fall activity #9 and #10.

Think outside the box.

#3 pretending to be on TV...American Idol to be more specific.

#2 and #3 playing school. (#4 is in there too somewhere...I think they might be sitting on her.)

Now, they're hosting a cooking show on The Food Network. The recipe for the day has something to do with "pasta soup."

They've made me change the channel and now I'm watching American Idol again.

This is a picture capturing #2 and her next idea for the box. "A rocket ship Mom!!!"

Non-stop fun in a cardboard box.

Great fall activity for the kiddies on cold and rainy days.  Take a couple of boxes and let their imagination run wild.  (Not pictured:  two other boxes that they have transformed into cars…but are now contemplating adding them to the box above to make a whole apartment complex because when they grow up, they are all going to live together next door to each other apparently.)

The fun was also in the planning process for them: deciding the purpose of the box, decorating it, and adding other recyclable items like smaller boxes, paper cups, and scrap paper to the inside.  This “boxed” fun lasted for hours and they still pull the box out when they’re bored and figure out another use for it like:

  • a princess castle
  • a store front
  • a train
  • a submarine
  • a super-duper computer
  • a camping tent
  • a robot

This “box” activity is also not limited to children:

This led me to fall activity #10:  The Big Purge.

The kids playing with blue bin items for hours led me to wonder if they indeed really needed all the toys that are cluttering our basement.  They tended to gravitate to activities they could play together and that ignited some sort of creative spark.

So….

We have donated a huge chunk of their toys that have been sitting in piles in our basement and books that they are not interested in anymore.  I’ve realized that my children love playing pretend and creating things so we are now limiting most of their play stuff to fall under the following categories: Dress-Up/Pretend, Kitchen/Food, Arts & Crafts, Family/House, Sports and Board Games.  They now choose an activity to do together and run with it on their own.  On mornings without #2, the little ones need a push to play together.  For example, I’ll set up a grocery store, complete with shopping bags, a cash register, and money.  This is usually enough for them to get going.  This activity can now morph into bringing the groceries home to cook or set up a restaurant.  At this point, they’re in full make-believe mode and I can now tend to the baby, attack my laundry, or eat (OR do all of the above simultaneously).

With the holiday season approaching, we decided that streamlining makes room for all the goodies the kids will be receiving.  In one corner of our basement, where a huge pile of miscellaneous toys used to reside, we now have a pile of blankets and pillows and large stuffed toys where the kids build forts, nests, or just cuddle when they watch a DVD together.

Just another way we are making our lives simpler as a family of 7 living in 1100 square feet of space.

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