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Category Archives: Kids Craft Along

Kids Craft Along – March: DIY Postcards

Sometimes it’s easy to get an idea filed permanently in your brain that should have been marked “temporary”. For example, I have it in my head that my son does not enjoy arts and craft time. He’ll tolerate it occasionally, but it’s really not his thing.

Then I noticed that he was spending most of his (and I use the term loosely) nap time holed up in his room coloring and writing notes. Which made me think that I should write myself a note to remind me not to pigeonhole the kids based on what they do and do not like when they’re three.

I’ve tried, over the past two years, to find an activity to occupy this kiddo while I make dinner. This, to me, is just about the worst hour of every day: the hour before dinner. The baby is almost always clinging to my leg, which makes it hard to cook over a hot stove, and the boy is bouncing off the walls.  Re-introducing a little craft time (thank you for the inspiration, Ms. Heather!) made Monday night – dare I say it? – much more fun. Also, I’ve been feeling a little melancholy about my babies no longer being babies, especially that girl of mine. It sounds ridiculous to miss someone who is right there [as described above, clinging to my leg; literally right.there.], but that’s the way it feels.

It’s possibly even more ridiculous to keep shooing them away so that I can sit and miss days gone by a while longer. Hm. That thought is actually what prompted me to dig out of my wallow just long enough to get back in the moment and not miss now, and I’m so glad I did!

Further proof that I was in full Benevolent Parent mode: I refrained from whining, “Stooooop! You’re wrecking it!” when The Boy lovingly crowned my work-in-progress with Ahsoka Tano (because it’s a girl Padawan, thus appropriate for girl’s artwork. Where do these ideas come from??)  It took everything in me, though, and I wasn’t even all that impressed with my own effort. Still….

But who could refuse such a high honor? The Boy loves those stickers.

See? 

[You can also see why, clearly,  Anakin and Obi Wan had no place at all on my postcard. He did, however, think that Uncle Scott warranted a prized Master Yoda sticker when I busted this craft out again for him and his cousin yesterday. At least his issue isn’t stinginess.]

June Kids Craft Along: His Own Version

OK, so we failed to complete our May project, even though we had thirty-one whole days to get it together. Different story here in June, mostly because I had all the materials on-hand. That’s always key, since planning is not my strongest suit.

Here’s where I cleverly try to entice him with the wonder of the hidden message:

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Scoff if you will, but I know exactly how to lure in my little sapling. For a minute, I thought it had worked. (Also, I used the word “design” in my explanation rather than writing or coloring. That’s another key.)

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“I’m writing invitations to my party!”

Hey-o! Didn’t see that one coming. Clearly, he’s enjoying his time in make-believe land! Or, perhaps, I am, if I think I can get away with the household birthday party for very much longer. We shall see.

Anywho –

After about five minutes of art time, he became fascinated with mixing colors in the water:

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“I’m making fire, Mama.”

Y’all, you wouldn’t believe how I tried to guide him back to the activity at hand. Then, right as I felt myself get completely exasperated, and came this close to dumping out the water and shutting the whole thing down (oh yes, I am precisely that childish), I remembered that this was supposed to be a fun activity. Art isn’t supposed to be a chore! So I let him mix away.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t try to teach him about mixing colors. Over and over. “Hey, why don’t you see what happens when you mix blue and yellow. How about red and blue?” Yeah, he totally didn’t care; he just wanted to keep dumping out the water and trying another concoction. Actually, it was the same combo, over and over, and he couldn’t quite get that it was going to turn out the same. It was killing me.  I tried to sneak in a good word about not wasting water, and then I tuned out a little, which seemed like the best thing to do. And – what do you know? – we had a really good time together, which made it a 100% successful venture.

Kids Craft Along – April

Sure, I’d planned on participating before Easter, but whatever. It’s still April, right?

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About a month ago, I was feeling really bad about not having enough one-on-one time with the boy. “I wish we had a better schedule going, so that I could plan some activities for him”, thought I , while I checked my email as the baby took her morning nap.

Yep. As the baby took her morning nap. At the same time she takes it every day (except for this week, when everything  just hit the fan). You’re seeing it already, aren’t you? Doh! Lucky for me, Ms. Heather kicked off this great Kids Craft Along, providing me with more tools for my arsenal. And boy, do I need ’em! She may as well have subtitled it, “Meg, it’s not that hard”. I make a production out of everything when it comes to organized activities, but I’m working on that. The rainy day yesterday provided me with the perfect opportunity to just do it already, so I did.

Since I wasn’t really invested in producing “perfection” (seeing as how I was working with a three-year-old, and it’s a week past Easter), I was able to stick with supplies on-hand. I had a bag of wooden eggs, a leftover piece of pretty tissue paper, and some watered down Elmer’s glue, which turned this wallet-friendly craft into a totally free one.

Here, the artist brushes glue onto the egg:

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Now, ever so carefully applying the pre-cut (OK, I did the cutting) paper:

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Et, voila! Mommy and Me Eggs:

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The whole thing took maybe all of a half hour, and salvaged what was rapidly turning into a bad morning. He was thrilled with the process (except for getting glue on his hands, which he did not like, for he is my child), and so proud of his little egg. Hooray, Ms. Heather, for the fun idea!