As with most, I struggle with motivation during winter. We all just want to stop, hibernate and rest; not do much of anything at all. Sadly the small people in our lives have no clue how to STOP and rest. So, carry on we must!
I think I am far better prepared for activities, keeping little hands busy, during the warmer months - water play anyone? Being outside is just the best medicine for ANYTHING. Some sunshine and fresh air will heal most ailments and put us in a better mood. But if you live in a climate that is just too cold or wet to be outside regularly during the colder months, it's understandable why the kids (and parents) start climbing the walls. It just feels harder when it's dark and cold and grey and you have to put ten layers on before walking out the door.. so thank goodness for Em and her deadline or we would never have tried this new little after school activity!
My five year old had the most awesome afternoon of meltdowns yesterday. His best on record I believe. I love how he chooses school pick up for his most dramatic performance. Always good for the parental self esteem. BUT - once we were home (and able to scream and flip out in the privacy of our own home) - for a WHOLE HOUR - while his fingers, mind and mouth were busy with this activity - he turned back into the happy, polite, funny child I know him to be. Of course upon completion of activity he resumed fighting/arguing/meltdown mode. BUT we were an hour closer to bed time. Hurrah!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED FOR THIS FUN, NUTRITIOUS AND DELICIOUS CRAFTY AFFAIR..
Assortment of fruit + veg
Sultanas, dried cranberries, small marshmallows (anything that can be used for eyes, tails, beaks..)
Chop up all your fruit + veg. You won't need a whole heap of it, a little bit goes a surprisingly long way. We used about 2/3 of what we cut up and the rest became fruit salad. Be sure to vary your chopping technique! Different shapes can become different body parts or objects.
Place your fruity delights in the centre of the table and.. create!
It's as easy as that. The kids really surprised me with how enthusiastic they were from the get go. They nibbled as they created different settings on their plates, or would wait to finish a picture, admire their creative genius.. and then eat it!
We made Hiccup and Queen Elsa (of course), a fairy castle, magic cottage, sailboats, submarine, a fruit man, turtle, porcupine, beetle, ladybird, playground, shiny sun.. the possibilities are endless! Mr 3 was very fond of the fruit mash up with cup, water and straw, occasionally fashioning an orange and grape boat, but mostly just thieving everyone's grapes and cucumber.
Ideally this would be a great morning tea activity for the weekend so there was no school or kindy to contend with and everyone can join in, fresh and happy. The window of opportunity between concentration, readers and dinnertime is only open ever so slightly. But we did it! And it was even more fun than I had expected. And it saved my sanity for the afternoon! Hurrah again!