A new kind of Christmas present

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I don’t know about your house, but mine has too many toys. We have a lot of great ones, like a big train set, duplo, kitchen stuff, tools, costumes, instruments, and of course the obligatory bucket of random stuff. I don’t really want to get rid of any of it because it all serves a purpose, but nor do I think we need any more toys in our house!

Let’s just say cleaning is not my spiritual gift.

But I do have difficulty settling down to play with the boys when there are things to do. You know the list, it’s probably the same as the mental one you have going right now. All the things you should be doing instead of hanging out online, right? 😉

So I really want to get away from the to-do list and spend more time with the boys, but buying them more toys isn’t going help me do that. First off, there would be more toys to clean up, and secondly, I don’t really love playing with toys.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good tea party, and trains and duplo are my kinda thing, but they can’t entice me from the ever-pervasive clean-up guilt I feel.

So this year, instead of buying toys, I bought things that would force me to stop and be with my kids. They each got a few books. Ethan got a bouncy-ball making kit that he’s been dying for (and for $15, I was happy to oblige him!). But the “big gift” this year was two buckets full of supplies.

Supplies for FUN. Supplies for activities that I would have to sit down and do WITH my children.

Bucket #1 was fairly random – a new stapler, glitter, string, beads, and pasta beads.

Bucket #2 was my personal favourite. A few weeks prior, I had gone through most of the play recipes on the Kids Activities Blog and made a list of the supplies I would need to make most of their recipes, along with some other fun ones I discovered along the way. Bucket #2 was filled with those supplies, along with the book written by the bloggers. I really like experiments, and goop, and play dough, and strange textural things, so I figured that this kind of gift would get me playing WITH my kids, not just being in the same room as them. And so far, it’s worked!
We made this bubbling slime recipe. It was awesome. And surprisingly cold on the hands. This is how I discovered that mixing vinegar and baking soda creates an endothermic reaction. (Did I mention I have a science degree? Yes, I’m a science geek!)
My personal favourite was the chia-seed slime. I made this for the boys one evening and my husband decided he might need to stage an intervention because I couldn’t stop playing with it. Dodger really liked this one as well.
We made a couple things that didn’t turn out quite as exciting. Then we made this one. Glow in the dark slime. Oh yes. Its texture reminds me of the fart slime I had in high school. You know the stuff…you squish it into the container and it makes a fart sound…I used to play with it in the library. Yes, yes, I know. It’s a wonder I found a man who would take me. 🙂 It’s probably a good thing I have 3 boys.
So that was our Christmas holidays! Staying at home and playing together. We’ll see if I can keep up the mommy-time when my husband goes back to work on Monday!