Let spring blossoms bloom with a pretty coffee filter flowers craft from our Member of the Month, Melissa!
Busy mom Melissa was searching all over the internet for activities when a thoughtful co-worker sent her a link. It was to Hands On As We Grow – and she’s never looked back since!
Becoming a member of The Activity Room® helped Melissa escape the endless loop of searching, organizing and doing activities – but never feeling quite organized enough.
“When I first started doing activities with the kids, I didn’t know where to look to find activities so I would just Google things,” she explains. “My oldest was in PT and OT so I would talk to his therapists, then I would start Googling, trying to figure out how to structure it so he was having fun and playing and not overwhelmed.”
While she was totally able to find cool things to do, she still needed to adapt it to fit her child’s development and interests.
“My biggest struggle was trying to find things that was age appropriate or that I could take down to the level that my son was at.”
Even when Melissa did find the perfect activities, she still needed to organize supplies, times, and instructions to make everything work.
“(I was t)rying to find everything and put it together, there’s so much out there and it’s overwhelming,” she says.
That all changed once she found The Activity Room and Hands On As We Grow! The organization took Melissa’s activities to a whole new level.
Check out The Activity Room with a FREE Challenge – starting right now!
Every month, she receives a pre-planned calendar of activities for every day of the week. Plus, Melissa – and all The Activity Room members – get “recipe cards” with activity instructions and supplies.
“The Activity Room helps me organize where I want to be and what I want to do with the kids.”
Doing Activities to Build Memories
Melissa had her children later in life, after establishing her full time career. As an older mom, building these incredible memories with her children is so important to her!
“I want to build all these memories with my kids as much as I can and be intentional about it,” she shares. “I really want to have those moments with my kids where I see that a-ha moment in their eyes.”
Beyond just memories, Melissa and her husband want to create a love of learning in their three young children starting right now!
“I want them to know learning is fun. I want them to know that spending time with mom and dad is fun.”
And her kids are picking up this vibe from her – especially her oldest, age 4.
“My oldest will often come out and say ‘I want to do a ‘tivity.’“
Lots of Value Built Into Membership
“You’re getting a lot for your money on this,” shares Melissa.
Beyond just the plans and activity calendar, you also gain access to an exclusive support community. Every day, ROOM Members share photos of their families doing activities and checking out creative twists, too.
“When I got into the Activity Room and started interacting with other parents, it stimulated my creativity.”
This support community has ended up being Melissa’s favorite part of The Activity Room!
“My favorite part is the interaction with the other members,” she explains. “When I post something and get a comment back or see someone else post who did a slightly different twist is great.”
She’s found so many great ways to change activities slightly to better meet her children’s needs. Which is way better than searching for and then changing each activity 100% on her own – like she was doing before The Activity Room.
“I love watching the The Activity Room Facebook page to get ideas on what others are doing with their kids,” she shares. “Whether it is a spin on one of the current activities or new ideas being done, it helps spur my own creativity.”
However, even with all the perks that come with membership in The Activity Room, the best part for Melissa is still seeing how hands-on activities are impacting her children for the better.
“(My kids are) engaged and they’re having fun and we’re having fun together.”
Let’s Meet Melissa
How many kids do you have and how old are they?
3 – ages ~ 4 1/2, 3, 2
Why do you love doing activities with your kids?
We started activities when my oldest was young because he was a micro-preemie and needed help “catching up” to his peers in motor skills, knowledge, etc. As my girls were born, we continued because they are fun way to have intentional time with the kids. I also want the kids to explore and find out what they love and to love learning in all ways.
How long have you been in The Activity Room?
I joined in September 2018 after one of the week challenges from the Huddle.
What is your favorite activity you’ve done in The Activity Room?
My kids would say the Bubble Wrap and Contact Paper runways. We often lay those out and play with toys and their feet.
What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids when you get a few moments?
