Need some ideas for activities with the kiddos? Here's a good way to start. Lay out a plethora of supplies and let them go to town methodically (and even at times chaotically) coming up with their own crafts. Pipe cleaners, popscile sticks, plastic eye balls, stickers, little pom poms, styrophoam craft balls, markers, paper...it's endless what they can come up with especially with loads of tape and kid friendly glue (is there really such a thing?). The coolest addition to the art supplies have been foam flower blocks. You can find them anywhere but of course I'm an advocate of the dollar store for crafts because it makes it so very easy to stock up. These blocks came in a pkg of four!
A great sensory toddler activity is letting the littles explore and put different things inside the block because it's soft and pliable enough to do themselves. Miss Ruby was entertained by placing popsicle sticks in her flower block one by one until she couldn't find anymore room left and then taking them out and doing it all over again.
Nevaeh was my kind of girl- she has christmas on her mind all year round and not surprisingly made a snowman from the styrofoam balls and then glued her snowman to a flower block (she is at the age that with supervision has learned to use a glue gun for her projects).
Next, was painting the windows using a window marker- you know the ones you use to graffiti on car windows without getting into trouble? Also a dollar store find.
If you don't have the craft supplies or simply just don't have the time, you can change it up with crafts/toys you already have and rethink ways to use them. For example, our aquadoodle mats & mat to go, the kids already love but I didn't want them to get bored using. So, instead of using the normal pen (which is just filled with water) we switched it out with different paint brushes that they can dip in water to "paint".
For family meal time, don't be afraid to make a mess together. We made little pizzas with kitty and dog faces. Even though they didn't turn out the tastiest, your kids will be happier when they are involved in the process AND are more likely to try new things.
Macaroni for whiskers? What can I say? Use your imagination! Your kids will enjoy it and so will you =)