Crafting with kids, the easy way: plus, a BabbaBox giveaway!

Now that the summer is in full swing, we’ve moved past the initial “We don’t have to do anything today!” euphoria and are starting to move into “Omigod, these kids need something to DO!” territory. And while there’s always the splash pad or beach on a nice day, there have been a few crazy-hot and/or rainy days that have kept us inside, the kids picking at each other until I feel like crawling out of my skin.

It’s those days that I most need to engage with and distract my little ones with a fun project, but it’s also those times that it’s hardest to do. Sure, I want to sit down at the dining-room table and do a fun project, but what?

I’ve already admitted that I’m not exactly a crafting goddess, and when inspiration does strike it usually turns out I’m out of glue. And when it’s 95 degrees or pouring out, I don’t exactly feel like tossing them all in the car for a trip to Michael’s.

Enter BabbaBox, the sponsor of this post. BabbaBox is a monthly subscription activity box for kids ages 3-6 that takes all the guesswork, prepwork, and shopping out of doing activities with kids.

Each box contains 2-3 projects (complete with all supplies, meaning no mad rush to the craft store), a book based on the month’s theme, and enriching prepaid downloads that you and your child can use together. Oh, and there’s a gift for Mom in every box, too, which was a nice little surprise (my shoulders thank you for the massage tool, BabbaCo!)

Yesterday Clara and my niece Ruby worked on a BabbaBox project together (with a little help from sister-in-law Jenna and I).

This month’s BabbaBox theme is “Feelings”, which seemed appropriate since Clara and Ruby have Very Big Feelings and tend to express them to one another, loudly and forcefully, whenever they’re together.

The project they chose to do first was making sock puppets. I liked that the box came with enough materials for two puppets so a parent, friend or sibling (or in our case, cousin) could share the fun. It’s always more fun to do this kind of stuff with another mom friend, don’t you think? In our case Jenna is better at following instructions than I am, and I was there to help keep my one-year-old niece Luna out of the toilet.

Clara, who’s just over 3, needed a little help holding the puppet still so she could glue:

Don't mind my bizarro sunburn; I am not only crafting-challenged but also sunscreen-applying challenged.

But Ruby, who’s 4.5, managed pretty well on her own.

I have to admit that I have always been a little suspect of the idea of kids sorting out their feelings via puppets. It seems a bit too “What About Bob?” for me to believe it worked.

But it turned out that Ruby and Clara’s puppets had a LOT to say to one another.

Clara’s puppet was very upset with Ruby’s puppet for hurting her feelings with mean words earlier that day. Ruby’s puppet did not appreciate the talking-to. And, well, the feelings just grew stronger from there.

In the end, we managed to avert a Total Sock Puppet Smackdown by breaking out one of the other projects – faces with different emotions for the girls to color and stick on magnets. Again, everything was included, even the colored pencils. Which is good, because I’m pretty sure ours are all broken.

In the end, the girls stayed engaged the whole time, and I have to admit, so did I. I even…had fun.

I guess I can craft with my kids after all – I just need a little help getting started.

If you’re like me and can use some help making fun activities with your kids easy and worry-free, you’ll love this: BabbaCo will be giving a BabbaBox to one lucky reader!

To enter: check out BabbaCo’s website, sign up for the BabbaCo newsletter, then come here and leave a comment letting me know you did. I’d love to hear why you’d like to win a BabbaBox!

For additional entries, you can:

Make sure you leave an comment for each entry, otherwise, I won’t have any way to include it in the giveaway!

The giveaway will run until 1 PM EST on Friday, June 29, 2012. One winner will be chosen randomly. BabbaBox currently ships within the United States only.

If you’re eager to sign up for BabbaBox today, here’s more good news: BabbaCo is offering a 50% off coupon for your first BabbaBox if you subscribe – so your first box will be $15, and $29.99 monthly after that. If you sign up for an annual subscription ($299, so you get two boxes free) you’ll receive $15 off the total price. You can also give gift memberships to BabbaBox, but the coupon code only applies to subscriptions. You can cancel your monthly subscription at any time.

To get 50% off your first BabbaBox, use this code: HM50OFF at checkout. The coupon code will be good through Friday, June 29.

Thanks to BabbaBox for sponsoring this post and giveaway!

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