I had originally planned to share this on my very neglected mommy blog, but I figured it might be more fitting here as many of us look for ways to organize and make the most of summer schedules and all the extra play time this season brings!
Combatting Summer Boredom with Arts & Crafts
I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that our almost-5-year-old isn’t very interested in toys for the most part. She’ll play with them for a few minutes (and longer during our afternoon quiet time, when she’s by herself in her room), but they just aren’t holding her attention for very long.
Although we spend a lot of time outside, we really try to stay inside between 10:00 am and 3:30 pm to avoid overexposure to the sun and the need for sunscreen. During that time, she’s often bored unless I have some arts and crafts out for her.
Because of the age of our youngest, the craft supplies have to be kept out of reach, and I find that trying to come up with creative combinations of supplies on the fly is getting harder and harder. While the girls love to color and can stay engaged for an hour or more with just a coloring book and crayons, it gets old when that’s all you do.
Art Boxes and Encouraging Free Art
I love the idea of art boxes for stimulating free art, but this week I decided to try something new. One thing I found with the art boxes we had is that the girls were not really focusing on any one thing, and they ended up bored anyway because they played with everything every day. I think as they get older, we’ll move back towards the original art boxes.
This week, though, I prepared their art boxes with five different free-art activities. Each day, I’ll be able to simply open the box and let them choose one for the day, and everything they need is ready to go. Because our 21-month-old is determined to be a big girl but not quite able to handle the same crafts as the older girls, I also have her box packed with similar yet toddler-friendly activities.
What’s in the Art Box?
Each of the big girls’ boxes includes:
2. Foam shapes and glue for gluing, as well as a foam sheet to cut additional shapes
3. Play-Doh, cookie cutters and a kid-friendly knife
5. A second foam sheet and some make-your-own-monster stickers (in the lid behind the yellow foam sheet)
Benefits of Preplanned Activities
My hope is that taking a little bit of time over the weekend to prepare these boxes will make it easier to pull out crafts throughout the week. As an added bonus, I was focused on our craft supplies while the girls napped and had time to look through them for other activity ideas and long-forgotten project supplies. I left them neater and more organized than I found them, rather than making a mess as I rooted through them, which is what usually happens when I’m searching desperately for an idea that will hold their attention without making a huge mess.
Do your kids do lots of arts and crafts? What’s the biggest obstacle to including arts and crafts as part of your daily activities?