Wednesday, August 10, 2011

10 Ways to Keep Kids Busy, Part 3

This is the final installment of 10 Ways to Keep Kids Busy.  I hope you have enjoyed reading and have found some ideas that you can use.

7. Felt boards--These are a big hit in our house.  My daughter has 4 boards with different themes.  The great thing about felt boards is that you the pieces are interchangeable and you can design your own.  Because felt does not ravel, you do not need to be a seamstress to create felt board pieces for your child.  You could even make your own felt board by covering a piece of wood or cardboard with a large piece of felt from a fabric store.  Smaller pieces of felt in a variety of colors to create people, animals or props for your felt board can be found at craft stores or at Wal-mart.  This great post from provides instructions and templates for creating your own cupcake felt pieces.  Once you have created a felt board and pieces, kids can spend hours creating scences and telling stories about their creations.

8. Art bucket--In a previous post, I discussed craft projects for kids; however, I believe there is huge value in allowing your children to be creative on their own.  My daughter has several craft buckets and baskets to hold all of her art materials.  One bucket is simply a shower caddy I purchased at Wal-mart for $2.97.  I have filled the bucket with art supplies she can use on her own--pom-poms, popsicle sticks, sequins, glue sticks, glitter glue, felt scraps, beads, etc.  When I want her to be creative, I give her several pieces of construction paper and her art bucket and let her go.  Be creative with what you put in the craft bucket.  Old magazines, cotton balls and swabs, paper towel and toilet paper tubes and clean jars and containers are just a few options.

9. Book store--Did you know the local bookstore probably offers a storytime and craft for children?  Barnes and Noble offers weekly storytime plus special events with book characters.  On the Barnes and Noble website, click on store locator and find events to see what is happening at your local store.  Don't have a Barnes and Noble?  Try other bookstores in your town.

10.  Malls--This seems like an odd place to find children's activities, but I recently discovered that a local indoor shopping mall offers a children's program once a month.  A local outdoor shopping center offers concerts periodically during the summer months.  Visit the websites for your local shopping centers to find events in your area.  If you have a Bass Pro Shops near you, we have had a great time at their Christmas, Halloween and Easter events for children.  They also offer children's events at other times during the year, including free crafts and games.

How do you keep your kids busy?  I would love to hear your ideas!

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