My favorite thing is to let them guide the time. I put the phone (or iPad) down and let them choose what we are going to do. Sometimes, it is snuggle and read a book. Other times, it is painting. Or, PlayDoh. Or making a sensory bin with beads and other items.
What’s your best tip for doing activities with your kids?
Don’t focus on “doing it right” or following the instructions to the letter. Let it go with the flow and how the kids want to take it. It encourages their natural curiosity and lessens the frustration.
If you were to tell a friend about The Activity Room, what would you say to them?
The Activity Room is my “go to” for ideas to jump start activities with the kids.
Before The Activity Room, I spent a lot of time searching the internet / Pinterest Boards for ideas and then had to go searching for supplies, etc. I work full time outside the home and have a nanny for the kids. I want to make the most of my time with the kids & have ideas for my nanny to do as well so they are not sitting around watching TV all day.
Now, with The Activity Room, I have the ideas and can spin them into my own themes for the week. I can leave “lesson plans” for the nanny and then continue on with activities when I am home.
Share your favorite quote
Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.
Pretty Kid-Made Coffee Filter Flowers Bouquet
April showers bring May flowers, which makes this month the perfect time to craft a pretty coffee filter flowers bouquet!
We live in Michigan and our springs have been very wet, making it difficult to get outside. We talk about how the rain allows things to grow and wakes up the land after a cold winter.
I love this simple, kid-friendly craft that’s fun to do with a variety of ages. My kids are at different stages and this works for all of them – and has since the baby was old enough to participate.
They can all do the painting and based on where they are with their fine motor skills, they can help wrap pipe cleaner and fluff the layers out.
As we color the filters, we talk about what happens when the colors blend and what new colors are made. We talk about how flowers and nature have multiple colors.
To make your own DIY coffee filter flowers, you’ll need:
- Coffee Filters
- Pipe Cleaners
- For the colors (pick one):
- Liquid Water Colors
- Food Coloring
- Water-Based Markers (Crayola or Mr. Scents Markers work best)
- Spray Bottle, eye dropper or paintbrush
Create a Rainbow Of Filters
First, color your filters.
If you’re using liquid watercolors or food coloring, start by mixing them with water. Then paint the filters.
One way to paint is to use an eyedropper. Fill it up and then gently squeeze the bulb to drop the colors onto the filter.
Another option is to use a paintbrush. Dip the brush into the coloring and spread it onto the filters
You can also use watercolors and a paintbrush using the “cake” type of watercolor. We like Crayola brand because they’re a good, strong color.
If you’re using markers, color the filters with multiple colors. Then, liberally spray with water to get the colors to blend.
Not every square inch of the filter needs to be colored. Leaving some white areas is okay.
The liquid watercolors will give a softer, more subtle look. Food coloring is a little more vibrant. And the markers + spray bottle will make the colors pop.
We made some with both options, using it as a great way to talk about the differences in how the color appears. It was also a great conversation starter about mixing and blending colors.
Finish Your Final Coffee Filter Flowers Prep
It will take about 1-2 hours for the filters to dry completely, based on how went they are from the paint.
If you’ve got space, spread them out on cookie sheets and towels. Make sure nothing is touching.
On a nice day, consider drying them using the natural breeze. Pin them on a clothesline or place near an open window.
Twist into Colorful Coffee Filter Flowers
Take 2-3 filters and layer them on top of each other. I have the kids help figure out what colors will make nice combinations and we talk about matching and opposites.
Grab them in the middle and fold up to “scrunch” them a bit. Wrap the pipe cleaner around the bottom and allow it to come down as a stem.
Once it’s secure, take the individual filter layers and fluff them out a bit.
Take 2-3 fluffed-out flowers and twine the pipe cleaners together to make a thick stem for support.
Pop your finished coffee filter flowers bouquet into a pretty vase. It’ll add a splash of spring color to your house!
We also made several of these bouquets for Mother’s Day gifts for our Grandmas. They loved getting flowers that would last and were made by the kids.