Over here at Tabitha's Mountain Rhapsody, we know how everyone out there must be feeling. It seems the lockdown will never end. We're all going stir-crazy, and worst of all, the library is still closed!
Fear not! We are here to back you up with a selection of the greatest boredom busting crafts and activities to get you through!
Doctor Who, in his tenth version called books "the best weapons in the world", and I happen to agree. There's nothing better than to give a child the gift of loving stories.
For those who like physical books, Thriftbooks is an AWESOME website with access to rare and out of print books for not a lot of money. The average of the picture books I looked at were about 6 dollars.
For those who like audiobooks, StorylineOnline is a wonderful website were some of Hollywood's brightest stars read classic books out loud, just like Reading Rainbow. You can hear such glowing talents as the Mowry Sisters, Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Hector Elizondo, CCH Pounder, and many more read for free! How cool is that?
Finally, I have curated a YouTube playlist of beautifully animated folktales. You can see many different and interesting forms of animation in Animated Tales of the World. And yes, you can find all of these stories in book form!
Paper crafts are a classic way to pass the time. Almost any kid can learn Origami with a little time and patience. Now, Origami can be done with any square piece of paper, but Origami paper is obviously better. Origami Paper is just a little thinner than standard printer paper, and is more forgiving to mistakes than almost anything else. You can buy Origami paper from any craft store or Amazon. These couple of websites will give you all you need to get started!
Origami for Kids
Paper dolls are just as popular as they ever have been. There are dozens of websites that offer them, but this one is my favorite for vintage dolls.
Free Printable Paper Dolls
Modern Paper Dolls by Cory has loads of great modern designs, from Broadway, Movies, and Disney. You can pick from full color versions, or black and white color your own models.
What kid doesn't love LEGO? Those foot-killing little bricks have delighted children since the 50s, but sometimes, you need an imagination jumpstart. Frugal Fun has you covered there, check out all these neat instructions for animals, games, murals and much more!
If you're looking for something a bit more official, like you found an old set but you can't find the instruction book, take a gander WorldBricks. This database of all things LEGO more than likely has you covered.
And now, for the magic of cardboard. A kid and a cardboard box go together like peanut butter and jelly, but there's a lot more you can do than just let your kid go with some markers. Check out these EPIC ideas from Momtastic!
I love this slotted dollhouse idea. I'd almost want to build one to display my wares. Slide it together, slide it apart, put away flat. What's not to love?
And here's an idea for a DIY marble run. I don't care how old you are, there's something about a marble run that fascinates and excites. Not to mention physics, angles, and all that wonderful STEM stuff.
So, you've decided to start gardening. Now the next step is to decide what to do with all the yummy fruits and veggies you're growing. Now, to a lot of people, processing those same fruits and veggies sounds like a lot of work; and I'm not gonna lie it is, but the rewards are infinite!
One thing I am NOT going to recommend for the first time gardener is canning. Canning is a very complex and delicate process that takes a LOT of time to do safely. If you want to learn, I would recommend checking out the latest USDA guidelines here: National Center for Home Food Preservation. You can also check with your local cooperative extension for classes.
Now, what to make with your bounty! Fortunately, there's lots and lots of help where that comes in. Now, if you're like me, you love a good pickle, and alas, they are hard to come by unless you live near a Jewish community. And once you taste Grandma Bonnie's Freezer Pickles, store bought pickles will turn to ashes in your mouth!
A classic treat in New York is the Syracuse Salt Potato. Once upon a time, there was an abundance of potatoes, an abundance of salt, and an abundance of Irishmen, and they all came together in Syracuse, New York, and created the Salt Potato. Some herbs that go well with potatoes are basil, garlic, rosemary, parsley, and thyme.
Let's say you're growing herbs. Herbs are quite useful, but you have to know how to preserve them. Some do well frozen, others do well dried, and some Italian-type herbs like oregano and basil would be divine frozen in olive oil for all your pasta and meat dishes.
At the risk of sounding like some kind of fruit loop, there's a lot of things that herbs can help with health-wise. I'm not one of those granola-crunchers who thinks that everything can be healed with herbs and oils, and a lot of herbs can be dangerous, especially when combined with some pharmaceuticals, so ALWAYS inform your doctor before you start taking herbs. That being said, there are some herbs that can only help, and you can find a great list here.
What about all those yummy fruits and berries you're growing? Well, our friends at Betty Crocker have you covered there. This recipe for the traditional British desert trifle is an easy crowd pleaser. Prepare to have leftovers, it makes a lot!
An old fashioned favorite gets an upgrade with these Bisquick muffins. They're made for blueberry, but the basic recipe can be used with just about any fruit or berry.
I hope these ideas give you a taste of what you can make from your gardens. Happy cooking!!
You can even get containers for free, some places. It’s true! This article tells you how.
Essential to growing great container gardens is proper hydration. You can conserve water by building a “self-watering” container (it doesn’t actually water itself, but you don’t have to water it nearly as much as a conventional container). This page will show you how.
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.