You pack your kids' summer vacation with swimming lessons and soccer practices and still they're coming to you with the proverbial "I'm bored" chant.
In which case I will share the secret in my closet: craft kits.
I have a literal smorgasbord hiding in my office, some she can do on her own (and has), and some she'll be using this summer with the mother's helper in order to keep them both completely out of my hair.
Because while we love our kids, sometimes the only thing standing between a mother and a bottle of wine before noon is something to keep them silent for five minutes.
I prefer the art kits to wandering around the arts and crafts store because: A. I'm not too crafty; it's easier to have someone else come up with the ideas, and B. Everything you need is in one package, so I don't drive an hour home from the craft store to find one crucial piece was left behind.
Not to mention it's easier to take on a trip when it's all in one container.
So where are these miraculous sanity savers hiding, you ask?
The Scholastic Store has a host of new offerings from Klutz, the same brand that kept us '80s kids' fingers deep in crafts so we'd leave our parents alone.
One I love is Triptivities, a 120-page book of activities that's just as they sound -- set up to be played on the road. This spiral-bound book has stickers, jokes, dot to dots, and enough to keep their minds from turning to mush before September.
Artterro is a new company I've found that will load your kids down with ideas this summer. They sent a project to The Stir to try out, and I'm hooked on the giant baggies filled with everything you need for an eco-friendly adventure.
A couple on their site have caught my eye for the future:
The Creativity Kit: The one we tested, the sky's the limit with wool felt shapes, beads, sequins, and all the basics you need to go nuts. Er, I mean your kids need. Shhhhhh.
Bubble Wands Kit: Skip those plastic wands you can never get out of the jar, and make your own giant versions for some super-sized suds.
Do you opt for arts and crafts kits?