Cheap Thrills

Saturday, April 24, 2010
So, here’s my unsolicited two cents when it comes to organizing activities for children. People tell me I “have my hands full” on a daily basis, but quite frankly, I think my job is way easier than mom’s that have just one child. My kids entertain one another and require very little from me when it comes to imaginative stimulation. But, here are a few low-budget activities that we find wildly entertaining at our house.

Beans, Beans:
Spread a blanket outside and fill flat pans with whatever dry goods you have on hand. Curly pasta, kidney beans, lentils, navy beans, macaroni, etc. To boys, supply toy dump trucks and back hoes to drive through the “dirt” and build roads. To girls, supply clear plastic cups and utensils and watch them “cook” and create layered parfaits. I got a glorious contented hour out of this one! However, beware of the creative child who decides to see how many split peas he can cram up his nose!

Its a bird, its a plane:
A large empty box is has innumerable possibilities. Cut out a door and build a playhouse. A reading nook. A bed for baby dolls. A rocket ship. My kids try to rock eachother out like a ship on a high sea. (yes, I know….stitches waiting to happen). Slick wood fllors make for great Go-cart races.
Aspiring Artists:
You cant get any cheaper than a bucket of water and a paint brush.

These hot summer days make a great palette out of concrete sidewalks or wooden docks. Let em’ go to town “painting” the driveway. Cheaper than playdough and less mess than chalk! Go inspire your lil’ Renoir:-)

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