Wednesday, January 29, 2014

read 'em and weep...

There are bad distractions...
Seriously, Merlin and Bonnie, Samantha is desperately trying to figure out those fractions and you are not helping!!! (well, maybe not desperately...)

And then there are the good distractions:

A few years ago I set out to assemble a 'busy basket'.

Games and trinkets that were somewhat educational or creative and eat up the times that more than 85 people need me to help them at the same time.

Because let me tell you, 85 is one thing but 86 is just WAY too many.
Gets me all grumpy and makes me feel like I'm failing because I can't help them all at the same time which means I'm not helping someone which means they have a question and I can't answer it which means I'm failing them.

Or...or or or...sometimes I'm trying to read out loud to them and no matter how amazing I think the book is, their little bodies always seem to want to MOVE.  Like, always.
So, some of what I wanted in the basket were things to keep hands busy....very very busy.

Ah, there goes the inside of my twisted head again.

Back to the basket.
Maybe I should switch the name of the basket to:

Holly's Weapons for Guilt

Has a nice ring to it.

It's pretty full now and I'm not going to say it's done because there are way too many cool weapons/trinkets out there but I'll share some of our fav's as of right now:

(the names are all links to Amazon, just click away - not that that's the only place you can get them or even where I got them but just because I'm lazy...mkay?)

sorta like a Rubik's cube.
make it a cube, make it a robot.
lasts. for.ever.

if you asked me which ONE of all these I'm sharing that you should buy.
this. would. be. it.
It's like tangrams or pentominoes on crack...bubbly crack.
Only better than crack because it doesn't kill brain cells.
We've had this for years and it just never gets old.
It goes on the back burner now and then, but never for good.
Almost every kid who comes to our house sits with this and gets sucked in.

(hey! not an Amazon link...only sold on the creators website)

A funny 'silly faces' drawing game.
Can be played alone or in big groups.
Both ways are addicting.
Had this for years, still not old.
We started playing this when Lenora and Sophie were around 5 and they did great but it's only gets more fun as everyone gets older.

There are like 1,000 different versions of this.
It's like an I Spy book, in a tube.
Hours and hours and hours and hours....and hours.

Not pictured (sort of, it's sticking out of the basket up there) 
but along the same lines are the:

(pricey!!! I got them at Wal-mart years ago for like $1.50!)

Basically a glitter wand that they can sit and stare at while I read aloud.
It's like those freaky mesmerizing screen savers.
Just sucks ya right in!

Sophie found the penny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's a BIG deal.

There are 1,000 versions of this too.
We have two.
Little pictures on cubes, roll them, deal them and tell a story.
We think our stories are hysterical.
Maybe a little a lot nonsensical, but flippin' hilarious, nonetheless.
On second thought, you should not get these, there is no way your stories will be as good as ours.

(apparently you cannot get everything on Amazon...I might need a moment...)

It's an oldie to us.
It's really targeted at a younger crowd.
Maybe ages 4-6...ish???
It's a guessing, describing and sentence building game.
Lenora and Sophie use it as bonding time...because they are so short on that....riiiiight.

Honorable mentions that have been played a TON lately, but are not pictured:
(little plastic rope thing, like a bendable legos string, very cool.)

We used to hate to play games.
Scratch that.
I used to hate to play games with them.
I know, I'm a super bad mom, someone should fire me now.

In my defense, back in the day it pretty much ME playing four or five different people's turns for them, 'cause everyone was so dag gum little all at the same dag gum time!!!

But now...
Now everyone can read, and think logically, and add, and sit still and their hands are big enough to hold their own cards.


Beckysblog said...

Praise the Lord for blogs.

This simple idea is genius. I need something other than electronics to keep kids busy while Im helping another kid. These are awesome suggestions and Im making my own busy basket!
Thank you!

And also, Praise the Lord for Amazon.


Missy said...

We were the happy recipients of that Pick and Draw game from you for Christmas one year. We love that game! We play it every week! And it really does get better as the girls get older.

And I LOVE all the other 'nods to cool stuff! I already went and ordered Kanoodle!

Amy said...

They ARE electronic, but you might check out Simon Flash and Scrabble Flash, too. My kids have had fun with those! :)

And... I think I need to make my own basket. Just because.