Tuesday, March 12, 2013

inside days

Between cold weather (this has definitely been the longest winter of our 3 in Knoxville), sickness, and potty training, we have spent a lot of days at home in the last couple months. Most of our time home is spent reading, building with Legos, and "fixing" cars and trucks (though we don't seem to be very good at it, as they break down again immediately after being fixed!) but this winter we made an effort to find a wider array of inside activities...

Finger paints
He also got these special finger paints for Christmas. The color only shows up on special paper. Brilliant.

Stole this idea from a friend's blog. :) I used tape to make squares on his floor, not knowing what he'd do with them. They turned into a city. The squares were a hospital, a parking garage, an airport, a train station, a recycling center, a mechanic shop, a fire station...

Board games. Jamie LOVES to "play" board games. He can actually play Guess Who, this awesome game Grammy got him for Christmas, and Hi-Ho-Cherry-O pretty well. That squirrel game is the best. I can't for the life of me get him to play Candy Land with the actual rules, but he loves to move the pieces around the board. He also likes to play with Connect 4, Jenga, Qwirkle, and Bananagrams, though the rules are obviously beyond him.

Another Christmas gift: He loves this easel! One side has a chalkboard and one has a dry erase board. I happily found Crayola dry erase markers that don't have a strong smell. He has a much longer attention span for coloring on this easel than on paper.

BEANS. Oh my word, beans. It may sound silly, but this is one of the few activities Jamie will do on his own for a long time. We have a tub filled with dried beans, and we'll get out measuring cups and spoons, his bucket and dump truck, pots, etc, and he LOVES to measure and scoop and pour the beans into the different containers. He'll easily do this for an hour. Sometimes getting him to help clean up can be difficult (and it usually makes quite a mess), but it's worth it.

One day, Jamie's crib turned into a zoo. He was a very good zookeeper, feeding the animals and getting in the cage to clean up their poop.

I found this idea on pinterest. We put finger paints in a ziplock and taped it to the sliding glass door so he could squish it around without getting his hands dirty. He wasn't very enthused by it, though. Too bad, I thought it was a great idea.

 Jamie made himself a new "house."

We made a guitar out of a shoe box and rubber bands. He never really got into playing with it once it was made, but he spent a long time very carefully decorating the box beforehand.

Another pinterest idea that was perfect for Jamie: a doctor kit. For a long time Jamie has loved playing doctor with his stuffed animals. For Christmas, his great aunt gave him a teddy bear dressed like a doctor (he's now very creatively named Dr. Bear), and that pushed it to a new level. So I made Jamie a little doctor kit with a box of cheap band-aids, an ace bandage, some old earbuds for a stethoscope, a popsicle stick, a mini flashlight, and a baby sock for a cast. He and Dr. Bear spend a lot of time taking care of the other animals. You wouldn't believe how often they get sick or break their legs!

Yet another pinterest idea. A color wheel with colored clothespins.

Slime! This has been the best activity I've found on pinterest. This idea came from this blog. The slime is made from equal parts clear glue and liquid starch. At first I couldn't get them to mix together all the way, so I pulled out the solid chunks into another bowl. Then when we started playing with it, it seemed too sticky. But after a little while, it got more thoroughly mixed and it really wasn't sticky at all. We had SO much fun with this!

And finally, a few days ago he turned our living room into a library. He brought his books and put them on our end table shelves. He was the librarian and I had to pick books to check out from him (and then read to him, of course). All his own idea!

Thankfully it is finally getting warmer outside and we won't be cooped up so much. But I'm glad we've been able to do all these fun things together. Love my little boy!

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