Working from home with kids means two things: late nights in front of the computer and lots of art projects. Nothing keeps a toddler occupied like art. Except “Yo Gabba Gabba” — that crazy show can mesmerize a kid.
Luckily, fall lends itself to crafting galore.
The first thing I did was pick up two pie pumpkins from the grocery store. Pie pumpkins are much smaller than carving pumpkins, which makes them easier for children to handle. For decoration, I just let the kids color all over them with washable marker. Not only did they have a ball coloring, but if the pumpkins last until Halloween, I’ll wash them and make my first pumpkin pie from scratch.
Our next project was one I remember doing when I was a kid: tissue ghosts. The easiest project ever. Ball up one piece of tissue, cover it with another and tie the “neck” with a piece of yarn. Color on a face and you have a ghost. We added googly eyes to ours because, yes, I’m the type of mom who has a bag of googly eyes on hand. This also taught me that my 2 ½-year-old is much better with glue then I had thought, which opened up a whole new world of projects, like marshmallow art.
Another day was filled with art projects using stuff from the stash: yarn, glitter, markers, crayons, foam stickers and marshmallows. I actually had two half-bags of stale marshmallows in my kitchen. (No, I’m not that much of a hoarder. But what else do you put in those unreachable cabinets above the refrigerator?)
Marshmallow art is such a kid-friendly project. All you need is glue, mini marshmallows and paper. Draw the shape of a ghost, skeleton, etc., on the paper with glue and let your kid outline the shape with the marshmallows. Just prepare yourself for the impending sugar crash if they sneak too many.
We also drew monsters on squares of colored paper and decorated them with yarn and glitter. After everything dried, we fastened our projects to some pretty ribbon yarn and made a garland for the bookcase.
There were some other tried-and-true methods of distracting the kids. Play-Doh is always within arm’s reach. A fort was built, and destroyed and built again. There are more fall crafts down the line too, but for now, I’m just waiting for next week, when the kids go back to school and I get a break.