Monday, June 18, 2012

Make a 3D town with trash from your house!

The other day I had to leave for work and Munchkin Girl was clinging to my legs and begging me not to leave.  Talk about kicking in the Mommy Guilt.  I worry all morning that they are at home, crying and feeling traumatized by my absence. Fortunately, when I walked in the door later that day, I realized that I should have stopped worrying minutes after I left my house because they had gotten along fine without me.  They spent the entire morning happily creating 3D town with their babysitter.

old boxes used for making a toy town made by toddlers and preschoolers

The town consisted of:
  • 2 trees (made from green construction paper and a paper towel holder)
  • A big house (made from a diaper box.  It's the one with the red roof)
  • 3 stores (made from various boxes)
  • A street where they drove cars
  • A swingset and slide
  • Several people, dogs, trains, etc
She took a bunch of old boxes from around the house, and took them to the garage.  They covered each box with a different color of paper and made each one into a different building and then decorated it.  She said this literally took the entire morning and they were happy and fully entertained for several hours, so if you're looking for something to do, this was a big hit!  My daughter (4) helped her make everything and Little Buddy (2) came over occasionally, but she also had the baby pool nearby so he went back and forth between the water and helping with the toy town.  Since they were in the garage, this worked really well.

The long box above is a Coke box, the big one is a diaper box, and the small two are cereal boxes. 

The details she did were amazing.  She wrapped a bunch of pieces of green paper together and taped them together.  Then they used scissors to cut a bunch of slits (great for fine motor) 

preschooler makes a tree from a toilet paper roll

closeup of the scissors used to make tree from a toilet paper roll

 They got to help decorate all of the houses.  They colored, they glued on stuff, they painted, they used stickers, all great fine motor and strength, not to mention concentration.

little kids spending time glueing stuff

close-up of toddler coloring

The finished product was quite a masterpiece. Now, I would never claim that I could do anything as creative as my wonderful baby-sitter.  She was born with a different creative geno-type than I was.  But if you're creative like her, you could consider using colored popsicle sticks to make a slide and a swingset.  For the swingset (below), she cut the tops off the sticks and then glued them to the horizontal one.  Then she wrapped some yarn around the top and looped it through a bead.  For the slide, she just cut up the sticks and glued them together. 

fun with little kids making swingset out of colored popsicle sticks

And for her final magic trick, she used a bunch of beads to make that little doll!  She used a pipe cleaner to hold them all together and glued a button to the bottom to make it stand up.  The hat is a small pink bead, the arms are beads, the face is a bead with a face drawn on.  WOW.  She is amazing.  And the kids adore their new little town, where they can play with their dolls and trucks, knowing that they helped to build it!

If you liked this post, you will LOVE my new book (which is currently ranked#10 on Amazon in the category of Motherhood!).  My co-author and former Kindergarten teacher, Susan Case, gives dozens of ideas on how to introduce letters in meaningful ways and we have an entire chapter on preparing your child for Kindergarten.  We worked together to give a Mom's point of view and a teacher's point of view, so that we could give you activities that not only keep the kids busy, but also keep them motivated to learn and develop their natural curiosity. 

Did you enjoy my post?  PRETTY PLEASE click below so I get a vote for Top Mommy Blogs!  I really want to get back into the top 5!!     I really appreciate your support!!  Oh, and if you think of it, I'd love a G+!

most creative mom blogs with stuff to do for toddlers
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  1. Uh, do you have the best babysitter ever? What a great idea!

  2. That is fantastic!! What a great way to keep the little ones occupied while working on their fine motor skills and creative thinking abilities :) You have an awesome babysitter!