Honeymoon Over?

Well, let’s just say that the kids weren’t exactly thanking God for the schedule yesterday. In fact, several times I was met with complaining as I sought to keep us on track. The rain hasn’t helped matters either. In the afternoons they are confined to the house as opposed to pool time or outside time. Though I’m often amazed at how long my kids can keep themselves entertained, this chunk of time just begs to tempt them to boredom (meaning bickering soon to follow). I asked my friend Kathy for any suggestions as to how to fill the time. She reminded me of my own centerpiece idea, doing a craft, writing notes or cards to great grandma who just arrived last week, etc. These are great ideas that I will try to implement. Today we went to my mom’s to visit, then came home and made centerpieces for the dinner table out of clay (including a cake, bounty hunter, soccer goalie picture, and lego house with fan on the back).

I guess it would have been unrealistic to expect my children to perfectly submit to the discipline of a schedule day after day, but even with the resistence I met today, I will say that they responded quickly to my explanation for why we were doing what we were doing. If you are beginning to schedule, or getting back on a schedule like I am – be encouraged that I still say the benefit is outweighing the challenge.

Does anybody have ideas for easy crafts to do with my children? Pleeeeeeeaaaaaase leave them in my comment box, I beg you!


15 thoughts on “Honeymoon Over?

  1. the lazy dayz of summer

    with these past few rain days . . .
    you could have built an ark as a craft.

    another idea . . .
    if there is no lightening&thunder
    it’s outdoor play in the warm rain.


  2. board games! 🙂 or does that just lead to conflict?

    I’m the least creative person ever, but if something strikes me, I’ll be sure to pass it on. 🙂

    You are Ms. Resource girl. Surely, there’s a load of ideas on the internet.

  3. One thing we’ve done is to make masks out of paper plates. Then they either glue them on sticks to hold in front of their faces or tie them on with string. For the next day they make up a play using their masks and put on a production for us.

    A couple of times they’ve made their bunk bed into a space ship with things around the house. (ex. old computer keyboard, kitchen utensils, pictures of the stars to hang around it.)

    The older boys are often occupied with leggos or a marble run that we have. They like building the marble run and then having races with marbles.

    Board games are favorites. Cranium games seem to span the ages best and we like Pass the Pigs.

    We often find ourselves in a rut and sometimes I allow too many computer games because it’s easy. (they play sometimes on a timer.) So any ideas will help – I’ll be checking back!

  4. Here are a few ideas I remember entertaining my kids for hours or days, regardless of weather:

    1. a HUGE appliance box, if you can find one. They love to cut out windows (you might want to do that part). Boys could use brown bags and cut them into shingles. Maggie could hang old fabric (I’d be happy to donate for this good cause) as curtains. They might put little chairs in it, a throw rug, etc.

    2. Plant herbs in a planter on the deck. Cheap, easy and very useful. Love the dry sun but won’t die in the rain, either. Kids (and I) love to pinch a leaf or two and cut it up into some dinner dish. Mmm, so much tastier than dried herbs.

    3. Lunch bag puppets or sock puppets. I can donate old socks if you need.

    4. Tell their life stories in a mural. I would hang an old sheet or dollar store plastic tablecloth on the wall first, in case the crayons “slip” off the mural. Jason might not like a painting project of his own. Then get a big roll of craft paper, tape it to a wall and let them draw important memories on the mural. It’s funny what they come up with as memories.

    5. Make a book. Buy blank white books for about 3 bucks each. (Of course if this is too schoolish, save the idea to work into your “formal” schoolwork). SArah made one for Paul’s 38th birthday, using “ea” blend words. It was called “The Searching Bear.” He treasures it.

    6. Start Christmas presents now. My boys liked cross stitch (believe it or not) at age 8 or 9.
    We’re talking an ornament here, not a wall hanging.

    7. Sidewalk chalk. Hopscotch or four-square on the driveway was a big hit.

    8. Board games, yes! My boys liked Stratego, Carmen san Diego, Risk ,
    and Monopoly, but also Clue, Boggle, Scattergories, and Scrabble.

    9. Decoupage something practical. I’ve let Joel help me tear out red,white and blue flower pcitures from old magazines. I plan to trim them neatly, arrange them on an unfinished wood tray and let him help me use ModPodge to glue and seal it. It’ll be a serving tray for the summer holidays and get-togethers on the deck. You could use any theme, from boats to flowers to animals. OFten the library has “filla bag for a buck” and that’s when I load up on cheap magazines for craft projects like this.

    Well, this should have been a post. Srory for the many (too many?) suggestions in your comment box.


  5. Not sure how that number 3 got there after my last sentence. Woopsy daisy. Glad to hear the schedule seems to be clicking. I hope you’re enjoying plenty of free time, too. The summers always fly when you’re homeschooling. So many things that get shelved because of teaching make it to my summer to-do list, and I have to complete a whole to-do list! I have learned to shorten them!

  6. Hey there –

    Rain hasn’t been our problem, though lack of rain may become our problem. Instead, we spend several hours inside to escape the heat and/or humidity.

    So far (knock on wood) we haven’t been bored yet. On our weekly library visits we get enough books and videos and computer games to keep everyone occupied. Right now, it’s a short video. During Judah’s nap, the bigger ones will play Playmobil or Duplo in the basement, or color, or draw, or read, or do playdough. Things that I have waiting on the shelf are science experiment kits, Lite Brite, thank yous to write for birthdays, scrapbooks to create, and general collage supplies.

    Hope something in there sparks an idea to help you out.

