One of the challenges I always face this time of year is keeping Henry busy and engaged while I’m busy preparing, shopping, wrapping, and planning. There are all sorts of holiday crafts and activities, but I often find that they require a lot of adult help. Here are a few things my 4 yr old loves to do on his own:
Play dough: Pull out the cookie cutters, butter knives, rolling pins, and garlic press (for spaghetti making!)
Spin Art: Use a salad spinner and washable paint. My 4 yr old can apply paint, spin, and remove the paper to dry all by himself now. See my instructions here.
Build and Draw: Building a simple structure with legos and blocks and then trying to draw the shape on paper.
Cheerio Necklaces: Cut a piece of yarn and tie a knot on one side. Then I put a tiny piece of tape on the end so it’s easy for Henry to thread cheerios on to make a cheerio necklace.
Puzzles: It’s hard to find the right puzzle that’s challenging enough for him not to get bored but easy enough that they can do it all on their own. We have one but I’m in the market for more (any suggestions?)
Little Thinker Tapes: They’re technically cds or mp3s now, but I grew up on these wonderful stories. Henry’s not a huge drawer, but this is really engaging for him. You listen to the imaginative story for a few minutes and then they play music for you to draw what you heard. The pictures are piled up and then displayed in an art gallery for the family to visit.
Body Tracing: On kraft paper as well. I trace his body and then he spends the rest of the time drawing the body parts/clothing on the body shape which keeps him quite busy. A giant airport (or racetrack) is another fun thing to do with kraft paper that keeps them busy for hours (below).
I’d love to hear your ideas though- how do you keep kids busy and happy while you’re checking things off your holiday to-do list?
copyright 2013 liz stanley // all rights reserved
Hi there! I'm Liz Stanley. Born and raised a New Yorker, plus a few newlywed years in charming Hoboken, I now live in the fairytale city of San Francisco with my husband and son. This blog is a collection of simple ideas for making your home and life more crafty and stylish. MORE >>>