Frugal Crafts with Kids
As a Work-From-Home Mom, I have the unique opportunity to stay with my kids all day and telecommute for work. Yes, there is someone crazy enough to do two full-time jobs simultaneously at once with two children under the age of 4. So you can imagine there are obvious reasons why I penny pinch and look for quiet past times during work hours, like doing frugal crafts with kids. Much to my husband's dismay, I save almost everything made of plastic, especially if it has a lid. Case in point: the plastic frozen lil' hoagie tray. After I baked all these little snacks, I felt guilty throwing away the unique tray they came in. My first thought when it sat empty was.... PAINT CUPS! Yes- I filled my lil' hoagie tray with finger paint and it has worked out splendidly.
Transforming cast-aside "junk" into recycled art supplies and projects are a welcomed distraction not just for the kids but for mom too. Using something I was going to throw away anyway but decided to keep makes it easier on my nerves and I can relax more when I know valuable things aren't being destroyed in the process. The other added benefit is that it helps my children use their imagination- who knew a row in the egg carton could be a caterpillar? So I usually go to Pinterest first to check out what other parents/or teachers have done and then do my own cheaper version with whatever supplies I have on hand.
Some of the best frugal crafts are made with trash, yes, trash.
Toddler painting around my house usually consists of these supplies
1.)Bubble wrap for texture when painted and stamped on paper (and the kids like to pop the bubbles)
2.)Toilet paper rolls are good stamps too and can be thrown away when done.
3.)Used paper, I use the back side of my giant desk calendar once the month is over (but have been known to let them draw on old bills
4.) Q-tips for dabbing and making lines
5.) Crayola washable finger paint
6.) Oh- and handmade aprons from grandma (thanks mom!)
I have tried this activity both indoors supervised, and outdoors, semi-supervised. Each time, the girls are very quiet; only the indoor version wasn't quite as messy as the outdoor. Luckily- the paint truly is washable though I do have a painted umbrella, concrete patio, lawn chair, and toddler slide. Although I am starting to really enjoy the little touches of magenta spread around the yard, its very artsy.
And each time I see one of those little paint spots, I am reminded at how much fun they have together and how good I feel that they are doing something creative and fun. I love recycling and frugal crafts are a great way to keep kids active and save mom money!
**Please note: Pictures in this post cannot be used unless permission is asked**