August 20, 2014

Build Your Own TeePee in 30 Minutes: Kid Boredom Busters

Apr3


It’s that week when many kids are home from school. The first few days equal pure bliss and relaxation, but by mid week, those dreaded words, “I’m bored,” may slip out. (Watch out if that occurs in our home. ;))

One of the best ways to kick the Boredom Buster blues right out the door is to have an arsenal of creative ideas at your fingertips. If you thought that making your own teepee consisted of trips to Home Depot or hours of prep, think again.

We built our own teepee in less than thirty minutes, but those thirty minutes equaled hours of imaginative play – a mom’s dream come true.

Depending on where you live, this may be a full sized teepee village like ours or just a fun table top teepee endeavor. Even if you live in a neighborhood, it’s that time of year when people every where are cleaning up fallen trees and brush so there are plenty of free sticks to be had for all.

When I first searched “Building a TeePee,” (or Build a Tipi or Tepee or TeePee, but not Tee Pee like my picture states ;)) I couldn’t believe how complicated everyone wanted to make this process, so we just went with instinct and ease. That’s all my day has time for anyhow.

Everything you need to build your tee pee, you probably have on hand: an old sheet or tablecloth ( I picked up a bunch at the thrift shop right before we did these), paints (optional, but adds the crafty element), branches and zip ties.

Yep, that’s it.  No need to over complicate the process.

For me, crafts, or any kind of creative play, is best done when my kids can go at it unsupervised and this is one of those times. Don’t micromanage their painting, just let them express.

We started by painting on the thrifted sheets. We did look up a few Indian signs and symbols so that the kids could trace those onto the sheet if they desired or just make up their own. If they traced, they just painted over them, but many did something free hand.

I think the favorite part of the process was letting the kids stomp through the woods gathering up their big branches. They hauled enough for our own village. :)

We didn’t formulate any special engineering compilation for this, we just leaned the branches in a tee pee shape and put a bunch of zip ties at the top to hold the branches together.

It worked perfectly! No cutting, hammering or hassle required.

To finish off the process, we wrapped the sheet masterpiece around the branches, pinned it,  and VOILA – a wonderfully built teepee in around 30 minutes.

Now let the real fun begin! Be a “Yes” mom. You might even plan an outside overnight. :)

There were so many great “Boredom Buster” ideas show cased during the American History Day that I hosted at our home. Sometimes, we need to go back to our “Little House on the Prairie” mindset just to realized how much fun can be had through simple creative play. There’s so much to be said for un-plugging every once in awhile.

So start now and go gather some branches. You won’t be sorry you said, “Yes.”

This is part of an ongoing Boredom Busters Series for Kids. If you’d like to submit a guest post, I’d love to feature your creative ideas.