The kids are always looking for something new to do/play with, so I've been trying to keep several crafts and activities on hand for when they need a break from playing with their toys. The very first time we made a craft, our 4 year old told David that he made a "hovercraft" so I now refer to them as projects instead :)
One night last week we had some sick kiddos who woke us up around midnight and I had a hard time falling back asleep, so I spent a few hours on Pinterest and found several new activities that we've tried out this week. I took some of the ideas I found and adapted them to best fit our kiddos. We pulled out a few this afternoon to try out.
The first one is putting buttons on Snowmen. I saw this idea for Gingerbread men and adapted it to snowmen. I wrote the number at the top and then put that many velcro dots on the snowman. Then I put velcro on the back of the buttons. Our 4 year old is working hard on counting, but still does not recognize numbers, so it's a great activity for him to figure out the number as he counts how many buttons he put on.
And for the 2 year old, pulling the buttons off the velcro gives some good fine motor work :)
I usually pull out 2 activities at a time and they each work on one and then we switch. So while one did snowmen, the other sorted beads. The original idea I saw was sorting different colored jingle bells into an egg carton. But I couldn't find different colored jingle bells, so we did beads. And an ice tray seemed to work just fine.
I put one of each color bead into a spot in the tray and the kids sorted a cup full of beads into the right places. And we worked on naming the colors as we went.
And even when I walked away to work on dinner and she decided she didn't want to sort anymore, it was good use of her hands and fine motor skills (yes again, she definitely needs some help with them!) to get all the beads back out of the small spots and put them back into the cup.
We also worked on some color sorting with clothes pins. For the 2 year old, she showed me where they went and I put them on because she didn't quite grasp how to open the clothes pin. The 4 year old did them by himself and then we counted how many pins there were of each color.
We also did a name recognition activity similar to this one:
But since I can't share their names I'll just post the sample from Pinterest. We worked on letter recognition and I would tell him to find a certain letter (whichever one came next) and he would match it up.
We've also been having lots of fun with playdough.., making shapes with cookie cutters and then decorating them with googly eyes, sequins, buttons, and pipe cleaners. And we've done some cookie decorating (and eating) too!
I love being able to offer some new activities that keep them occupied for a while--especially as we get close to dinner time when they are getting tired and I am needing to get a few things done. And it doesn't hurt that they are learning some new skills along the way!