An idea came to me one day to create a box filled with permanent fabric markers and inexpensive white t-shirts in an assortment of sizes. When I'm at Target I buy a 10 pack of Hanes t-shirts for $12. If you've ever used plastic stencils throw those in the box as well. I keep an eye out at craft stores for stencil shapes my kids will like (i.e. sports, princesses, etc...).
Now imagine the kids are getting fidgety and you just don't want them to jump to the next media option. Some of my suggestions to them have been to create a t-shirt for their "secret club", for an upcoming holiday, make-up their own "kids camp", or design a shirt as a gift for a friend. Last year during a family reunion in Missouri all of the cousins spent a day working on t-shirts to celebrate our time together.
You know those dress up days at school that sneak up on you?! It's great to have the shirts on hand to put something quick together. Last year I forgot about International Day at school where every student is supposed to come dressed in something representing their heritage. It was during breakfast the morning of the event when my daughter reminded me. In 15 minutes three children were wearing Danish flags on white t-shirts, and they were thrilled to show off their art work at school.
Another way I've used this idea is to keep my kids safe. When they were really little I'd create a t-shirt they would wear when we would venture out to amusement parks, swim meets, anywhere where they could easily get separated from me. On the shirt I would write..."If I'm Lost Call 222-2222". I know it seems funny, but with your cell phone number written right there in plain sight, it could save you and your child from having a panic attack!
Grandparents love getting handmade gifts. Some of the grandparent gifts have been custom hankies, "I Love You" pillowcases, colorful aprons...really the possibilities are endless!
Sleepovers are also a great time to use this fun activity. The great news is that after the project is over, the kids have something they can actually use. These shirts often end up in my kids pajama drawers, and as they pull them out to sleep in at night. They often comment on the memories they bring back. I hope this idea brings a bit of fun and creativity to your family. Let me know if you come up with another great way to use the t-shirts. I'd love to post your ideas in an article in the future.
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