Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Busy Hands and Minds

Keeping the younger boys busy while we're doing school can be a challenge.  I have found a few tried and true "toys" that help to have at home.  Even on rainy days in the summer or wintery afternoons in winter, a few things always get used! 
Play dough is one of those items.  We have this purple tool box that holds all the play dough and supplies.  It's on a shelf in the dining area that they can grab and put on the table and use.  I have them put the cutting board under it to help with the clean up,, it gets in the wood of the table and is a pain to clean. 

The Draw Write Now Series has been another tool that we have used for years (I remember Jordan and Brendan using them when they were younger, making books and maps with them!).  The books give step by step illustrations on drawing very fun, kid- friendly pictures.  Each drawing also has a short penmanship lesson that can be used too.  

As a child, I remember my Mom setting a bunch of fun, creative stuff out on the table and my sister and I would be attracted to the table and would end up spending hours there. (She had a box where she put stuff to save,,,, the cotton out of pill bottles, the plastic ring off the milk jug, beads, buttons, shells, etc and we'd glue that to all kinds of fun pictures!  I remember the paste was made from glue and water and I thought it tasted so good!)  She still does this for my boys.  When we go for a visit, she sets bowls and cereal out on the table each evening for the morning food frenzy but she also sets out all kinds of puzzle books, word searches, Sudokus, etc on the table with a bucket of markers and pencils.  She has gotten Brendan hooked on Sudokus :).   Such fun memories of my Mom! 
I do the same thing on a rainy summer day.  Last summer, I remember putting the books out with a box of colored pencils (stock up on these and crayons in the fall when WalMart has them WAY reduced!), markers and crayons.  It was a cozy, rainy day on the porch and I could hear laughing and chatting as they colored and drew.  Such fun memories and creativity going!  I'm so thankful for the memories growing up with my parents  and pray the boys have sweet memories of their childhood with their siblings and parents!

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