As we have been preparing our altars for the Days of the Dead, the Autumn Gnomes have been busy too.

This playtime happened spontaneously one morning this past week. Fern, upon turning 3, has become The Puzzle Master. No jigsaw is safe from her discerning Virgo mind. (Seriously, if we’re going to keep up with her, we’ll need to buy increasingly difficult puzzles at least once a week. Is this an age 3 thing?).

Entering the palace and guardian cats.

Anyway, upon completion of each puzzle is always the same inquiry, “What do you want to do next? Do you want to play a game with me?”. So last week, in an attempt to dodge having to put together one more freaking puzzle, I decided the game would be Crafty Time. We created these little seasonal friends in a matter of 15 minutes. The wooden dolly forms were from the generosity of Jenny, the rest was from my craft stash. Fern hid from the hot glue gun, but helped me design each outfit and picked out the hats.

The Queen! shrieks Fern.

Aside from puzzles, she is also taking a shine to building houses and castles. What I loved about this moment of play was how much of our thriftiness, and also the love of friends, made it possible. With gnomes and bowls from Jenny, wooden cats from Mary, a combo of a block set we found on the street and my playskool blocks from childhood, this gnome palace and adventure is a testament to how living paycheck to paycheck frugality does not negate creativity or fun.

What fun have you had on the cheap during this autumn time?


5 thoughts on “Offerings

  1. Crafty!!!! that is hands down the coolest collection of wooden thingummys I’ve ever laid eyes on! Blocks are the best. Both of mine STILL create from their blocks….so much so, that I want to find some more for them. I am not so secretly proud that my 8 yo that should be way too cool to play with blocks – totally still does. You inspire me Mary. On the cheap play? Always always drawing and painting for my two. They totally also build hideouts in their sheets and blankets. Every day. I feel like I’m blessed that they still know how and want to. It is ridiculous that I’m so proud of them and their imaginations, but comparing them to their friends….who have hours after hours of screen time, or live in perfectly pristine houses where paint is thought of as a destroyer of all that is tidy and clean…..I’m glad I stuck to my guns encouraging my littles to use their hands, heads AND hearts in play.

  2. just too cute, they are. 🙂 how creative and fun.. 🙂 looks like a sweet little playland there. 🙂 for falltime fun on the cheap for us: going to a downtown rivermarket and eyeing all of the wonderful goodies, going to a park, and going on a road trip. 🙂

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