Monday, August 9, 2010

We're Moving! a domain! This blog is now at

If you type in the blogspot url, it will not forward you to the new site.

If you are a google follower, I do not have that set up yet on the new site, but you can subscribe through RSS. (This is all very new to me!)

If you have a blog that you would like me to visit and possibly link to, would you mind posting another comment on the new site? Since I only had a few posts, I chose to re-do them rather than transferring posts and comments.


Hopefully we'll be up and running with new posts today or tomorrow!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Posterboard Car Mat

Here is a very simple idea that for some reason has entertained my boys for hours! All you need is a posterboard. Decorate it with roads, train tracks, parking spaces, etc., and you have an instant play mat for small cars! We have made several of these over the last few years of parenting boys. The boys don't usually last long with coloring/drawing, so we usually add to our mat over the course of a few days.

The mat we made today has a McDonald's drive-thru and a lake for our Hot Wheels boats. It's fun to have something on it that encourages imaginative play. And, I love having an activity that involves the boys sitting on the floor totally engrossed in something rather than wearing costumes and running through the house!!!! (We do actually have time for costumes most days, but at times the noise level has just got to come down!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010


During the freak Texas snowstorm of 2010, my parents had two trees that were badly damaged. My boys were sad that their trees looked so bad, but thrilled when Grandma brought over these branches to make slingshots with!

To make one, you need a branch with a good "Y" shape, something to make the pouch with, and some rubber bands. We used a square of leather from an old jacket. (Remember those bomber jackets that everyone wore in the early 90's?? Yep, got one for Christmas my 8th grade year. My mom also used that jacket to make a cowboy vest and chaps for the boys.)

Use a hole punch to put a hole in each side.

Thread a rubber band through each hole like you are putting on a luggage tag.

Like this.

Yeah!! A slingshot!

What will make or break this activity is what you have to shoot with. Bouncy balls? No. Rocks? Absolutely not. The first thing we tried was little paper balls, but we have a baby who is obsessed with eating paper. After some trial and error, we chose to cut up an unused sponge into small squares. These work really well. I imagine craft puff balls would work well too.

Ready to shoot!

A few things to mention:
  • This activity seems to be good for ages 4+. When we first did this back in the winter, my 3 1/2 year old son was not coordinated enough to shoot it. We did it again today (he'll be 4 in two months) and he did pretty well.
  • We had some trouble with the rubber bands working their way off the top. A second rubber band wrapped around the top solved that problem.
  • It's best if there is not a lot of extra slack in the rubber bands.
  • We have two sticks, and the one with the widest "Y" works best.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Digging... one of the things we do best!

This idea is pretty basic, but my boys have literally spent hours digging in pinto beans! When my oldest son was 2, we began our search for something to dig in. He spent a lot of time digging in a pan full of uncooked rice. Now that we have more kids, I like pinto beans better because the clean-up is easier. We have also used un-popped popcorn. This baking pan was one that always burnt things, so now it has become a construction site. If you're willing to sweep up the aftermath, this is a great way to keep preschoolers busy!

Preschooler hands are so adorable!

When we're feeling a little more domestic, we have also used measuring cups and spoons to play in the beans!

Why this blog?

In our house, we often experience "boy default mode." This is what boys do when they have nothing else to do. In our house, boy default mode consists of putting on a belt, sticking a toy sword or gun in the belt, and running around the house. Another option is tying a blanket around one's neck as a cape and running around the house. One word best describes boy default mode: wild.

In looking for a solution to this, I am tempted to think that the kids need new or different toys, or maybe different books to read. My husband is always good to remind me that the issue is not a lack of toys - they just need more creative ideas.

As Christians, we have some specific goals in mind when it comes to how our boys spend their time.
We want them to be:
  • Learning to work diligently, as unto the Lord. This means completing school work and learning to do various chores around the house.
  • Growing in the their knowledge of God. This happens all throughout the day in unplanned ways, but specifically during our morning Bible Time.
  • Content with what they have. Not always clamoring for a new toy, because new stuff will never make us happy.
  • Good stewards of our resources. Taking care of our things. Making toys and games out of what we already have.
  • Taking opportunities to serve others. We have lots of ideas to implement here, and we hope to post about projects that young boys can do to serve others.
My oldest son, Aidan, is very excited about this blog! He loves to do projects together, and frankly, I need some accountability to make that more of a priority. We hope to post some easy activity ideas first, and also post about our Bible Time, which we have recently named "Christian Soliders Club."