by Karen DIY Family Fun Home School Parenting

Occupying the 4-Year-Old, iii

The days fly by. We are zipping through school—learning, learning, learning, because that’s what children do whether you plan for it or not.

To keep the schedule flowing, I’ve been working to minimize interruptions from the 4-year-old. For a quick review, check here and here.

I discovered a couple other super easy ideas. With this age level, that’s required! They never sit still for longer than the time it takes a popsicle to melt.

Old-fashioned paper dolls

These seem to be out of style, but we found they are still great fun. I had a roll of white paper, so I made a huge chain of paper dolls. These have lasted weeks. Every day Li’l Sis colors a few or adds some finishing touches. Sometimes she breaks a few off to make a little family. They are so cheap and so quick to make. I am happy to see her try and try again to get the results she wants in decorating each one.

If you make them, the easiest method is fan folding the paper, then drawing a rough outline. The more folds, the thicker the fan and the more difficult it will be to cut it. You can also double fan fold and cut one out as girls and the other as boys for a boy-girl-boy-girl chain. I’ll wait until Li’l Sis is older to do that.

I don’t remember where this roll of paper came from, but I was happy to use it and move it out of my craft cupboard.
With so many folds, I worked hard to keep each one the same width as closely as possible.
Li’l Sis didn’t understand that the hair was included on the head. After she saw me draw in a face, she picked up the idea immediately.
She wasn’t sure what this pile of paper would turn out to be at first.
She’s making plans to decorate with her new dolls.

Button snake

Li’l Sis loves to dress herself. I have been on the look out for a dress-myself type doll but haven’t found one to help her with her nemesis: buttons. I almost ordered one on line when I came across the button snake idea on Pinterest. Although I didn’t have any felt which they recommended, I found some non-raveling fabric that worked very well. I chose a snake body of old, out-of-style cloth ribbon I would not want for anything else but Li’l Sis adored it. I folded over the ends and stitched them closed so they wouldn’t ravel. Two big, unmatching buttons sewed to the end folds finished the snake. I went back to the fabric, cut it in squares and slit a button hole in each center. Then I realized how easy it would be to turn a few of them into hearts and circles to add variety. Four-year-olds thrive on variety.

This project took way less time than I thought it would. I spent more time looking for a Dressy Bessy Doll on line than putting the button snake together.
The fabric isn’t as stiff as felt, but it’s closer to the real thing.
Super simple.
She was so pleased with her efforts!
Big Bro learned a thing or two himself. Now he can button his jeans.
I love to see kids teach kids. Their little friend can button now, too.


Yes, she loves it. I am amazed at how well it worked to teach them to button! I thought it would be a short lasting activity, but she goes back to it over and over.