Inside & Out: The Online Guide to Imaginative Play

Sometimes, I am not sure what to do to entertain my toddler after a nap.  Sometimes, I don’t know what to do with an entire Thursday.   For some moms, entertaining their small children comes easily; but I have to work at it. Fortunately, help is at hand: the Internet is full of activities for children. Great moms, dads and educators have generously shared their fun ideas with the rest of us.  Just search for how to entertain a toddler, preschooler or school-aged child and ideas abound.

Pom-pom Milkshakes from Pink and Green Mama

My newest favorite is www.pinterest.com So many great crafts and activities posted on people’s parenthood boards.

Some creative sites to check out:

Pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com
She inspired me (a fairly sane person not looking to add more mess to my day with my toddler) to make colored rice for the joy of tactile fun.   Subsequently the tactile fun was spread all over my house for weeks but it was a HUGE hit.  Her blog introduces her site as what happens when an art teacher stays home. The site has over 500 “craftivities” to play and explore with.

Modernparentsmessykids.com
Speaking of surviving mess… these parents do it with style.  And the masses agree. Voted Best Craft Blog Reader’s Choice through Parents magazine and has been featured on Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray, to name just a few.  The site features great activities like how to create a do-it-yourself dress up kit on the cheap, fun science experiments, holiday themed crafts, original gift ideas and the list goes on.  There are so many great ideas catalogued that at first I found it a little overwhelming but MPMK welcomes you with an outline of how to get the most out of the site and helpful hints while perusing.

Madebyjoel.com
Rebelmom reader Julie gave me this site to check out.  “Made by Joel” is a site by an artist dad of twin three year olds and a newborn.  He shares simple craft and playtime activities that are visually stunning and uber hip. Check out “Paper City Paris”. My daughter and I are going to create this little city of love this weekend.

Dinosaur Kid Crafts from MadebyJoel.com

Sewliberated.typepad.com:
Meg is a sewing pattern designer and a Montessori trained mom.  The site is a blend of all of three of these roles.  There are a lot of fun ideas listed under the “things we do after nap” section.  Wait until you see her painting clouds activity. On a recent post, Meg recently provided the next six sites as a few spots she finds inspiration.

Playathomemom3.blogspot.com

Teachertomsblog.blogspot.com

Filthwizardry.com

Artfulparent.typepad.com

Childhood101.com/playopedia

Thecraftycrow.net

MakeandTakes.com

Kelly Flannigan, MSW, is an individual, marriage and family therapist.  Now a mom of an industrious toddler and living with her husband in the Caribbean she has returned to work, of the paid variety, with a private practice.  Additionally she continues to flex her self help muscle for women at all stages of self-discovery through writing.  Without this outlet her life would resemble “Parenthood” meets “Groundhog Day”.

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