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  • ABliske
    replied
    My dad used to make sandwiches for me and my siblings that represented animals. He'd use carrot sticks for whiskers, olives for eyes etc. We loved it and it got us to eat some things we typically wouldn't. It might be fun to have the kids involved and let them pick an animal to create.
    I'm sure my sister would have some great ideas. She had 8 kids!! She once got them all canvasas and let them pick a background color. Even that was funny, like the 5 year old picked hot pink while the oldest girl went for gray. Oh, I think her idea was to have them all paint them when they were 8 years old and hang them up in the playroom.
    I can see how you might want to avoid the paint. The kids always enjoy going through color books though. Hmm, my niece and nephew love any new craft stuff. My sister-in-law said they could play with adding machine rolls for hours. Once I babysat and we came up with a bunch of things to do with coffee stirrers, like sticking them in my hubby's hair and making spiders with cotton balls and the sticks as legs.

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  • aprilmae
    replied
    What about seeing who can sit still the longest or be quiet the longest? My mom used to do this with my sister and I - and we failed miserably - but it was fun and I know it gave her a few short minutes to regroup and come up with something else to keep us occupied.

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  • ICKIRSTI
    replied
    haha hello!

    I know this may sound kind of corny.. but it gets everyone feeling great!! Yoga and.. Meditation... and/or stretching.. .also like... name that tune... or.. charade's that one!! Or something, that's often not said these days.. like reading a book.. story time.. or even.. make up stories as you go along.. leave off the story in one spot for the other to pick up!! yeah!! There is so much you can do, and love, that won't feel too bad either! Wishing you all the best!!!

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  • dancemomof2
    replied
    Wow some super great ideas! I know how stressful a cold spring break is. OUrs was last week and had the same weather and nothing really to do. We did alot of Netflix last week LOL

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  • Berkshire Road
    replied
    Rachel -- Definitely call the cousin!! You need at least one "rest" from the kids if you can get it.

    I had forgotten, it's been so long, but you're right, coming up with exciting names for the challenges was a big thing with Susannah. We had bonus rounds, extra bonus rounds, super bonus rounds, mega bonus rounds, etc. If you can pick up some star-shaped stickers, you can come up with award systems, too. (Get two in a row, get a silver star, three in a row, gold star...). I remember she could sometimes get extra "points" (which were completely meaningless but she LOVED the idea of them) if she could repeat back the instructions after she finished, or if she could come up with her own challenge and then follow through, or or or -- whatever I could think of, or she could, really.

    Investing in some indoor "active" toys was worth it for us too. We had a kind of dart board, only you threw velcro balls at it. We had nerf basketball. We had a mini-trampoline (I think they call them urban rebounders now). Sometimes I'd open up the sofa bed and let them jump on it, or have a pillow fight.

    Oh, and how could I have forgotten that perennial favorite: Dress up! Let them put on your clothes, shoes, and makeup, and take their pictures? My mom kept a whole "dress up box" of things she didn't want to wear anymore, and it was always free reign in there. But getting to put on Mom's real clothes is more exciting.

    OK. I know my memory is failing me, but at least I remembered one or two more ideas. If anything else occurs to me, I'll let you know. Have fun!

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  • ICNDonna
    replied
    If you're going out shopping, I suggest you stop and buy one of those blue or green plastic tarps --- they come in all different sizes and make great table or floor covers for kids' art projects. We do a summer reading program at our little library and one of the things we did was to save oversize T-shirts for the kids to put on for craft projects.

    Donna

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  • RAS6
    replied
    Ha Ha Ha!

    Very cute! My friend at work was just laughing the other day because I had asked them all to collect toilet paper rolls a few weeks before so we can use them for crafts with the kids in our group. She had four rolls, and I had a grocery bag full! And that was just like two weeks worth! She told me I wasn't kidding when I said I had to use the bathroom all the time!

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  • **Angie**
    replied
    You shouldn't have a problem with finding empty TP rolls

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  • RAS6
    replied
    Love the ideas Inseagraves! I have to see if we have any glue, if not I'll get some tomorrow while I'm at the pharmacy. I am definately going to use these ideas for work as well. I work with children from infants up to teenagers andit is diffficult to find things that most of them will enjoy doing. Many of the kids have emotional and behavioral diagnosis and some are at different levels when it comes to motor skilss and attention spans, so crafts that let them be at creative and put in as much effort as they want are always a plus.
    Thanks!

