Sometimes you need a fresh idea for a project to keep the kids occupied and happy. Here are a few ideas to get you started building memories and enjoying your time together.

 

Pull out the scrapbook supplies

Many adults look at scrapbooking as a time to be creative and precise. They approach the hobby as a time to show off their amazing design skills and look at each page as a masterpiece. But when you scrapbook with kids, you have to adjust your expectations and allow the child to explore and use his or her own ideas, even if isn’t the way you would design the page. 

Recently, I pulled out my supplies, gave each of my children a stack of pictures and free rein over all the stuff. They picked their paper, stickers, embellishments, glue — anything they wanted to use out of the box. The results were priceless: a huge mess (which they helped clean up), two pages that were less than perfect, by some standards — but absolute masterpieces in their eyes — and a whole bunch of memories.

 

Sew a dress for your American Girl

Liberty Jane Clothing, a Seattle-based company, designs and makes doll clothes for American Girl dolls. They offer a free dress pattern as well as 14 other free clothing patterns. These are great projects for beginners and would also be perfect for a mother and daughter to do together.

Here is the link to the free dress pattern. http://www.libertyjanepatterns.com/2011/04/free-american-girl-doll-dress-pattern.html

You also receive two free patterns when you sign up for the newsletter!

 

Print out some paper dolls

 

If you need something free to do with the girls in your family, check out this site with free, printable paper dolls.  http://fantasticfind.blogspot.com/2010/07/10-black-and-white-printable-paper.html

Print a Princess Kate doll and Disney princess dresses.  http://a.family.go.com/images/cms/disney/PDFs/princess-kate-middleton-paper-doll-printables-0311.pdf

 

Take a local tour

 Do you have a child who loves fire trucks? Did you know you can call your local fire station and get a personal tour — for free? All you do is call ahead and schedule a time to bring your children to see the trucks. Danville Fire Department: (859) 238-1211

Does your child love police cars? Just call ahead and schedule a time so the police department can make sure they have an officer available to give you a great tour.