The other day Farmerboy was moping around, whining about having nothing to do and fighting with the twins, who were whirling about the house like dervishes in the meantime, merrily leaving their path of destruction. Finally, a little exasperated, I said to Farmerboy, "Find something to do! You could..."
And then I ran down our list. I could read you a book, you could draw, you could build with blocks, you could do the bead hanger or the number rods, you could...
"I want to make a fun hat," he said.
He'd watched Curious George that morning, and Curious George had made a "Yellow Monkey Fun Hat", which had a pocket for raisins, a bubble blower, a dog balloon... all kinds of fun stuff. He wanted to make a hat like that. I did not feel up to putting raisins in a hat, but I thought we could probably construct some sort of hat and that would at least stop Farmerboy's campaign of irritation. "Okay," I said. "I think we can do that."
Our Fun Hat is just a rolled up tube of poster board with a cardstock brim taped to it. The circle I cut out of the cardstock forms the top of the hat. (It's a little top-heavy, though, so if we make another one, I'll probably cut the poster board down a bit.) Because the hat soon morphed from a "Yellow Monkey Fun Hat" to a "Christmas Fun Hat", we put a pipe cleaner snowflake on top. (At least it's supposed to be a snowflake, and not some creepy looking spider. I was doing the best I could with what I had. If you set out to make a Christmas fun hat, you could use red or green posterboard, or cover the poster board in Christmasy scrapbook paper.) And as you can tell, Farmerboy had a lot of fun decorating the hat with reindeer jewels and Christmas stickers. We used Mod Podge to glue on the reindeer, because Mod Podge is my favorite glue. I can pour it in a bowl, give the little ones a brush, and we avoid all the frustration of clogged tubes and the wimpy holding power of glue sticks. This, in fact, is what I did with Pip and Pop, and they spent the entire time painting foam shapes with glue and then picking the glue off their fingers. (Gareth, of course, would have imploded if he got glue on his fingers, but the twins aren't like that. Glue on their fingers keeps them busy a looong time.)
So the morning worked out better than I had thought it would. Now if only I could just have a drop-down list of mood-changing activities that would display in my glasses as soon as things started to go awry!