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  • lnseagraves
    replied
    I don't have any children of my own yet, but Im a Museum Education assistant and work with kids of all ages all the time. I love doing art projects with the little ones to boost creativity. My favorite projects are collages. Here are a few ideas:

    Surrealist collages: (for your 7 year old)
    Find fun clip art online and cut it out. Most fun to find ears, or tools or something that can be turned into something else in your collage. (a large ear can be a wing for instance, or a hammer can now be an arm) Give your child a piece of construction paper, and a 1/2 of another piece of construction paper that is a different color. Glue the 1/2 on the whole piece to make a "horizon line". Then start arranging your clip art into a cool picture. After you glue on your clip art pieces, color your picture and VOILA, youre very own piece of surrealist art!

    Pre-K version (Collage Squids):
    Take a toilet paper roll, and many sheets of diff. colored construction paper. Rip the construction paper into SMALL pieces. Have the children glue the pieces onto the toilet paper roll in a fun and funky color scheme. For little kids, I put a blob of glue on a paper plate and give them a Q-tip. They "paint" the glue onto the paper with the Q-tip. After the tp roll is covered, add googly eyes to the "head" and punch three holes on the bottom. Tie yarn tentacles onto the bottom. let your squid dry and have your child name him.


    If none of these ideas work for you, you can google craft ideas for kids. There are a lot of neat websites that have ideas by age and grade level.

    happy crafting!

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  • RAS6
    replied
    Thanks!

    You girls have some great ideas! Your kids are so lucky to have you as Mommies! We are going to have a living room picnic tonight. I loved the idea about roasting hot dogs in the fireplace. We have had one for over a year and I never thought to do that! I just have to buy some (I can't tolerate them, so we don't have them around very often) and some marshmellows too. But that will be a treat for tomorrow. I told the girls we would have a surprise after dad goes to work tomorrow night, but only if they clean their room tonight.
    Berkshire road, I loved your "challenge" idea! I have to make them easier, but we actually do things like that. My 7 year old has some developmental delays and one of the things her special ed teacher and speech therapist have me do with her is give her fun yet simple three step directions to follow. Her little sister actually keeps up well, so they enjoy doing those together. If I called it the "Ultimate Challenge" or something like that, she might enjoy it even more. She is very dramatic like that! I don't really do playdates, at least not without going too. SShe has some behavioral problems and we only have a few close friends that feel comfortable with her without me. I might call my husband's cousin though. She is a special ed teacher who is off this week and she really enjoys having my girls over.

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  • Berkshire Road
    replied
    "Living Room Picnics" (or family room, wherever) are fun: Spread out a blanket or sheet on the floor and put regular lunch or dinner foods in a basket or on a plate. Use paper plates and all so there's no clean-up. When mine were younger, they really thought this was a big adventure.

    Challenges: Maybe 2 is too young for this, but I used to challenge my daughter, oh, about anything, silly things like, "Run up the stairs, touch the piano, sit on the couch, and come back here without going through the dining room before I can count to 100." She would always come back glowing and ready for the next one, and really, you can come up with these little races for hours. Also, had her stand on one foot (then the other) while I counted how long she could do it for, and she'd beg to do it again, she always thought she could do better. The beauty of all of these games is that Mom doesn't have to leave the couch!

    When I had toddlers, I usually just had to resort to the 'electronic babysitter,' but if you start challenges for the older one, the younger one may want to play, too. Just give the little one simpler instructions.

    Sorry I can't come up with much else! Can you arrange play dates for your 7 year old, for any of the days (preferably at the other kid's house )?

    I feel for you, I'm sure a lot of us have been through those school holidays that just refused to come at convenient, pain-free times!

    Good luck.

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  • ICNDonna
    replied
    When all else fails, plug in their favorite movie and make popcorn and pretend you are in a theater. And if you have a fireplace, a weiner roast using the fireplace is fun. You can throw down an old blanket in front of it to catch any spills. My kids always loved that --- and they liked toasting marshmallows there too.

    Donna

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  • RAS6
    replied
    OMG Ronda, your house sounds like a zoo right now! You are so brave! I couldn't handle that many kids at my house! Mine are playing play dough right now, which I don't let them do very often b/c they make such a mess! Brianna dumped all the cookie cutters out right away (their Grandpa thought getting them 101 cookie cutters was such a great idea!) and my two year old enjoys licking the playdough more than playing with it, but at least they are happy and quiet and the mess is confined to the kitchen table. I might attempt to pick up the living room, but it just gets messy again in like 5 minutes, so is it worth it?
    Hope you survive your day too!

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  • leelee88
    replied
    Rachel,
    I know the feeling.. I have my 2 boys here and my 2 little cousins and my husband 2 and my oldest sons friend, kids all ranging from age 16 to 10..lol I dont know what I was thinking, they are all bored..
    I wish I had some ideas for you but I am at a lost myself..At least I have some older ones and they are kind of keeping the younger ones occupied..

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