Monday, February 25, 2019

Creative Kid's Play:Snowy Days

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Like much of the country, here in Chicagoland we have had beastly weather, or should I say "poor-beasts, beastly weather. I still have my greens and lights up in my kitchen to combat the dreary days.
But, this post is about KIDS___and we live by this sign! LOL.


Last weekend we had the Grand-girl here for the WHOLE weekend. What to do with a 6-year old for an entire weekend, when it is not fit to even go for a ride in the car. (ICE/Snow). 
We often try to go with the flow with her. 

We played in her pretend kitchen and restaurant, Barbie dolls in the houses, and we built a grocery store with my props and with her Shop-kins, and games---endless games.  On Friday we did all of the above, on Saturday morning---I was gone, so Grampa and Grand-girl baked real cinnamon rolls and played more restaurant kitchen.

 When I came back then it was my turn for pretend play. Later---we had to have some quiet time.
 I always have craft projects and hubby has wood projects sitting in the wings when the grandparents need some sit-down quiet time..


Snow people were the theme as we fished into my supply of paper/sticks/connectors, pompoms, felt and foam and pipe cleaners.  Grampa made a great mixed media snowman.


The grand stuck with paper---but she made multiple layers of folded paper to give him  a 'round' feeling. she's in kindergarten and thinking in three-dimensions is amazing---without any coaching. The star was because it was night. And despite the weather---snowman was happy!


Next, we all made projects with some simple pipe cleaners. Free play teaches problem solving. Working without patterns encourages creativity. I showed off and made a flamingo, and you can see our stash of crafts in a tote---ready for instant IMAGINATION!


We added some paper cups to the mix...while hubby ponders making a tree in/on a pot. Later, it ended up on his snowman picture.


We also played a guessing game of 'what is it?', the orange/black thing is an upside down lady bug.


What to make next? Put your thinking caps on. So after a few frowns, we picked bugs and a free pick which helped narrow it down. Her eyes always light up when I drag out pipe cleaners(which I pick up in after season sales--usually at 70% off)

Tip:Small children are always interested in the process more than the final result---keep this in mind when doing projects. Projects that take multiple steps: try to speed up drying times or make assembly as easy as possible.

The Grand made a real---eight legged spider 'Spider' all by twisting and connecting. (she knew they had 8 legs), a bell that really clanged with a pom-pom clanger(her idea), a magic wand around a magic stone all on the blue snowman page. And a 'magic tunnel' which began as drapes on the red. Again working in three dimensions is wonderful. We used an extra gluey-glue stick and white glue for attaching and I also keep double-stick tape handy.

The next day! Special Grampa time---building projects.

Tip:Time-to-Wait projects teach patience, and learning to think in multiple steps. The wooden windchimes were from the day before---patiently painted from an 'on-sale' kit and assembled the next day. Try to encourage completion of all projects---even if you have to put-it-off until the next visit. Then, finish it first before starting something new.


The Third Day-

Here, Hubby and the Grand assemble a purchased wood project. All you need is simple tools-(the use of tools teaches self-reliance). I believe all children should be exposed to tools and learn to 'fix' things.


Safety glasses protect little eyes from flying tiny nails! Her apron is from Lowes, the wood projects are kits available at Menards and Lowes here in Chicagoland, her tools are a from a reduced after Christmas sale.They are real tools--designed for children's hands.


I probably took a dozen photos of hammering and most are blurry---she was pounding so fast. Pre-drilled holes are a big help for success.


This little project is a corner sorter---with slits precut just to the actual coin size. 


More pounding, of course that is the best part!


Following directions and putting the pieces together. She chose not to paint this, but applied the stickers included.


This was quite simple---but it was tricky getting everything squared. She actually wanted one side redone, because it wasn't straight. In the past, she has made a pirate ship(great for painting), 
tic-tac- toe game, race car, birdhouse, xylophone, tote, planter boxes, all from various manufacturers.


Slotted and assembled we added a few coins to show how it worked. Teaching children the relationship of coins to the $ amount is hard. Here the plastic front is preprinted in $ amounts 
as you stack the coins up.
Now she can save and know learn how much she actually has! 
We ended up pasting 'fake' coins above the appropriate slots for easier identification.
I had trouble keeping up with all the photos.

This summer she will help Grampa build REAL planter boxes and birdhouses,  and repair a few things around our backyard. TIME FOR CLEAN UP -NOW! 

Supplies: We don't use everything all the time---but everything is available)
 Most of the list below, l keep on a shelf in my corner cabinet. 
Basic art supplies are kept in two small bins shelved in my white kitchen buffet. 

My Kid's Craft box includes: (Choose age appropriate items for safety)

plastic tablecloth for a work surface
foam sheets, self-stick foam sheets and shapes, self stick felt 
colored paper, white paper, lined paper
popsicle sticks, google eyes, stickers, foam stickers
glues: glue-sticks, white craft glue, foam glue, double-stick tapes, tape
brass connectors for paper/foam (these will hold multiple layers and are great for moving parts)
scissors sized for children ---good ones that cut anything
paper plates (for paint and glues)and making things

Basic art supplies bins:
paper, coloring books, colored paper
colored chalk
acrylic pot paints (washable and/or permanent)
brushes, I buy inexpensive brush assortments in the art dept, not kid's (awful brushes).
paint-box water colors
plastic plates and cups for water and color mixing.
*things to add seasonally or for a specific projects: seasonal ribbon, paper doilies, dowels, buttons, paper tubes from household paper goods, small boxes, plastic bottles, paper/plastic cups, tin cans, flower pots, fake fur, material scraps, magazine photos, old calendars and greeting cards. Paper-mache items are inexpensive and great for creating! Our play-doh and other clays are done downstairs in my craft room).

Thanks ALWAYS for visiting!

I will try and respond to every comment and answer every question.

The Grand left Grampa with instructions to have the spider attack Gramma when she was gone---!