broke it to remove it. Oh the perils of having children! So Sam owe's sissy a loom.
Just wanted to share some fun that we do around the house all day...have other ideas...leave me a comment!