Monday, February 20, 2012

Easy, Fast Fun with the Boy

So I am realizing more and more how fast and easy it can be to do fun things with kids. Thanks to my parent's being teachers and good at encouraging that kind of thing and thanks to far too much time spent on the internet, specifically pinterest, it has been rather easy for me to pull up projects or crafts to do with Elijah that make the day special. And, honestly, that entertain him and prevent tears over the fact that i cannot play wrestle or cars for hours on end. Or even minutes at this point. Today was a day where I decided to do multiple projects throughout the day until my husband got home.

-5 minute project: First things first, we made an Ant Restaurant.
I saw got the idea from this site, which i use as a resource often. We raided the kitchen and picked out 6 foods for the ants varying from honey to avocado to leftover spanish rice. Then we came up with a hypothesis of what we thought the ants would eat the most of on the menu and what they would eat the least of. We took it outside and put it in the sun. We checked on it throughout the day and after 6 hours of business and not a single customer in sight, we decided it was still too cold for ants. Kind of a bummer, but it was still fun. And it took... maybe five minutes. At most.

-5 minute project: Next up, we turned our hallway into a road. Well, it already served as one for all kinds of cars, remote controlled and otherwise, today we just made it look like one. I wanted to give him some inspiration to play on his own and i saw some tape sitting on the desk. So we took a few minutes to make this.
I didn't even do the middle line, i just ripped it off and he laid it down, which he thought was totally fun. He used this road over and over today, including while i took a 40 minute nap. Well, he probably was only using the road for half that time, but either way, I got a nap! Tomorrow I think I will turn it into a "school time" thing by adding letters and numbers to the pieces of tape in the middle. Not sure exactly what we will do with that, but certainly there are all kinds of ways to make it educational!

-3, 10, and 10 minute projects: One of the biggest hits today was his new pirate sword. It is one of the most basic things you can do and he was thrilled. He found a big(ish) stick and a smaller stick. I used some twine to tie them parallel and viola! A new pirate sword, rugged style!
We continued with the pirate theme by making this spyglass. Basically you cut a hole out of a paper or plastic cup, stick a toilet paper tube through the hole, and decorate! We skipped a couple of the things on the directions from the site just cos our way was simpler. He painted the spyglass and we checked out our restaurant while it dried. I drew a couple rings around the top and he had another accessory for his pirate attire. Lastly, we made a treasure map. I did a very rough sketch of our house and he decided where the treasure would be hidden and we made the map take the follower throughout the house in circles before coming to the "X". Lij also did a Pirate Elijah work sheet from this great site while i sketched the map for him.
So we hid the "treasure", which was his new spyglass and a picture he drew for Mike, and checked on our restaurant again. When Mike got home Pirate Elijah greeted him and gave him his map. 2 minutes later it was over with and Elijah had so much fun he said it was, "like a birthday party".

None of this took any real effort from me. It was all done with stuff we already had, and it made our day fun and special. Special is something I am trying to make every day as I know this time alone together is going to be gone any day now once this baby decides to be born.


  1. i'm dying from how cute this post is!!!! the ant restaurant is too hilarious for words. and i love his swash buckling sword. you impress me so much. great job!!!

  2. Hello, Gretchen! Thistle Peg here. I've been waiting to open my own blogspot to finally start commenting here, so here I am. Love the idea of this blog, hope you'll find the time to keep posting! Your boy is so funny and..pardon the cliche, grown up. You haven't been posting much lately, which may mean you're busy with the new baby? Let me know how you're doing and check out my little place at I'm doing children's books reviews and hopefully other things will be coming in as well. I'll drop you a letter soon to update you on our latest. Take care, xox