One of my missions here at waddlee-ah-chaa is to highlight educational toys that inspire children to explore, create and think. A few weeks ago MacGyver reminded me of an important lesson. Simple art supplies (and free time to play and explore) are the best educational toys on the market!
At the conclusion of homeschool each day, my children are set free to play! Absolutely no structured play activities. They know they are on their own to create their own after school fun. The majority of their days are spent outside rolling in the grass with the dogs, hunting for creepy critters and building forts.
This winter we have experienced an unusual number of cold dreary weather days. Additionally, we have all suffered severally from Cedar Fever, making it almost impossible to enjoy the outdoors. (You’re asking . . . what in the world is Cedar Fever? It is a miserable time of the year when the cedar trees release huge clouds of pollen. You can actually see it in the air and it coats everything outdoors in a yellow dust. It is a nightmare!)
Unfortunately for the kiddos, this has meant many days inside without outdoor playtime. Luckily, my kids are pretty darn self-sufficient when it comes to playtime.
One afternoon during indoor playtime, I found MacGyver at our dinning room table stitching away.
He quickly snatched up a little felt dinosaur head to show off what he was making.
Wait, wait, wait . . . I need to get my camera . . .
How to Make An Easy Stuffed Dinosaur
(Compliments of MacGyver)
Sewing Kit and Supplies
Once upon a time, my mother was an avid sewer. She has a big stash of sewing junk. She kindly passed onto MacGyver old fabric, thread, needles, measuring tape and a pen cushion . For his dinosaur project, he confiscated the leftover felt from our Handmade Valentine Cards. That’s it, he was set.
On the table in front of him, he had a pile of felt from which he had cut the dinosaur pattern pieces. Well actually he didn’t have a pattern. He just free handed cut each piece of the dinosaur. Hence, the nickname Edward Scissor Hands. I absolutely cannot take any credit for this talent!
Assemble and Stitch Together Each Piece of the Dinosaur Body
MacGyver cut 4 Pieces
- 2 side body pieces
- 1 back / spine piece
- 1 stomach / under body piece
- 2 blue tail pieces
Attach the Dinosaur Head
I will attempt to explain the dinosaur head. At this point MacGyver is way beyond my skills!
- 2 green head pieces
- 2 blue crest pieces
- 1 orange frill piece
- 2 googley eyes he found in a bucket of old buttons from Grandma.
Stuff and Viola! Behold a Dilophosaurus
Dilophosaurus facts Dictated by MacGyver
- It’s name means two crested lizard.
- It doesn’t actually have a frill. That is something Jurassic Park made up to make it more exciting and look more cool.
- It cannot spit acid . . . more Jurassic Park embellishment.
- It is about as big as a polar bear.
- It is related to the Coelophysis
Important Lesson Once Again Learned by Mommy
Often the best educational toys are no toys at all and an abundance of junk and free time!
How do your children entertain themselves during their unstructured free time?
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