I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself to be crafty. Creative? Yes. Willing to experiment? Of course. But I’m not the type to create marvelous works of art with the kids based solely on an idea, a package of popsicle sticks, and some food coloring. However, my kids LOVE crafts, coloring, and creativity. Love like, every single day asking to bust out the modeling clay or the paints or the giant box of beads that drives me batty.
We’ve found some really great creative activities that we all love (no, it’s not the giant box of beads), and I’d love to share a few with you!
Rubber Band Bracelets
We discovered these last summer, when an older cousin introduced my 7 year old to the trend. Now it seems every kid in their school is wearing the bracelets and trading with friends. We make ours on the Rainbow Loom. All three kids have enjoyed designing their own bracelets, choosing colors, watching videos on YouTube to learn new designs. It’s a chance for learning and fun as they work on their dexterity and patience and have a cute bracelet to wear when they are done.
This is so simple, but so important. Each kiddo has his or her own journals to draw and write in. We keep one in the car and others in their rooms (and littered around the house, cause that’s how we roll). Having a space that is their own to write, draw, reflect, be creative, and express themselves is an amazing thing. They do better practice on their writing and spelling in their journals than they ever willingly do in their homework! Sometimes all you really need to give them is a space to create.
Packaged Craft Kits
Recently, the folks at Kiwi Crate offered to send some of their pre-packaged crafts for kids our way, it seemed like the perfect fit for our family. Crafty fun for them and organized chaos for me – winner!
For those of you that don’t know, here is how it works. Kiwi Crates packs up these cardboard crates with the supplies for crafty projects for kids. You can sign up or gift a subscription to receive crates monthly, buy single crates, or even purchase crates as party favors. (In all honesty – they could probably have shipped us some empty boxes with the intense love my kids have for packages in the mail. When they found out these were for them – and they each got their own box all to themselves – it was a serious celebration. )
Each crate comes packaged with the materials for several projects divided into separate bags, so that you could do one project one day and save another for another. Or you could be like my kids, and tear into the whole thing immediately. Patience is a virtue we’re working on slowly.
My son got straight to work on his Super Hero crate. He peeled felt stickers, had me help him trace an “S” shape, and designed his very own cape. Then he got to work with the fancy metallic markers in the package to decorate his mask. He had a great time making his costume, but my one criticism of the kit is the felt stickers used on the cape. They wouldn’t stay stuck. So we improvised, and he used the markers to decorate the cape as well. I figure that ditching the instructions to find a creative way to make things work is a learning experience any kid can benefit from, so despite the problem I still call this one a win.
The girls each had their own Fairy Fun crate. This one had three projects – a wand, a flower headband, and paper fairy dolls. The supplies for this were pretty amazing. I have to admit to feeling twinges of jealousy as the girls pulled out the ribbons, fabric scraps, and even new scissors to decorate their fairy dolls. They were focused and happy for three hours – THREE HOURS! – working on their crafts together and happy. If that doesn’t make a mama happy I don’t know what will!
Speaking of happy – it would make me happy to have some more great crafts to share, so feel free to let us know some of your favorites in the comments!