At the beginning of the school year, I budget quite a bit of our homeschool money for crafts, markers, crayons, and art supplies. My children know that they are welcome to any of those supplies at any time (as long as they clean up when they’re finished!).
I’ve noticed that my little girls – ages 4 and 6 – sometimes seem overwhelmed from all of the choices. So instead of choosing to use their imaginations and design a new creation, they choose to do nothing at all.
I have found with younger children, that it’s better to only offer 1 or 2 choices.
1) They still have the opportunity to feel important by making the choice.
2) They don’t feel completely overwhelmed by too much stimuli.
I have also found this to be true whether we’re talking about crafts, what they would like for lunch, or choosing their own clothes.
While in the school room one day, I was brainstorming about alternate methods for storing our craft supplies. How could I take away the multitude of choices, but still have a variety of supplies to use?
Then it dawned on me: I should make an activity basket for my girls and only include just a few activities.
Then they can easily choose between the 1 or 2 activities I’ve included.
In short: My girls absolutely adore this new idea for activity baskets!
I have a growing list of activity basket ideas that I’ll post another day. For now, I’ll give you a peek at this week’s basket, which was a total hit!
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Activity Basket for Kids: I Can Draw Animals!
Since this first activity basket was a bit of a test run, I only included 1 activity, but it was a good one!
I used one of our baskets from the dollar store as the container. I included:
♥ I Can Draw Animals from Usborne Books & More
♥ A selection of pretty paper that I found for 25 cents/pack on clearance at Wal-Mart
♥ Mr. Sketch Scented Magic Markers (because they’re just fun!)
♥ 24-pack of Crayola colored pencils (because the points don’t break as easily as the generic pencils)
I placed all of the items in the new activity basket and waited for one of my girls to discover it.
Discovering the New Activity Basket
And discover it, they did!
One evening while I was washing the supper dishes, I realized that the girls were in the school room, but they were unusually quiet.
I walk in to to find both my 6 and 4-year-olds busily drawing away!
My 6 year-old said, “Mama! This is the best gift ever! I’m going to sit here all night and draw!”
My 4 year-old loved the I Can Draw Animals book just as much and was eager to follow the drawing directions just like her big sis.
I Can Draw Animals Book
I chose to include I Can Draw Animals book because the directions are super simple – simple enough for even my 4 year-old to follow!
The book has a variety of animals from which to choose: monkeys, fish, horses, lions, dolphins, and more.
I consider these animal art lessons to be little imagination starters.
Sure, my daughter was able to draw a dolphin using the book’s suggestions. But then she brainstormed the ocean in which the dolphin should swim and the sun shining on the water.
The animal ideas are helpful to start a whole cascade of creativity. I love it!
I just adore this picture of my 4 year-old’s lion and its mane!
She was so proud of her accomplishment!
My goal is to make a new activity basket for them each week. On weeks we will be spending a lot of time at home, I’ll change out the activity basket mid-week just for extra variety.
What are some things you would put in an activity basket for your children?
More Animal Activities for Kids!
I am excited to be a part of The Story Corner Blog Hop! Please visit the other co-hosts to find more animal activities!
To the Moon and Back: Mix and Match Animal Game
Kathy’s Cluttered Mind: Poisonous Animals and Itsy Bitsy Spider Craft
Sunny Day Family: Dogs, Dogs! Memory Matching Game
Whatsoever is Lovely Living: Reading with George
Growing Book by Book: Shark Sight Words
Life Over C’s: Panda Bear Playdough Fun
Line Upon Line Learning: Farmyard Tales Sticker Stories
Pichea Place: Sea Animal Paper Plate Aquariums
True Aim Education: How to Draw a Parrot for Kids
This is just what I need to do. Our school room and playroom are so full it’s overwhelming. I should take just a bit out and leave it for my 3yo to find! Thanks for the great idea. and your 4yo’s lion is adorable!
Thank you for stopping by, Rebecca! I will tell my 4yo you loved her lion (as did I!).
Ashley Pichea (PicheaPlace.com)
I love this, Lauren! My goal with educational books and materials is very similar – give them a diving board to plunge into the depths of knowledge!
Thank you, Ashley! I love your diving board analogy – so true!!
Thank you for stopping by today! 🙂
Love this idea! And definitely going to look into that book; my 3-year-old loves to draw (with directions from me, in the form of “now make a head, then give it eyes and a nose and a mouth, then…), and I think that a book like this might be something he’d be interested in. Thanks for sharing!
Oh your 3yo will LOVE that book! There’s several in the series and they all have those super simple steps, perfect for a variety of ages.
Thanks for stopping by today! 🙂
This is so simple yet such a great idea! The basket of goodies is so welcoming and I love that you included fancy paper. I know my twin girls would love this!
By the way, your girls’ drawings are adorable 🙂
Monica, thank you! I think they are so sweet, too!! 🙂
These baskets take me about 10 minutes max to put together. And I’ll tell you, they make my girls feel incredibly special!
Not only is it a fresh way for them to play with their toys (and everyone once in awhile, something new), but it makes their little hearts feel so loved.
My goal is to post one every week, so make sure you check back often for ideas! xo
This is a really good idea through children will learn to be creative thanks for sharing.
Glad you could use the idea! 🙂