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Thursday, June 11, 2009

PICNIC TIME! Arts and Crafts

picnic button

I know I post crafts and activities weekly under CRAFTivities, but I would never call myself a crafty person. Really, it's true. I didn't even have a craft stash until Zorro and I started doing them together.

I am not motivated to craft by my lonesome. So crafting with Z is a great creative outlet for me and FUN time together. I come up with an idea for Zorro that I hope he will love and we do them together.

I'd like to give you my personal idea about crafting with toddlers.

I hear often that moms of toddlers don't want to start crafting or doing organized crafts at least until their child is 3. While i agree with the basic premise behind why they choose that, I think there's a possibility to miss out on some valuable time together and for learning.

Crafting doesn't have to be complicated and with toddlers it shouldn't be. Simplify by doing ahead of time what your toddler can't do so they don't become frustrated.

Projects should always be done with the parent. It's TOGETHER time.

They CAN be organized but allow for deviation. Toddlers love to explore to try new things. You might start out with an idea but they want to take it in another direction. LET THEM. This is their time to enjoy the process. Leaves don't have to be green, eyes can be on the legs, and windmill doesn't have to look like a windmill.

Give them choices whenever you can. If you are going to try to stick to a project make sure they have choices. Paint color, paper color, eye size, big or small, etc... this way they can own the project. Also give them choices between projects.

Make sure you give them free art time too. Cutting without rules, painting with any color, brush or sponge, crafts with paper, glue yard googly eyes and markers...then let them create.

When you allow for free time and structured time with choices you aren't pushing or squelching a fire. You are opening the doors and giving them tools to see what is possible.

MY FAVORITE PLACE FOR CRAFTING SUPPLIES is hands down the dollar store!

Sure, choices aren't as great at Michael's or Joann's but my goal is to allow for more creativity with me and USE what I have. If I really need something else for a project, I will only buy it if I can use it with other projects and I always use a coupon. I also go to a teaching store for discounted tempura paints and other supplies since they have a clearance BUILDING.

Here's a few of our CRAFTivites: NEXT WEEK IS FARM!

I make craft kits. I will be talking more about them really soon but each craft I prep ahead of time and make kits for the week using about an hour of time. Our kits are in bags and ready to go fo the week. What we don't use, we save for a later time.

In my new CRAFTivities posts (starting next week) there will be a section on creating a kit to assemble ahead of time.

THEME/SCHOOL BOX- Our planned curriculum for the week
CRAFTivities -Crafts and activities
FIELD TRIP- Theme related outings in Orange County, CA


DairyQueen said...

I like the way you think! A clearance BUILDING?! Can I come visit you?

Crystal said...

I also love to shop for supplies at the dollar store. How old was your son when you first started doing crafts? It looks like you do a lot of fun things.

Christy Killoran said...

I agree with everything you said, and I love Dollar Tree for craft supplies. I am not crafty either and I have no idea how to sew or knit or anything like that. I just put you back in my blogs I love section. Somehow, you disappeared during my blog redesign but you're back.

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice said...

Z was about 26 months when we started crafts.

Unknown said...

A Clearance Building?!?!?!?! How awesome is that?!

Alicia said...

Once again, you continue to amaze me....i'm sending my kids to go do crafts with you!

Keri said...

holy cow I totally think you are crafty!! i am surprised to think that you aren't an art major:) . LOVE the kits and i am so excited to use some of your ABC ideas when i start with my Boo.
i think i need to take a visit to the dollar store!
BTW i am working on my tag- thanks for tagging me!!! i love your blog!

Bran said...

I totally agree that art is good time spent together. We do alot of projects to relax when we've had a hard day.

Miller Moments said...

I love your philosophy! I started doing stuff with my son as soon as he was interested. I think he was about 2. His attention span was short so we did small simple things. Play dough was a big hit at that age, stickers, playing with shaving cream or whipped cream, etc.

Great post!

Ticia said...

I'm excited you're going to start posting what you put into your crafts, that'll be fun to read.

Anonymous said...

I like your common sense approach, and I just discovered the joy of Dollar Store lately. I am looking forward to your kits. Of course, then I will need to get off the computer in my free time to actually assemble the kit :)

Susana said...

You have some awesome craft ideas! I can't wait to see the craft kit posts! Following your blog as of now! Thanks so much for sharing!

Diana said...

Thanks for your great ideas. I love the dollar stores, too. I am excited to see what other projects you post. You are so creative. I am trying to create theme boxes/kits at home. It makes doing activities so much easier and less stressful. Thanks for the inspiration.

Katie said...

I love how organized you are with planning your craftivities ahead of time. Yeah for the $ store too. I often find great deals there on fun crafting supplies.

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