  7. Hi Laurie, Jessica introduced me to your blog. Thank you for your godly encouragement.

    This summer as part of our schedule, we’ve designated certain days for certain activities to do during the baby’s morning nap. (We have quiet reading time for an hour during her second nap.) Monday was game day. Yesterday was puzzle day, today is craft day, and tomorrow is project day (for all those homeschool projects we didn’t do). My older kids who are 7 and 9, spent all their free time yesterday doing puzzles! Somehow limiting the activity to just one day a week made it special. My origial goal was to limit crafts because I was getting burnt out! When we do crafts, Family Fun magazine is our favorite source. Today we are decorating foam door hangers that we got at the dollar store.

    Thanks for asking for ideas. It’s fun to read what everyone is doing.

  8. Welcome Gilham family! Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Thank you everyone for great ideas.
    It’s one thing to get online and look up craft ideas, it’s another to hear from real-life moms, you know what I mean?

    Keep ’em comin’! I’m excited about our next rain day.

  9. Laurie,
    Just a thought. Remember to treasurer the rainy days of indoor fun, they go by too quickly. Really I am trying to think of what I did with Nick,Scott and Katie those many years ago. The first thing that comes to mind is cooking or baking. I remember we would make dessert for dinner with HUGE chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. We would make cookie ice cream sandwiches and roll them in sprinkles. Also we would make homemade happy face pizza for Mike. That was always a lot of fun. Well you know my family so now you understand the food thing! We are food people. Hope this helps. Keep trudging along it really is worth it. Your children are so blessed to have you for their mom.

  10. This last week finger painting was a HUGE hit. 9yo was missing and SO dissappointed that he missed out. Next on the docket is origami – they are really looking forward to that.

  11. I am absolutely amazed at the organization of these ladies who have commented! Especially fishmama! Oh my goodness! I have never written up a list of things for my girls to do and then actually DONE it!!
    Our current favorite activity is play-dough. I have to restrain myself from playing along side my 2 & 4 year olds too much!! We got packs of play-dough at our Dollar Tree and some cookie cutters. It’s been loads of fun, until the 2 year old put her play dough in the kettle when I left the room. That was not so much fun!
    I really enjoy craft projects with my girls but unfortunately our art is just for the fun of it – no usefulness here! We rip up pieces of used gift tissue paper and glue them with glue sticks onto card board. We’ve made murals with pipe cleaners. We also use pipe cleaners (I call them “fuzzy wires”) for beading. My girls like to make “door knockers” out of their beads & wires. I’ll take their paintings and cut it into squares to make note cards, which works well for some thank you notes.
    Your children sound old enough to make a simple scrap-book of the summer. I would also try to include the older children if there are big clean-out jobs and then do something fun like ice cream or a movie after. We went through all our out of season clothes.
    When I was a kid we made doll houses for our action figures and My Little Ponys. We would make an elaborate set up with block and tissue boxes. We decorated them with paints and pictures from magazines and were allowed to keep our little house spread out for a couple of days. That was great fun. Another summer my mom read an entire series of books to us in the afternoons.

  12. Hi, you asked for craft ideas for children. Other replies here have given ME useful ideas (I work with church youth group) so, as fair exchange, here’s mine. Not for very young though – small parts and wire. Adult may need to do cutting. But assembly and decoration and placing outdoors can occupy youngsters alone.


    You will need:
    -2litre plastic bottle, the straightsided kind with rounded top and 5-dimpled base and plastic screw-on cap (these are common here for water and carbonated drinks)
    -paperclip or thin wire
    -small craft beads to fit on wire (small parts, not for toddlers)

    Cut 6 equally-spaced slits right down the straight (cylindrical) part of sides of bottle. Use a craft knife or sharp scissors.
    Cut around halfway from the top of each slit to the top of the next one. same at base. all these cuts should go same way, ie all clockwise or all anticlockwise.

    This gives you 6 flaps which you can fold in. Mind sharp edges and corners. A firm crease is best (doubling the flap right back on itself) then straighten somewhat, so all the flaps point in toward the bottle center.

    It now looks a bit like a tall lantern.

    Take cap off bottle.
    Pierce the cap with a small hole (with a hammer and nail, or sharp knife or scissors, or drill). Best for adults to do this bit.

    Open the paperclip or cut a 2inch length of wire. Bend one end over sharply, just a little hook to retain the beads. Thread on two or 3 small beads (they reduce friction to aid spinning). Then thread this UP through the cap and form a loop or hook at the top. So the cap sits on the beads.

    Fit the cap back on the bottle so it hangs from the loop (on a string or clothesline. Maybe from a tree branch or in a porch. it should catch the breeze and spin merrily.

    You may need to play around with the form of the wire loop, to get it hanging straight and turning easily where it goes thru the cap. The hanging loop should be short (close above the bottle cap), then a longer string or wire to hang that from; else the loop wire may bend when bottle swings in breeze, and then snag, hindering turning.

    Using waterresistant craft paints, paint striped or helical patterns (or whatever) on the bottle. (Tester pots of household emulsion from DIY/home decor stores are a cheap handy source of small amounts of many varied colours).
    Barberpole designs look good because they seem to move up or down as the bottle spins!
    Vertical stripes let you see when it’s turning fast!
    Different coloured stripes will blur into one.

    God bless!

  13. I enjoyed reading these ideas.I am a homeschool mom looking for inexpensive creative ideas also.My children are 10 yr. old twin boys.I have found some neat ideas for appliance boxes I like.One is making two of these boxes to look like castles and maybe connecting them with a tunnel built from two or three regular boxes using duck tape.This way they have a “secret “tunnel to go from one castle to another.Don’t forget to make triangle flags for the tops of the castles,they can decorate as they see fit. Blessings,Deanna

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