What I Made Monday: "Table Time" Activities

I have an acquaintance who wrote a post a few weeks ago about a part of their daily routine that she finds peaceful: Table Time. It was something that really stuck with me.

You see, this pregnancy has been pretty hard on me. I've felt sick a lot longer than with any of my other pregnancies, I've had less energy...therefore, a LOT less has gotten done around the house and my kids have spent a lot more time watching Netflix while I rest. Not really an ideal situation at all. In addition, the boys seem to have activated the previously dormant "fighting gene" that I'm fairly certain all children carry...in other words, there has been a lot of squabbling over what should be insignificant things.

So, when I read the post about Table Time, it instantly struck a chord with me and I decided it was something to implement into our days. The next step was figuring out a way to make Table Time exciting and fun, because the boys only like to sit in one place when they're watching a movie (and sometimes, not even then). My idea was to create a special bag of activities reserved only for Table Time. I threw in some standby favorites (Play-Doh, crayons and coloring books) and decided to put together a few other items I'd been planning to make anyway.

FIRST: I got the idea for popsicle stick puzzles from here a year or so ago. I made some for the boys to take to church for a quiet activity, and since I still had a ton of popsicle sticks lying around I whipped some up to go in our Table Time bag. The boys have really been into Transformers: Rescue Bots lately (Thank you, Netflix) so I found some pictures of the Rescue Bots for to make into puzzles. And, since they would inevitably fight over the puzzles, I made a set for each boy.

I even had colored popsicle sticks! I'm so cool.
 In addition to the Rescue Bots puzzles, I made 10 other popsicle stick puzzles.

SECOND: I'd been saving leftover baby food jars and scouring Pinterest for ways to use them. I was so excited to find a tutorial for a matching game using the lids!


I covered the tops with cute paper...
and, because I'm a perfectionist, covered the sides with coordinating ribbon.
Of course, I had to make a cute container to store the game (thank goodness for leftover canning jars!)
Cole shook his head at the amount of effort I put into cutesy-ing everything up, because the boys won't really care...but I care, so it was worth it (plus, it wasn't THAT much effort).
THIRD: I made a popsicle matching game last year for the boys' church activities, but I figured it was an activity better suited to a table (since it needs a bit more space than a church pew provides). I made another set and (of course) a coordinating storage jar.

I'm hoping to have the boys do Table Time for an hour in the morning and in the afternoon. While they're occupied I'm planning to use the time for blogging/miscellaneous internet-ing (so I can sit with them at the table and interact with them), straightening up the kitchen, and preparing dinner.
I'm not really sure how to implement this idea with Matthew, though. He's still a little young for the concept, so if anyone has any ideas or suggestions to help with that I'd appreciate it.
Also, what are your favorite "table time" or "quiet time" activities for your kids?

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