Creative preschool activity -- painting on paper plates

We haven’t mastered many parenting topics, but every once in a while we accidently run across a great trick that solves one of life’s little problems, at least temporarily.

Our latest and greatest discovery has been … the garbage can! Or at least the threat thereof ;).

A bit of backstory here: the dreaded B word (BORED) has begun to surface in our house – the kind of bored where the boys throw every couch cushion and pillow on the floor, jump on them like little hooligans, then flop down and complain that there’s nothing to do.

My response usually goes something like this:

So, what I’m hearing is that the couch cushions are the best toy you could find? Did you know that we actually bought those for their functional value, not for entertainment? And that we have bought and received several (dozen, hundred, thousand?) toys and games and books specifically for your enlightenment and entertainment? And now you can’t possibly think of anything to do? It makes a mama think that we have too many toys in this house and I should throw them away to save some space.

In response to the inevitable desperate cries of “No! We love All The Toys!”, I give them to the count of 10 to show me one such toy that they truly love, or else I’ll choose something to throw away way so I can make our house that much cleaner.

toy storage in IKEA ottomanFrantic scrambling ensues and forgotten toy buckets (the kind from IKEA that double as an ottoman so they’re forever present yet somehow invisible) get thrown open and contents dumped. Loose toys are proudly announced to be the Best Toy Ever, then again forgotten a few minutes later.

For the past few months of playing this parent card, the winning activity nearly every time has been our “creation station.” So in their quest to prove to me how much they love their toys, the boys consistently turn to the collection of loose recyclables and craft supplies we’ve made available to them.

The irony is great, but I love their creativity so we go with it.




Creative preschool activity -- coloring with chalk on paper

This particular morning, the boys decided to experiment with chalk on paper and paint on plates. Later I had the following cute moment with J:

Lil Dude imitates everything big brother does. I found him drowning a piece of paper in white Elmer glue and asked him what he was doing.

“I’m gluing!”

“What are you gluing?”

“The paper!”

“I see. What are you going to put on the glue that’s on the paper?”


That works for me.

He had a 6 layer paper-glue-paper sandwich by the time we were done. Then he jumped up and down, delighted with himself shouting, “We did it! We did it!”

Side note: During the winter months the boys actually got into a pretty good routine of staying indoors and playing calmly with a rotation of toys, playing for hours at a time with their legos or playmobile or parade of Paw Patrol characters. So I do have a little reason to believe that in a new season of life (ha, pun intended) toys and games will come back in vogue.

And since this is sounding a little heavy on First World Problems, my next post will be about the simple joys of sticks and stones :).


If you’d like to visit my store to see my (small but growing!) library of learning resources focused on math for Pre-K through Geometry, you can check it out here: