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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cleaning House Collage

Today I'm linking up with Mama Kat for her Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop.
The prompt that inspired this post: Share a favorite craft or game that will keep your kids busy for at least 20 minutes.
Mama’s Losin’ It

Cleaning house Collage
Keeping a bouncy preschool boy busy AND out of trouble for more than about five minutes at a time is one of my greatest challenges.
Playtime with friends will occupy my son for long periods of time, but what to do when we’re home alone together and I have work to do or phone calls to make? 

It’s not just me right? You’ve probably experienced this too. You tell your child, "I need to make a few phone calls. I’ll be about 15 minutes.” Two minutes into the first phone call, your child is pulling on your leg (if you’re lucky – stomping on your foot if you’re not) and screaming/singing/making wild animal sounds as loudly as possible.
Sometimes, you just need to occupy your child long enough to get that one thing done without distraction and then you can go back to your usual multitasking supermom ways.
Sure, I could plunk him down in front of the TV, and sometimes that’s a necessity. Too much of that though and I’ll have to give back my Mom of the Year Award. Alright, I don’t really have a Mom of the Year Award, but pretending that I do is a real confidence boost. It makes me a better mom!
So here it is, my gift to you. This recently discovered activity keeps my child busy for long periods of time AND helps clean my house. I'm a piler. That is, I collect magazines and papers of all kinds in piles. Unfortunately, I don't enjoy cluttered spaces. I resolve this internal conflict by purging my piles pretty regularly. 
Jack recently discovered scissors and LOVES to cut things up. When it's time for a pile purge, I rifle through the magazines and papers setting aside any articles that I want to keep and then hand the rest to Jack. He then sits at his table with a large piece of craft paper, the magazines, scissors and a glue stick and collages to his heart's content. Here's his latest work:

Pretty cool, huh? It looked like so much fun that I just had to try it myself:
We moms need our creative outlets too!

Part of the reason that this works to keep Jack occupied is its novelty. I fully expect this craft to be utterly boring some day soon, and I will have to come up with a new quiet activity. Until then, I set supplies aside and ration them a bit. I have a little craft box full of goodies that comes out just on special occasions (i.e. when I need a moment of peace).

Here's to our children's creative energy. May it be used for good (fun collage crafts) rather than evil (child-inspired home renovation - aka vandalism).


  1. I bet my 3 year old twins would love this!!! I'm totally going to try it! Thanks for sharing, I'm stopping into visit you from Mama Kat's.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Heather. I hope the twins enjoy it!

  3. I used to have my sons do that, too!

  4. This is a great idea! I'll have to keep this in mind for when my daughter gets older and use it now for the daycare kids!

  5. Great idea! I'll have to keep this in mind!

  6. I'll have to keep this in mind to keep my little on entertained!

  7. That is a great idea!!
    P.S. I NEVER talk on the phone...thank goodness for texting ;)

  8. Ladies, I hope it works to keep your kiddies entertained. At least it keeps them from cutting up stuff you don't want them to cut up once they discover the joy of scissors!

    Jen, that's a good point. If only I didn't have two left thumbs... I'm hopeless with tiny keyboards!

  9. my kids can be so good and THE MINUTE I try to make a call chaos begins. I love your idea..think I'll try it.

    hi from Mamak's

  10. What IS that about? Sigh. Well, I hope they like this activity! Have fun with it!

  11. This is a fun work. Every body must like this. Don't worry just remain cool. The cleaners London giving you the advice.