Thursday, December 20, 2012

Painless projects for preschoolers! {YES!!}

A few days ago, I read a review on Ain't No Mom Jeans for the Kiwi Crate.  The stellar review combined with a lovely $10 off coupon code was too good to pass up.  Not only that, but the company was even offering free shipping!  (I signed up.)  Unexpectedly, the shipping was also FAST.  Our crate arrived yesterday and we opened it this morning.  

It was a HUGE hit.  The box is small, but it was packed with goodies.  Cardboard penguins with markers and stickers for decorating them, Fiskar scissors for little hands, Pentel oil pastels and watercolor paints, penguin postcards ready to become masterpieces, a penguin shaped ice cube tray, and instruction booklets that also include fun facts and interesting "explore more!" experiments to try.

The boxes are geared towards kids ages 3-7, and I'd say that Kiwi Crate personnel are spot on in their age assessment.  Josiah (4) and Thomas (5) were the most interested in longer term play with the penguins, but Jonathan (7) was just as interested in creating them.  Jonathan especially enjoyed the inclusion of "real oil pastels!"

This is exactly the kind of thing that the kids always want to do with me, but usually is too daunting for me to pull off by myself.  After all, I'd have to spend time combing the internet for the do-able crafts, then go to the store for craft materials (which, frankly, would probably cost more to get at Michaels than the whole Kiwi Crate cost!)  And by the time I got home I wouldn't want to do the project AT ALL.  

{Someone tell me that I'm not the only one who feels this way about projects? Please?}

The kids were thrilled with their penguin "family", and after bowling for a bit ended up taking them to bed with them for quiet time.

Bottom line: I highly recommend Kiwi Crate.  Purchase through a link in this post and you'll get $10 off your first month's box, and I get referral credit too (which is always nice). :)  It is a monthly subscription that you're signing up for, but the website is easy to navigate and if you decide you don't want to continue, you can deactivate your subscription with a click.  Considering the results of this first box, I plan to continue my subscription indefinitely.  This is perfect for preschool/kindergarten and I know my boys will look forward to their box each month!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Necessity is the mother of invention

Jonathan loves to create things.  If it were up to him, each day would be one long string of experiments, projects, and inventions.  I can't even begin to keep up with all the things he wants to do!  This morning we made this wreath together. 

He had a surprisingly good eye for balance and design!  Then later, he went to the store with Daddy to get the needed groceries, so that he could make soup for lunch all by himself.  I interpreted the directions, and he did all the cutting himself, except for the onion (slippery skins!)  I'm not sure the result was quite his favorite, but he was very proud!

I'm trying to look at my lack of energy and frequent time spent in bed or on the couch as an opportunity to teach Jonathan to be more independent in his creating.  Today he certainly managed well!

Edited to add: Christmas gifts for family and friends are going to be homemade this year - Jonathan's idea and another fun project for us to do together! :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Homemade lego advent calendar

Jonathan created his very own Lego advent calendar this year. 

The first four days we found the following treasures:
Day 1: Shepherd and lamb
Day 2: Three kings, bearing gifts
Day 3: the Star of Bethlehem in Christmas colors
Day 4: King Herod
I love the creativity!  Who needs $50 advent calendars when you have a 7 year old boy to make them for you!