by Helen Jenkins (in San Fransisco)
Helen is a wonderful friend of mine who moved to San Francisco a year ago and is guest posting about how life is over there.
The school summer holidays began for a few weeks ago in mid-June! and I now have both tykes, instead of just one, running circles around me all week, every week, until the end of August. I'm trying to use this opportunity to simplify some things and do other things a little better. For example, I have just deleted Facebook from my phone (for the second time) so there's one less reason to have my head buried in my phone, as I do so much these days, given you can do so much on it. So. The challenge has been set. To try to entertain the kids without going totally mad. I do love a bit of Blue Peter and, since my own makey-table and sewing machine has been left in the UK, I have to satisfy myself by immersing myself in kids' projects instead. Luckily, my eldest, who is nearly 4, is also keen and has jumped on this word 'Project' so much that she is asking for them constantly from the time she wakes up until the time she passes out at night. So here are a few of my favourite happy places I turn to when it comes to entertaining kids. The trouble is, I spend far too much time getting lost in the world of looking for makey-things, and not enough time actually preparing and buying the right crafts for said Project. So far we've painted a birdhouse, grown some cress and we're currently waiting for 5 caterpillars to flutter out of their chrysalis, having invested in one of those Insect Lores (my husband instigated this one).
For my inspiration, I always start with Pinterest, of course! I can lose hours and hours - and more hours - on here. Then there's my new favourite Kiwi Crate, every month they send you a box filled with all the materials you need for two or three projects. Wondrous! No need to scoot around several shops, only to get home and realise you've forgotten the key craft ingredient. I've also stumbled across The Artful Parent which is packed full of great projects. The American stalwart, Martha Stewart, also has some great things for rustling up quick and easy things for kids. Finally, Teach Preschool is a blog written by a dedicated and energetic pre-school teacher. I would LOVE to send my kids to her school, she does so many fun and interesting things and they're all posted here. This particular post has loads of fun and easy activities to get your summer started with water, sand, sticks and stones. In fact, all I need is this one page the whole summer long, let's keep things simple!Right, off I go...
Thank you so much Helen! What great inspiration. We'll be getting an insect lore too!
Happy Summer projecting!