Sparkle Crafts: Activity Inspiration Sticks
This is a repost from several years ago. We thought it might be very helpful for kids to take care of their own boredom.
In this week’s Martin & Sylvia: Saturdays! story “Mother’s Helper,” brother and sister help Momma keep a little friend entertained. We all need a bit of inspiration from time-to-time, whether we’re looking for something to fill a few moments of down-time or an activity to do with a visiting friend. While grown-ups might turn to blogs or Pinterest, little ones need something that’s a little less techy but still filled with just the right amount of inspiration.
What we’ve cooked up is a simple three jar system, filled with activities for doing solo, enjoying with a friend, or tackling with a grown-up. Simple words are great for independent readers while pictures give a bit of a hint to the pre-reading crowd.
While Martin & Sylvia don’t have a setup like this in this week’s Martin & Sylvia: Saturdays! story, it certainly would help them come up with a variety of activities to do with little Laura!
You Will Need
- wooden popsicle sticks or tongue depressors
- liquid watercolors
- fine tip permanent marker
- mason jars
- card stock
- hole punch
- yarn or twine
What To Do
Start by having a conversation with your little one. Talk about activities you might like to include in your activity organizer – what have they done in the past that they’ve enjoyed? Talk about each activity and whether it is something that they’re able to do by themselves, with a friend, or with a grown-up.
Make a list. Divide a paper into three columns. Choose the activities you’ll include for each grouping – by myself, with a friend and with a grown-up. All the included ideas should be ones where supplies are usually around the house and available. Also, they should be activities you won’t mind your little one choosing after being inspired!
Paint the top of your wooden sticks three different colors, one for each grouping.
Write the activities for each category onto the sticks. Include a small picture for pre-readers.
Sort the sticks by color into three different jars.
Cut the card stock into three small pieces, about 2 inches by 3 inches. Punch a hole in the top and label each with the category – by myself, with a friend, and with a grown-up.
Attach the card stock to the corresponding jar.
Display the jars at eye-level for your little one and encourage them to use them for inspiration – especially when they ask, “what can I do now?!”
Do you have any activities that would work in more than one jar? Make multiples and put them there!
Have you ever played Scudge Pundleman? Would you like to try? Put it in your “with friends” jar and give it a try next time someone visits!
Are any of the activities in your “by myself” things that you used to need help doing?
Do you think any of the activities in your “with a grown-up” jar are things you might be able to do alone in the future?
If you liked this tutorial, here are others you might enjoy:
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About the Author
Sparkle Crafts Blogger
Andrea Folsom describes herself as a writer, editor, creative maker, and eternal optimist. She is passionate about learning and sharing new creative techniques, making beautiful spaces, and talking about the social-emotional benefits of creativity and art. She runs Crafting Connections - a website providing inspiration, practical advice, and projects for creative families - with her close friend Danielle Reiner.
About the Author
Sparkle Crafts Blogger
Danielle Reiner describes herself as a creative, a maker, and a mama. At the heart of her story is creativity, though that hasn’t always been the case. She rediscovered her deeply hidden creativity early in adulthood – with a ball of yarn and a couple of knitting needles – and hasn't stopped since. Danielle also runs Crafting Connections - a website providing inspiration, practical advice, and projects for creative families - with her close friend Andrea Folsom.
About the Martin & Sylvia Saturdays! Series
Saturdays are special days for our creative brother and sister. From enormous art projects in their own backyard to “explorers” adventures up Mooseberry mountain; from mornings of quiet building along the creek, to whole-family canning adventures in the kitchen, the children find fun and inspiration at every turn. Each story is accompanied by a craft or project inspired by the story, and a printable project page for more creative fun.