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Weekend Activity Packs for Gray Days

It's been a gray winter 'round these parts. Between the dreary skies and endless rain, it's been tough to get out of bed in the mornings. It's so dark! The upside, I suppose, is any moment the sun comes out, we run outside like we haven't seen it in years. So that's fun.

Now that the kids are old enough for joint activities, we've discovered a few fun interactive things to do. My favorite - and something I don't remember being around when I was a kid - are ironing beads. I bought the space set by Hama (in the US, it's easier to find the Perler beads brand) along with a glow in the dark set to go with it.

The space set came with beads in all the colors you would need to make the mobile pictured on the box, with easy to follow patterns. The beads did not come sorted, but it wasn't a huge hassle to find the ones I wanted (the kids, however, quickly lost interest in this bit).  We got two sets - the Hama Glow in the Dark Ironing Beads and a space kit:


We've spent 4 mornings already, building pieces for the mobile while listening to NPR (now that's what I call STEM learning...). The kit has only whetted the kids' and my appetite for making more. There is something really calming about placing tiny beads on a pegboard - either at random or to a pattern. And I appreciate that the end result is a mobile we can hang in their room, and enjoy for years to come as something we did together - and that just required a bit of concentration and focused time together.

I was always a bit skeptical of craft kits - are they really worth the money? In this case, it's a resounding yes. It would make a great gift or 'winter blues' activity for the 3+ set.

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