Guess What I Made?

“Mom!” says Clara, “Guess what I made?”

Turns out I hate guessing what the kids have/found/made/like/want. Part of this is because Clara likes to tell you “No,” when you guess the correct answer just to keep you guessing.

I do not always appreciate her form of fun.

My tactic in dealing with guessing games has evolved, I’ve gone from interested and caring new parent to jaded mother who has burned by too many fake “noes”.  I now start crazy and guess wilder and wilder items until they become fed up with me and tell me.

The kids do not always appreciate my form of fun.

“You made a pterodactyl.”

“No,” says Clara, “better than a pterodactyl.”

“Well, I have no idea then, what’s better than a pterodactyl?”

“This!” she says and whips her creation from behind her back.IMG_6721-(2sm)


She doesn’t know what it is either.*IMG_6724-(2sm)

But it is so obviously better than a pterodactyl.

*And why? Why do I have to guess what a thing is when she doesn’t even know what the thing is? I also do not appreciate that kind of fun! 


The Kiwi Crate Blog

When visiting my blog you’re much more likely to come across a muddy kid, a dead animal, or a sleeping dog than any sort of crafting post.

That’s because I sort of hate crafting things with my kids.

I know it sounds horrible, but I justify my reluctance with the fact that I’m more open to it than John, who if given his way would throw out all the crayons in the house.  Of course Ivy and Clara love it when we (read I, the crayon-hater does none of this) set up any sort of crafting activity for them.  And that right there is the problem – the set up.

First I have to have an idea. I’m full of ideas, ideas for animals to raise, home improvement projects, dessert, kiddy crafting ideas… not so much.  Fortunately, thanks to the beauty of the internet, I can use other peoples’ ideas.  Believe me, if you’ve never done a little web surfing for kids’ crafts, I’ll just let you know that there are approximately seventy bazillion crafty blogs out there to choose from, all with fantastic super-cool crafts.   Just be careful because at least one bazillion will make you wonder, if these authors can make and decorate their entire home with the help of their smiling children (whom they have taken beautiful step-by-step pictures of)  why your big accomplishment of the day was to get everyone’s hair brushed.  Then, if by chance I happen to actually have all the needed supplies for the super-cool craft, (and brushed hair) I have to find said supplies,  set it all up, get the kids engaged and then finally finishing whatever it is because the kids get bored.  So there I am (with my brushed hair) sitting at the table by myself with a gigantic mess wondering why I bothered.  Needless to say a fun afternoon of crafting is not really my kind of afternoon.

Enter Kiwi Crate.

Kiwi Crate is a website that sells a monthly subscription where your kids get a crate in the mail with themed projects in them. Sounds awesome right? I agree, but we don’t do that. What I do do is follow their blog, and my very favorite part of the Kiwi Crate blog is Tuesdays, because Tuesdays are two ingredient Tuesdays. Crafts and activities that involve two common items, now that’s something I can wrap my non-crafting head around. Often it’s just something small to keep a kid briefly entertained , like putting a penny in a balloon. But that’s great because I have pennies, I have balloons and it will take me 45 seconds to put them together and if they hate it (which they didn’t, it was a huge hit) there is very little to clean up. Cookie cutter tracing was another big hit for the girls and today we added crayons to hot rocks for some melty fun. While today’s project was a bit messier than I normally undertake, I have crayons (because John hasn’t won the anti-crayon war yet) I have rocks and a bit of a mess was alright on a rainy afternoon.

The blog also has tons of other ideas, involving more than two items.  We’ve made marshmallow launchers and frozen toys in a big block of ice for excavation on a hot day and done some salt painting – all with stuff around the house. So, while I continue to figure out how I can justify the expense of the awesome sounding monthly crates (Damn Dave Ramsey, again!) I’ll be a regular reader of the Kiwi Crate blog. The girls are loving it, I’m enjoying it more than I would have guessed and the crayon-hater…  he’s hopeless!

Wind Boats

With the weather oscillating between spring like and dead of winter we’ve been forced to make some tough decisions lately.

For instance if staying in the house on a cold snow-less wintry sort of day do we want to:

A: Make horses talk all day.

B: Come up with other kid friendly projects and crafts to do.

It’s a tough choice, my feelings on talking horses can be found here, but cute craftiness is not one of my strong suits.

Desperate to avoid talking animals, I headed for the internet. I may not be crafty but I can Google with the best of them! I found The Toymaker‘s website a few years ago, a few clicks we had piles of paper toys and crafts at our fingertips. With a computer and a printer even a crafting deficient Mom such as myself can pull off an afternoon of fun!

These wind boats were the biggest hit, even Clara could blow hers across the floor. The Toymaker has moving toys, paper dolls, cards, finger puppets, 3D animals, trucks and marble mice, it’s worth a visit on a nasty spring day.

Unless you like making animals talk, and if that’s the case can Ivy come visit next time it rains?