Thursday, January 17, 2008

Keeping busy in the winter...

The winter months are perfect for projects. Sure, you can go outside, but the time spent out there is significantly less, and the stuff you can do out there is pretty limited. Walks, building snow structures and sledding. And all of them are cold. I've been busily organizing things. The dreaded pan cupboard. The bookshelves. Tax records (ha!). Dresser drawers. When I'm not organizing like a crank addict with OCD, I knit and sew, read and cook. I'm busy.

The kids, however, are going insane. Up until last week or so, they were filling their days with arguments, inappropriate indoor behavior (water balloons, slingshots and roller-skating, to name a few), and slowly driving me insane with tattling. But something happened last week, when they suddenly realized they could be doing projects. Useful projects, like knitted potholders and decorated candles. Decorative projects like wall hangings and cross-stitch. A literally endless supply of projects to keep a person busy for an endless number of winters.

First, Cadence decided she'd draw pictures of all the planets to put up on her bedroom walls. She started with Saturn because, "It's the coolest planet. Besides Earth I mean." She asked how many moons Saturn has, and Vic told her Saturn has more than sixty. Here's how it turned out:

By my count, there's only 59 in this picture, but close enough I think.

Next, I showed them how to make what my Girl Scout leader called a God's Eye. Riley surprised me by catching on to the technique very quickly:Chad is experimenting with different wrapping arrangements, but hasn't been satisfied enough with anything to allow me to photograph it.

Then, they all made Dream Catchers. After a few failed attempts using regular sticks from the yard, Chad thought of using grape vine, which we happen to have an abundance of, since after the vine has been cut, torn up by the roots and even burnt repeatedly, just Will Not Die. Throw in some beads and chicken feathers, and you've got yourself a pretty awesome dream catcher to hang over the bed:Riley's (She's four, you know).


And Chad's. He helped the girls with theirs, but was sure that his was the most elaborate. He later complained that the star was not geometrically perfect, but it must have been good enough to hang over his bed.

As I type, they are all three in Chad's room cutting apart a dowel and making an exercise area in the rat cage. They're happily working together, and I've had an entire afternoon for my own projects and time-wasters. I'm starting to like winter.


Robinella said...

Oh, I love it! I have a collection in my pantry of those paper towel cardboard center things, egg cartons, plastic soda bottles, etc and when it gets crazy, I pull them out along with scissors, tape and glue. It kills a little time.

Robinella said...

Oh and do tell me all of the comments or write that post regarding my "series'. I'm eager to hear it.

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful when they start engaging in projects. I think my kids need to get going on some things, although, they really need to spend more time in other school work.
I have been doing a little organizing myself, but not getting as far as I would like.

Holly said...

Lucky you. The best I've been able to do is to get James outside throwing rocks for about 5 minutes of precious silence.

And the only thing I saw as inappropriate on your inside list was water balloons. Low standards :-).

Heather said...

Holly, the roller-skating was on the carpet. Right after I'd steam cleaned them and they were still wet, and the skates were last used on a muddy sidewalk. There were muddy parallel lines all across the floor. It's funny now, but at the time I was furious!

MOM #1 said...

I love all of that creativity! The projects are great.