I admit it. I am not crafty. I really despise crafts.
But alas…my offspring are quite the crafters.
(Where in the genes did they get this?) Here are a few things I have learned in my journey to a embracing a crafty home.
1. Embrace the mess.
Keep a place where crafts can occur, and keep paper towels and clorox wipes nearby. Allow them to go to town. I choose non-permanent crafts. Washable glue, washable markers, washable water color paints. Do you pick up on the keyword? WASHABLE.
Buy things that they can do on their own. And let them just do it.
Include them in clean-up, and give the creative license to create as they wish!
2. Keep crafts accessible
I bought a 3 drawer organizer for all our little crafty pieces and it has been great. I have a huge tin of crayons, and a basket that has glue, kid scissors, etc., a bin full of paper and envelopes.
My kids have access to ALL the craft materials…even the water color paints. The only thing they don’t have freedom to get down is the playdough (I have a love hate relationship with playdough--- and finally decided it was a craft that required supervision), the stapler, the big scissors, and the glue gun.
Allow your kids to use tape and glue.
3. Keep your craft drawer well stocked!
I am always on the hunt for craft deals. Target’s 1 spot has had some steals lately. Check scrapbook clearances, and Craft Stores for cheap additions to your craft drawer. Googly Eyes are a big hit here and turn any creation into a living creature. We also got great use out of this pack of people sticks we got from Lake Shore Learning. (I purchased all of the above for $5) Back to school sales have great deals on markers, crayons, glue, and scissors. Spare buttons from jackets (I never really use those packets of spare buttons ever) get tossed into the drawer, yard, pipe cleaners, scrap wrapping paper. Toilet paper rolls, recycling, boxes from the mail--- all blank canvases ready for a set of googly eyes and yarn hair!
4. Display your kids art work
If you have been to our house, you have noticed that our décor is….eh, a tad kid-centric? Because my walls are adorned with priceless art. We also started letting the kids “present” their art and explain it to us. We often mail art off to friends and create art for guests coming over for dinner (hand colored placemats, gifts, etc) Children are so proud of themselves when they know you love their work. And I really do often look at things my kids create and I LOVE it.
5. Toss, Clean, and start all over.
I toss art work almost every day. Yes I love it, yes I plaster my walls with it. But after a while, it is gone. 8:30 comes around, and kids are asleep and me and my little trash bag go to town. We toss old art, scrap papers, sweep under the craft table, pick through old crayons, curse (just kidding) the multiple markers and glue sticks left without the caps on (ugh!) I toss, toss, toss. And get ready for the mess to happen all over again tomorrow.
One thing I do love is Melissa and Doug Sticker books. They are HUGE, and have sheets and sheets of themes stickers, My kids create scene after scene mixed with coloring.
Melissa and Doug also have color books (big poster size) and some really great craft pages (great deals on Amazon)
Things I don’t do--
Glitter (yeah, I don’t do glitter)
Finger paints (it has never gone over well)
Crafts that require a ton of parental involvement or supervision
So, there you have it. A Non-Crafty mom, reformed. I am a changed woman. The crafts I once shunned, I now embrace…well, kind of embrace. But those are some of my tips for beginning to embrace crafts for all of you non-crafty friends. I hope it encourages you to let your kids get a little crafty!!
Here’s to craft time!