“Mom, I have NOTHING to do! I’m BORED!” We’ve all heard that before. After one tantamount meltdown, I started Kidspiration to help others solve the kid’s boredom blues.
The truth is, I have two very active boys, Jorgie (5) and Tommy (2), and although I enjoy being active with them, I was finding myself struggling to find activities to do with them that would keep them entertained for a reasonable amount of time. Until I decided to think back to the basics; before iPads and fire tablets (not that there isn’t a time and place for those too). I started to compile a list of fun and easy activities to do with my LOs that inspire creativity (even for a dominant left brainer like myself) and quite honestly make me feel like one super mom. I’m happy to share this with you, whether you work in the home or out, we can all use some Kidspiration every now and then.
In the Home:
Cooking Experiences: My kids love cooking. They love the feeling of being part of making something that they get to enjoy themselves once complete. It introduces them to units of measurement, ingredients, following instructions, and patience if it involves cooking time. It keeps their hands and their minds busy and boy do they appreciate a finished product. You can start simple like dino-shaped JELL-O and move on to pizza and even baking.
Arts & Crafts: I know most moms are rolling their eyes! Trust me, when my kids say they want to paint, I panic a little. However, there are fun and easy ways to steer clear of excessive messes and still cultivate creativity and imagination. I highly recommend investing in a Gathre mat! They are pricey, but totally worth the investment. Anything can be wiped off them. If you’re not about to splurge, disposable tablecloths will do the trick. If the weather permits, we love taking our projects outdoors! Here is what we love to do:
Making Slime: oh, the slime craze of 2018-2019! Its not as messy as it sounds, and my kids love it. The different colors you can make, the glitter you can add to it! It’s a great sensory activity and with so many “Slime Recipes” online, like this one by Elmers, the ideas are endless.
Do A Dot Art: This is genius and my kids love it! Keeps them entertained for hours (ok maybe not multiple hours but at least 1). They are sponge-tip markers that create different patterns with big colorful dots. The “markers” are easy to hold and there’s no paint, brushes so clean up is easy.
Sensory Bins: Making them is easy and my boys love to dig their hands in and sort out the items by color, shape, item type. We use rice, or beans and put them in a large bin. You can add buttons or small toys they can “dig” for with mini excavators or shovels. We sometimes hide small toy insects and dig for them.
Let’s be honest, my sub-par creative mind can only take me so far and with my active boys, cabin fever is real. So, we often take to our community to find fun and inexpensive things to do. You would be surprised what most communities have to offer. Some of our favorites here in Miami include:
In my opinion, the best libraries with kids’ corners, story time etc. are Pinecrest Library and Community Center (equipped with playground, café and, get this, Wine!), Coral Gables Library and Coconut grove library. They all have story time and some have music programs and other activities during the week.
Sharing a parking lot with the pinecrest library and community center, pinecrest gardens is a beautiful botanical garden with fish ponds, swan lake, playground, splash pad and much more. My kids love coming here and exploring.
Fairchild Tropical Gardens: The butterfly garden here is a hit for my kids time and time again and never gets old. There are festivals here throughout the year, but the orchid festival, pumpkin festival and mango festival are our favorite. They have kids’ activities like face painting, dancing, games and fun vendors.
When the Frost Museum opened, I bought an annual membership and I can honestly say we got so much use out of it. The Aquarium alone is worth the visit. The exhibits are great and change periodically and they have a great sensory light up dance floor The river of grass has water play tables for the younger visitors and the jellyfish tanks are impressive. Be sure to get a ticket for the planetarium shows!
The LEGO store has been a frequent visit lately. They have monthly free classes during the week where they build a small Lego figurine and monthly Saturday classes (usually $5) where they teach a lesson i.e. Movement, using Legos. Each kid goes home with a bag of treats and Legos.
I’m happy to share this with all of you, whether you work in the home or out, we can all use some Kidspiration every now and then.