Condo Crafts for the Craftless
I have a friend who has four kids, always looks fabulous, and regularly gets well-balanced meals on the table by 6 p.m. Her baby never cries, spelling tests are never forgotten, and her kids are always appropriately color-coordinated for special occasions.
But what really impresses me about my friend-what truly blows my mind-is that she is crafty. She can turn a scrap of ribbon, lint and a paperclip into an emergency hair accessory. She is Mommy MacGyver.
She and I are different.
What does all this have to do with a ski vacation? Sometimes they go awry. Extreme cold, snowstorms or sickness can trap you in the condo. And usually by the time 2 pm rolls around, the little ones are sick and tired of another episode of Sponge Bob. Beg and plead as much as you want. "Look! This is the one where Plankton and Sponge Bob sing "The Friend Song!" usually doesn't fly after four straight hours of enforced television.
What you will likely hear is, "But Mommy, we want to doooooooo something!"
Look around your condo. What can you do with six spoons, four pillows, aluminum foil and a promotional magazine? If you’re a crafty mom, anything. But if you’re like me, you’re going to need a little more help.
We need to plan ahead for this kind of situation. Just a small amount of pre-packaged preparation will save the afternoon.
Non-crafty Snowmama, this one's for you.
Shrinky-Dinks: Encourage slow, careful coloring with Shrinky-Dinks, that according to the website, “shrink to approximately 1/3rd their original size and actually become 9 times thicker,” by putting the Shrinky-Dink piece you created in the oven “for 2 magic minutes.” The kids can watch as their creations get smaller—the shrinking is part of the event! http://www.shrinkydinks.com Shrink in small batches. If you haven't seen the Shrinky Dink magic in the past 30 years or so, I assure you, it's exhilarating.
Play-Doh: I know. I don't want to drag the Play-Doh accessories kit either. Just pick up a couple of four packs, cut the dough into quarters or eighths and distribute accordingly. Pick up a lump yourself and whip up a snowman. It's strangely satisfying.
Coloring Books: Just straight coloring books, the kind you get at the dollar store. A box of crayons. Done.
Pipe Cleaners: Not Bendaroos, though they will work too, not a pipe cleaner activity kit, just a big bag of pipe cleaners that you can pick up at a craft store. Toss them on the table. Watch your kiddies go to town.
Everything I mentioned is simple, cheap and easy to pack. Well worth tossing in the bag.
I hope you don't need any of these. I wish you and your family sunny weather, perfect health, and long days on the mountain. But it never hurts to be prepared.
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