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By Step2 on April 26th, 2012 | Posted in Hints and Tips
“Mommy, I’m bored…” is definitely one of the most common phrases to come out of my child’s mouth. Over the years, I have learned how to defend against the inevitable boredom that sets in after my children spend too much time playing with the same toys and games day after day. The versatility of a child activity table has been a lifesaver for me and my kids.
I have found that setting up a comfortable table that is full of different designs and colors entices my children to play and stimulates their imaginations. As the kids color books or draw, they improve their hand-eye coordination and enhance their motor skills. While they build impressive building block structures or assemble dominoes, they are nurturing skills like problem-solving and creative thinking. The child activity table is also a great place for my kids to interact with friends. They love showing off their artwork, and I love watching them build social skills.
Most child activity tables are also low maintenance. I find it very easy to clean up spills, wipe off marker and fold it up for easy storage. I would definitely recommend that any parent or grandparent set one up. It is a great tool for fostering ingenuity and helps keep the childhood years free from boredom.
Children today observe their parents watching television, playing video games and spending time on the computer. If you are hoping to entice your toddlers to spend time with imaginative play instead of TV and technology, consider purchasing an activity table. Toddlers love to get their hands dirty and create using their imagination. There are many different activities to choose from including sand tables, water tables and game tables.
If you cannot take your grand-kids to the beach every weekend, or if you live in a cooler climate, the next best thing is a sand activity table for toddlers. This table can be placed inside or outside depending on how much mess you are willing to deal with. The children will love making castles, creating roads and building mountains all within the table. If you enjoy getting your hands dirty along with the kids, you will love the elevated structure so you don’t have to get up and down off of the floor. The activity table is at a perfect height for your toddler and she will love spending hours playing in the sand instead of watching television or playing video games.
Another great way to set limits on TV and technology time is with a water activity table for toddlers. If you already have the sand table or you are worried about a mess, the water table will be great. If your son or grandson loves to float toy boats in the bathtub, you will love the convenience of a simple water activity set in the playroom or in the backyard. Children love to spend time outside when the sun is shinning and weather is warm. Give the kids hours of fun with a durable water table and shut down the computer for the rest of the day.
To lure the children away from the television, putting a fun game table inside or outside will do a great job. If you have two or three toddlers who enjoy playing simple board games, pretending to have a tea party, or working on art projects, a large activity table will be a good use of space. Not everyone wants to have the kids’ toys all over the family room or dining room, with a small activity table you will be able to entertain the little ones without making your house look like a daycare.
Setting limits on technology and television time is important to keep children active and using their creativity. There is a time and a place for television and technology and children should be allowed a small amount of time with electronics. As a mother or grandmother, you will want to encourage the kids to play outside with sand, water or art supplies and let their imagination run wild.
Many parents want to give their children the opportunity to explore their creative and artistic side, but are not sure how to get their kids interested in art. Remember that what works for one child may not work for another, so if one of the following tips does not work, try another.
Devote a section of your home to art. This doesn’t need to be an entire room; even just a small ‘art corner’ devoted to creativity will work. Keep art supplies, such as kids art desks, an activity table, easel, paints, paintbrushes, crayons, colored pencils and coloring books in this area. (If you are concerned about clutter, then purchase a storage unit with shelves – such as hutch or desk with drawers — to hold various supplies).
Also, devote an area of your home to displaying your kids’ artwork. The prouder you (and they) are of their work, the more freedom they will have to take risks and experiment.
Whenever you take a family outing, whether it is an annual vacation or a day trip, bring along sketchpads. Have your children sketch things that they like, such as scenery they find beautiful, an animal they find intriguing, or interesting people they meet.
Take your kids to art museums, smaller art galleries, or even artists’ open studios. The more art forms and styles kids are introduced to at a young age, the better. Your child may not be attracted to Impressionist paintings, but he or she may love sculpture parks. You never know until you expose your child to a variety of mediums.
[Note: Regarding art galleries or open artist studios, it may be a good idea to check ahead to make sure the content is suitable for your children.]
Draw or paint with your kids. Have designated art tables where both of you can work. For example, you could outline a drawing and have your child color it in. Or you could purchase ceramics – such as a bowl — that need to be painted, and decorate it together. If your child is simply not interested in drawing, don’t force it. Provide other materials or avenues for creativity – such as a sewing kit – that he or she might want to try.
Support all forms of creativity by giving it your full attention. Whether it is playing the guitar, dancing, performing or drawing, make sure to give your child an audience.
By Step2 on November 17th, 2011 | Posted in Hints and Tips
You know that look: Glazed eyes, droopy posture. The whine comes next. “Mom, I’m bored.” Or worse, silence – meaning something gets tied to the dog’s tail, again.
Engaging art projects can help foster and guide your child’s natural sense of wonder and creativity, and using recycled, free and cheap materials for kids art desks makes it affordable. Set up art tables kids can use freely; a scold-free zone in case water cups tip or ink blotches appear in all the wrong places. Old flat-panel doors set securely on concrete blocks make great low, expansive kids’ activity art desks that your small Picassos can kneel at, propped up on a cushion, while letting their imaginations run riot.
Make an impromptu easel on the activity table using an old cutting board angled up with a sturdy brick or two, and use tacks to secure brown packing paper that enjoys a second life as canvas for a masterpiece. Sponges, potato halves, leaves cleaned of oils with vinegar and corrugated cardboard all provide great textural stamps that your children can dip in ink and then press onto paper. Spent toothbrushes make effective ink airbrushes for a pointillist effect, and using them is half the fun. Sculptors or future designers crave three-dimensional projects; old plastic milk jugs transform into animal bodies, and old cardboard boxes, perhaps the stage of a soon-to-be-written play.