Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beating the Summer Boredom Blues

Today, as I stood behind the sink washing dishes. I noticed that my little guy looked....well.....bored.

I can usually tell this by either, a) his nonstop whining, or b) his constant need to get into things and do things that he knows he's not allowed. Now, he IS sick. He has a sinus infection and an infection on his skin. But he'd been acting like he's feeling better lately. I knew he was just bored. We are pretty much quarantined at home for the next day or so due to Evan and Alexa BOTH being sick (Alexa has a throat infection, but they ruled out strep).

Then, as I'm listening to Evan fuss, Skylar walks by with yet another polite request to watch TV. Ugh. The kids are fighting more and everyone is getting cabin the middle of summer! I felt like I could just see their little brains melting away and desperately begging for something to do........a challenge or an activity or a craft or game. SOMETHING.

Then I remembered that I discovered something out in the garage a few weeks ago when I was cleaning it out. I had saved these packing peanuts that stick together when you dampen them. That's it!

So I finished the dishes, ran out to the garage and called all the children together at the dining room table. I showed them the peanuts and they were confused and intrigued. I said, "We are going to do a project." I could see it in their eyes.


So I demonstrated. I had a very damp dishtowel in the center of the table. I took a packing peanut, touched it to the towel, then placed it on a cardboard square. It stuck! Then I did the same with another one and attached it to the first. It stuck! Their eyes lit up. I think I even heard a few comments such as, "cool", and "awesome!". I told them they could make anything they wanted. Or it didn't have to BE anything. Just play around, be creative, whatever.
I was actually quite amazed at how well Evan got the hang of this. After that one demonstration, he just took off with it. LOVE his dinosaur (below). He explained to us that the head was on the right side and then the long neck led up to the rounded back. You can tell in the picture above that he took his work very seriously. :-)Alexa started by making a house. She immediately began constructing the walls. She likes to make things that she can use to play and pretend with, once the project is completed. You can see (below) that she also made a bed.
And later she made a playground, with just a little help from me to reinforce the swing. The Joker looks like he's enjoying it....then again he does have a "permanent" smile. ;-)
Skylar had a blast making her sculpture. She just couldn't stop!
The end result was impressive!
And big!

Taylor was a not sure what to make of this at first, but soon her creative juices were flowing and she set to work on some really cool stuff. She made the heart, then the girl in a dress, then the rose! I had never dreamed that these packing peanuts could turn into that!
The results were amazing. Not just the projects they came up with, but the transformation of the children themselves was better than I had expected. They were laughing and having fun and they were NOT bored anymore. They even complimented each other's work. This actually occupied most of them for over an hour and a half!

God knew what my children needed this afternoon and then gave me the means to provide it for them. I am so thankful! And I'm going to do my best to do things like this more often.


No comments: