I hope you all are soaking in the last month of summer!
The temperatures have dropped a bit and we have been enjoying the outdoors. I am blessed to live an incredible place. Every summer Sun Valley puts on an amazing few weeks of evening programs in which incredibly talented musicians play. I love packing up a picnic dinner and my family and heading up to the symphony to enjoy an evening in the grass listening to amazing music.
This year as I packed up some meatball subs I added my new favorite sanity saver to my bag! I call it the Tiny Tin! I pack this sweet little thing full of small art goodies. I add something different every time we use it so my girls are always excited to dig into it.
- A container, I used a tin I had laying around, but a quart sized plastic bag would work too
- Different colored note cards
- A couple sheets of stickers, circles and letters
- A couple different colors of sticky notes
- Tiny mechanical pencils
- Two different rolls of wiki tape
- Star paper punch
- Ink pad, for finger print art. I always have wet wipes with me, at all times, but if you aren’t a mother of diaper wearing children you might want to bag the ink?
I also bring along a different set of markers or crayons.
Today I also brought along our handy whiteboards and markers to use as a hard surface and a second activity.
So here is the tiny tin in all its glory! It kinda looks like a big mess, but remember it all fit into a tiny tin, so it is very manageable! My almost 2 year old is into the letter stickers and the tiny pencils. My 4 year old started with the ink and pencils. My little sister, 11 snatched up the white boards at first.
Soon the markers, stickers, tape and hole punch are all being used.
I kid you not this tiny tin and some white boards kept 4 kids of all ages entertained for over 45 minutes! My littlest did do a bit of switching with activities but she never lost interest in all of it. This is the magic of open ended art! One activity can capture the interest of any age. If I could have sat my 36 week pregnant butt down on that blanket comfortably I would have been crafting as well!
The way to keep a good length of interest is to add a lot of DIFFERENT items that do different things. Add a way to cut, put together, make a mark, different things to mark on. Each child will find a way to use all of these items together to their liking.
My 4 year old first started with pencils and ink fingerprints. Then she worked diligently on punching out stars. Next she added tape to hold on the stars, not an easy task for a 4 year old. Next she put on a train, or caterpillar of stickers! She told me her stars were shooting stars, which I adore! This paper alone took her 20 minutes! 20 minutes where I sat and enjoyed some Beethoven and a beautiful view!
I am always looking for a new idea of what to fit in my tin! What would go in yours?