Friday, June 17, 2011

Cheap Entertainment: Toddler Activity Bucket

I firmly believe that the cornerstone to frugal living  is being prepared.  Instead of thinking about the next month, I'm always trying to gather the things we will need for the next year or more.  I have found over time that if I plan ahead & stay organized I'm able to get the exact things I need for my life at minimal cost.

One of the things I've been trying to prepare for is Little E's move into the arts & crafts stage of life.  I've slowly been gathering supplies & hanging on to things that I probably otherwise would have recycled.

While saving is definitely a component in planning ahead, I find that it's a slippery slope into horderville, so I always try to have a container to limit any collection.  That being said, last Valentine's Day, my sweet father in law sent us popcorn in this adorable monkey tin.  I figured it would be absolutely perfect for gathering E's future art supplies. 

I went through my old teaching supply & found markers, chalk, and many many stickers.  I also found cardboard tubes, crayons, balloons, as well as letter shaped cookie cutters from E's Nana.
I even saved unused brushes from my fluoride for future paint brushes.    

 I've also been saving every single sticker I can get my hands on from the moment I got pregnant.  I knew that if my child had ANY of my genetic predispositions she'd love stickers too.  When I was a kid I didn't care what the sticker said, or if it was even cool, I LOVED it.  So I've been saving stickers from samples, the ends of panels of stamps, even the junk mail stickers.  If it sticks, I'll keep it.
I learned pretty early on as a camp counselor that kids are creative enough to take any regular household thing & make it into treasure. It's just a matter of making sure you have the supplies on hand, & that you have the creativity to see things through the eyes of a child.  Well that and limiting your collection to a bucket!  :)

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