Here is an awesome idea from Family Fun to keep stashed in your brain for those moments when you must find something to entertain the kids... make a mini-flip book! My kids and their friends love making "books," but rarely get past more than a few pages before their attention dwindles. These small books fit the need perfectly, and give them a great feeling of accomplishment. Their handy size makes for easy transport in those small hands and small bags/belts or wherever they are stashing their gear for the day.
(directions also in pdf at end of post)
|Step 1 and 2: fold paper as indicated|
|Step 3: fold paper in half lengthwise|
|Step 4: Cut a narrow slit between the fold lines along the edge|
|Step 5: pinch ends of paper closed, then push hands towards each other, forcing the paper to open along the folds and slit,|
|Step 6: Keep pushing until the slit opens where paper creases|
|Step 6 continued: here is another view of the action|
|Step 7: Keep pushing the ends together and flatten into a book shape.|
Time to write those books... Get that creative mind going!
We've found book making to be an especially helpful activity on playdates. Making mini-books is a great way to help them get a rest between their intense games. Rest=better mood=happy mommy!
If your little one needs some inspiration for drawing, don't forget about Ed Emberley! I actually saved my copy from childhood... If you aren't familiar with Ed, you need to take a look. He teaches how to draw in simple step, based on simple shapes like dots, letters, and the alphabet. I'm showing the animal one here but there are other options, including one on on trucks and trains. Amazon has some of these on a 4 for the price of 3 promotion. What a deal!
If that still doesn't inspire your little one, be sure to check out the award winning picture book, "THE DOT" by Peter H. Reynolds. A girl who is frustrated with drawing ends up making a dot for her art project. With gentle encouragement from her teacher, Vashti's dot art grows into her own exhibition. My favorite part is the ending, when Vashti extends what she's learned about encouraging others from her teacher and passes it on to another struggling artist-to be. Aww, shucks!
One more favorite story about art and creativity... In Willow, by Denise Brennan-Nelson, Rosemarie Brennan, and Cyd Moore, it is the art teacher who is frustrated and the student who insprires her. All little ones need to hear this story as they enter public school with all its rules and conformities (do apples always have to be red?). Willow's creative heart wins everyone over. Be true to yourself!