Wow, how bout those crickets? I think this has been the longest blog break I've taken all year--- and I don't even think you could call it a break. I think I skipped all of two days? Maybe? It feels good, weird, unimportant, and important at the same time. This week (I'm on day 8 post oral surgery) has been hard, painful, groggy, awful, blah blah. The recovery and aftermath have taken much longer than I anticipated. I knew it would be a few days--- and I knew for certain it would be painful, but I always try to imagine myself stronger than I am (I think thats a positive, yes?) and I thought it would all be over by now.
I really should start off this post with a big "thank you, alex" cause seriously, that man has taken care of a lot this week. Runner up for *things that made this week easier* has been a good ole' working imagination and all things that aid imaginative play. I'll be honest (And I'm looking at you, grandparents) we've had the plastic toys coming into our house the past few months--- it's a challenge to try to stop it. I'm all for dolls and making sure Marlowe has things she loves in the house--- but some stuff just makes me shake my head--- and if I can limit those things as much as possible, then awesome. But the one thing I absolutely never, ever want to limit are her art and craft supplies--- in fact, I try to have an over abundance when possible. I wrote about it before, but the girl loves making things, it's awesome. So, while all kids may not be head over heels with making purses or sewing or specific forms of art--- all kids are very good at using their imagination. And I'm figuring out the best way to keep them busy with little to no work. And yes, I said 'them', because this has seemed to work with all the little kiddos in our life, not just specifically mine.
So basically--- a few craft supplies will work, but the biggest entertainer of smaller kiddos? Stickers. Hands down. 100% guaranteed. Like totally, for sure. Really, you can hand a kid a pack of stickers and they will be the most excited kid--- maybe EVER. If you really want to see their imagination flourish, hand them stickers and a few extra tools (a piece of paper, a handful or markers or crayons, and a few pieces of string) and come back later to see what they've created. I've never been anti stickers-- but I've never gone out of my way to buy them either. However, this past summer with the help of our few shorter vacations I learned: stickers are magic. On a plane. In a restaurant. In the car. With a goat on a boat-- whatever. Stickers work to entertain kids. They held us over for days of traveling and were amazing for bribery (I'm not completely against bribery) on so many outings and occasions.
But even when not on vacation-- and just simply at home, Marlowe has taught me a great lesson: don't underestimate the power of imagination. The girl has impressed me on multiple occasions with the things she has created with her regular go to art supplies and a few crazy sticker options. She used up her one roll of tape months ago and I walked to her "art studio" a few weeks ago to find a new collection of art work on the walls--- and how was the art work up there? Stickers. Brilliant! (We also had ONE incident with glue--- but I stopped that pretty quick). Need to hang a string of pom pons? Stickers, obviously. Need to fix a hole? Why not use a sticker. In my head, I handed her a pack of stickers-- for Marlowe, I handed her an endless world of creative possibilities.
Not long after our joint discovery of how awesome stickers could be, the sticker gods called down to us and introduced us to Pipsticks--- a monthly sticker subscription club. I think those monthly club things can be hit or miss---- I mean, sometimes, I don't just want a bunch of random samples in the mail--- you know? But pipsticks has been awesome. As Alex just said, "there are A LOT of stickers in there." It's true.
I do make art store runs every once in a while depending on the projects we have going on here--- but stickers aren't something I think to stop and buy (unless we're about to travel)--- so pipsticks has been cool and the perfect easy solution--- because I don't really have to think about it--- you order, they come, and then your kid disappears into creative fun mode for a while--- sometimes a really long while.
When I'm not having my teeth ripped out of my face, we've also been using stickers as a fun little learning tool. Again, the possibilities are endless. Between writing, reading, counting, and colors, there's no end to the things I can do or teach with my toddler, a huge variety pack of stickers, a piece of paper, and a marker.
Marlowe came in the other day when I was hardly mobile and miserable and asked, "but what can I do right now?" I told her "I don't know kiddo, you've got to use your imagination." Her (funny) response: "I don't want to use my imagination. I want to do something else."--- So I handed her a pack of stickers and she went off to her art table and created. We've had a few messes and a few "did you really cut that?" moments in the past, but overall, giving the kid a few art supplies and a pack of stickers has been the best way to not only keep her entertained, mostly by herself, but also keep her using that brain and creativity function to create--- even when she "doesn't want to use her imagination." For me, as someone who never really shuts off and wants to always find more to do, explore, and create, a monthly subscription pack for stickers well, it was the simple, silly but perfect answer for how to get my kid using her imagination a whole lot more.
Interested in getting sticker fun each month in the mail for your little one? ohdeardrea readers get one free month off any 6 or 12 month club or family subscription when using the code DREA10 at checkout. Pick your pack options: HERE.