Friday, February 11, 2011

Quick Takes Friday

My life is full of random trivialities, the kind that are not easily spun into entertaining blog content! So to ease back into Quick Takes, I thought I'd share with you what's helping us get through these gray days.



A standard of childhood. We got a few new sets this past Christmas, and they've been a daily staple for everyone under the age of ten (and occasionally including them). This castle set and the tree set below, complete with bark, stay in a little den off the main homeschooling room. (My little boys are completely in thrall to the tree bark set--wish I'd known beforehand to equip my oldest with a saw, some sandpaper, and a few fallen limbs. We'll just have to make an outdoor set.)


Playing cards

The kids' 3-deck canasta set is currently missing a few cards :-), so while we root those out, they have been playing Go Fish, Old Maid and a game they learned over the holidays that they call Egyptian Rat Race. (I'm told the original name of the game is more vulgar, but I haven't bothered to find it out.)


The Scrambled States of America

Another Christmas present. We checked out the book from the library before and thought it was really cute and engaging; I mean to add it to our family library. The game looked promising, and it delivered. It has alternate rules for younger players and early readers, so most of the kids are able to play. They really have fun with this one, and it's one of those games I can chalk up as school!


Artist trading cards (ATCs)

Ever since last year's two swaps at Pondered in My Heart, we've been intrigued by these little art pieces. I make blanks by cutting cardstock--I usually get 9 out of a sheet, and I also typically reinforce them after we make the art--and the kids dip into them when they want to create. Sometimes we'll do a project using them, like the tape resist tree (H/T The Crafty Crow) on the right.

Um, my cluttered desk

I hesitate to show you this, but the truth is, it's kept us plenty busy. We're trying to cut through some paper clutter and function as a homeschool in largely the same space. Usually that doesn't work very well, and I'll be honest, it's getting old now. But you see that gray table in the foreground there? That's a sorting table, and it never looks the same at the end of the day. I decide what to do with stuff, stage it on the table, and the kids put it away. I'm actually gaining some ground against years of saved-but-chaotic records, kid-art, bookwork, etc., plus it's frequently handy for laying out the kids' schoolwork as it shifts from undone to done. That table might actually end up a permanent part of my desk arrangement. (If I can talk my husband out of taking it back to his office.)


"Secret heart" valentines

We did this project, which I found (also via The Crafty Crow), yesterday. I drew different heart pictures with a white crayon on the pages of a mini watercolor book, and then I tore out the pages and let the kids paint over them and see the hidden pictures emerge. They could (and often did) actually see what sort of picture was there if they tilted it in the light, but they still loved to fill the pages with color and lift out the white heart designs.


Tylenol infant drops

Yes, Tylenol has been helping us get through the last few days. We have a cold running through the house. It's not terrible, but it starts with a yucky sore throat and a fever that hang on for the duration. Most of the kids play right through it after breakfast with a bracing glass of juice. But for my 9-month-old, who I suspect might be cutting more teeth as well, a sore throat and fever are a little much to handle. On top of that is the noise of a houseful of boys (and girls, albeit in self defense, except when they start it, of course) and the poor sweetie can't seem to sleep for more than 15 minutes as a rule, and is cranky all day through. So I try to give her a little relief every now and then.

Next week (if I manage it) I'll show you my more mind-numbing diversionary tactics!

See Jen's place for more Quick Takes!

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