Tag: crafts

Make A Dollar Out Of 15 Cents

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – never underestimate the power of a child’s imagination. Even though the game’s changed, and kids nowadays are different than how I was when I was a little, this statement still rings true.

B and J, for example, love technology. If left to their own devices, they could spend hours playing on their devices, or watching TV, Netflix or Youtube.  And in all honesty, sometimes I don’t mind a little tech time. It’s a break from the chaotic havoc and non-stop bickering that usually goes on in our house. The kids quietly staring at a screen, not getting into trouble? Sign me up!

The downside, of course, is that too much screen time will probably turn their brains into mush. Therefore, kids need to find other ways to entertain themselves. And I gotta admit, when it comes to making something out of nothing, to combat boredom, J is a pretty resourceful girl.

Take last Sunday, for example. It was just J, little KJ, and yours truly hangin’ and bangin’. Out of nowhere, J blurted out that she was going to make a train.  Lacking anything even remotely resembling train parts, I had no clue what her plan was. She then ran off to the garage, came back with two giant boxes and put in some work.

KJ also tried to help.

A while later, here was her end result:


Two train cars, attached with tape. One baby-friendly, with toys and snacks for KJ.  One J-friendly, with, uhh, a picture of her hanging in it, for some reason.

They played in these for a while, including pulling them around the kitchen, making “stops”. Eventually (or a lot longer than I would have thought, since it’s just two boxes),  J got bored and tried to play on her tablet. I could tell that KJ wanted to keep playing with her, though, so I suggested that she entertain him.

Her solution? Instead of watching unboxing videos on Youtube, her and KJ could play “unboxing videos on Youtube”!

This literally involved J hiding in a box and KJ opening it up. To his credit, KJ seemed impressed each time he peeled back the flaps, and saw her sprawled inside.  You know,  like how Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph looked when they opened their presents in that Saturday Night Live “D**k In A Box” video.

Step 1…

Later that evening, after I put KJ to bed, I heard J singing. While some kids belt out Disney songs, or Bruno Mars hits, or Cardi B jams (see, I’m hip to today’s music), J was singing about…..punctuation.  I went in her room, and saw her standing with a marker in hand, beside this creation:

 

We then had the following conversation:

Me – What are you doing?

J – Oh, I’m just working on my anxiety.

Me – Your anxiety?!

J – Yeah.  My teacher says that I need to practise my anxiety. *starts singing about puncuation*

Me – I don’t think that’s the right word. You drew some punctuation marks.

J – I did?

Me – Yes! *I point to them*

J – Oh. There’s four of them! Question mark….explanation mark….comma…..what’s the fourth one?

Me – Period.

J – What’s a period?

Me – You drew it! It’s the dot.

J – Oh right! I forgot. Then what are these? *scribbles randomly*

Me – Those aren’t anything. Why are their hands?

J – Those are my hands.

Me – I know. But why did you draw them?

J – I dunno.

Maybe the hands were anxiety hands. Who knows.  You catch my drift, though. Leave a kid on on their own, and they can come up with some wild thoughts (word to DJ Khaled!).

Anyway, I went downstairs after that encounter. A bit later, since imagination knows no timeframe (re: she didn’t want to go to bed),  J came downstairs, to tell me about her latest project:

J – You know how you always wanted a puppy house?

Me – I’ve never said that before. We don’t even have a dog.

J – Well feast your eyes on this! See, you just put your puppy in here, and they can sleep in it.

Me – Ok. This is awesome. But the roof is a book? What if you want to read it?

J – Oh, I’m too big to read it.

Me – What if KJ wants to read it?

J – Oh. Well. He can just take the tape…

*stops talking, to think hard*

He’s never going to read it! *grabs house, goes back upstairs*

 

Children’s imagination, people. They can turn nothing into something better than we can, for real.  And that’s not even getting into the deadly burglar ball that B and J concocted.

Until next time, peace!

 

 

 

DIY Craft: A Puppet Show Stage!

As I’ve mentioned on this site several times before, the bedtime routine in our house is a constant losing battle. It’s not all bad, however. In fact, one of the small joys of my day is reading the kids a story before bed.  Or, you know, reading to them when they’re supposed to go to bed, to be more specific.

We usually let B and J pick the books. Unsurprisingly, this has lead to some interesting selections. Take the other night, for example. It’s October and autumn is in the air, so that can only mean one thing…………it’s time for a Christmas story!!!!

#sepiafilterfornoreason

#sepiafilterfornoreason

Yep. B chose Franklin’s Christmas Gift, because, well, WTF.

Whatever, though. I read it, tucked B in, and left his room.

Minutes later, B came out of his room, holding three pieces of ripped up cardboard.

Inspired by this part in the Franklin book (NOTE: SPOILER ALERT! SKIP AHEAD IF YOU PLAN ON READING FRANKLIN’S CHRISTMAS GIFT AND DON’T WANT THE ENDING RUINED. OK, OK, I’M NOT SERIOUS. A SPOILER FOR THIS BOOK? HAHA. C’MON MAN! ):

 

 

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B wanted me to make him a puppet show stage. With a door.

Now, the one thing I should note is that I have the  artistic ability of Milhouse’s dad on The Simpsons.

It's dignity! Don't you even know dignity when you see it?

I drew this. It’s dignity! Don’t you even know dignity when you see it?

 

On the other hand, I also didn’t want to say no, and disappoint B. I kinda worry that if I, the father figure in my childrens’ lives, reject them too much, they’ll start looking elsewhere for a strong male presence. Like, from a gang, or a group of travelling buskers, or something along those lines (Yes, I realize B and J aren’t even five and three years old yet.  In my lame defense, gangs recruit ’em young, and I’ve seen some toddler-aged jugglers at fairs before. I think).

With that in mind, I got the creative juices flowing, and made a puppet show stage that you too can make for your kids!

SUPPLIES NEEDED

1) A piece of cardboard, ripped into three pieces. Any cardboard will do. They’re little kids. They don’t really care. Despite owning a lot of toys, B found a chunk of cardboard in a set of new sheets that we bought. He had been having a blast playing with that, even after he ripped it up.

2) Masking tape.

3) A writing utensil. B had requested an orange crayon. After searching in vain for one, I remembered that I don’t live in a Crayola factory, so we settled on the next closest colouring device – a blue pen?!

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Take two pieces of cardboard and fold them into L shapes.

2) Fasten the bottom parts of the Ls to the third piece of cardboard using the tape. Use as many strips of tape as needed, until it forms a sorta firm U shape.

3)  Hand the stage back to your kid. Give them the writing utensil and tell them to decorate it.

4) Voila!

If you’re lucky, your stage will look like this (please, hold your applause):

 

IMG_20141005_212855_603

 

IMG_20141005_212916_284

 

Yo, what did you expect? A mini Apollo Theatre? I told you that I suck, artistically.  We don’t even own puppets, so creating an elaborate stage for non-existent puppets is weaksauce, for real.

Besides, the only opinion that matters is B’s. And he…….didn’t seem to hate it. I heard him playing with the crappy, sorry-looking taped up cardboard contraption for a bit.  Aw, kids. They’re so easily amused sometimes. Anyway, eventually, he passed out for the night, instead of running off and joining a gang or a group of buskers. So to me, this craft is a win.  Holla!

 

You're welcome!

You’re welcome!

 

 

 

 

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