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Beeing crafty

Posted on: March 19, 2012

I haven’t done anything creative with the kids since… Christmas. I think it’s because I overdosed in the Christmas lead-up and afterwards the limited interest I have in crafty projects with the kids diminished completely. It’s not that I don’t like craft. I’m pretty crafty myself, when the mood takes me. But I’m also a control freak and don’t like relinquishing power to the messy ones. Because they are messy. They don’t care whether all of the paint ends up in one tub, or all of the tiny little googly eyes end up scattered all over the floor, or whether the things we end up making even remotely resemble the things we actually set out to make. They don’t care one little bit. I try not to, but I do. I really do.

Anyway, I’ve been feeling guilty about not having much time to sit and do things with the kids lately. Or, more to the point, that sometimes I do have time, but I choose to spend it checking Facebook or my email instead. So today we did craft. It was inspired by the craft that was offered at playgroup – they blew up balloons and stuck stuff to them to make animals. I thought, “Sure, we have balloons, we have crepe paper, we have googly eyes – we can make octopuses!”

But Tiernan had different ideas. He wanted to make a bee. And because Tiernan wanted to make a bee, Molly, who had been excitedly describing to me the octopus she was going to make, changed her mind mid-sentence and also declared she was making a bee. So they made bees. I didn’t really give them much guidance about how to make their balloons bee-like, I just helped them with the steps they wanted help with. Here is what they came up with:

Beeeeeeeeeeeeees!

Some pretty cute bees, I reckon. I love the cheeks most of all.

I learnt some lessons in this: craft can more fun when I’m not trying to control everything – since there was no plan to follow, I didn’t have to stress when the plan didn’t go to plan; I also learnt that these two are pretty good at using the tape and the glue (which is no thanks to me – they must have picked it up at preschool and daycare), so I should give them more credit, and more freedom to explore, in future.

Did we end up with permanent marker on the table? Yes. Does it really matter? No. The kids had fun, and for a change, I did too.

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4 Responses to "Beeing crafty"

love this post – I am totally the same! Why do they always want to paint in poo brown (combination of all paint colours)?! Although what about when the set up/prep time is AGES, and then the kid on plays for 5 mins? (or decideds no, I feel like having a tantrum now instead, and you need to decide whether to discipline the tantrum or let it slide because you have spent soooo long getting the damn craft ready!). I also have the control problem where i end up actually doing 99% of the craft myself so it actually looks like it is supposed too!! Hmm…maybe I should relax a bit too!

It’s not easy! Even when I’m being ‘relaxed’, I’m really not relaxing, I’m shrieking on the inside whilst somehow managing to exude a calm veneer. Not. Easy.

Those are some pretty cute bees! And, I’m the same way about crafts – it’s not so much the mess, though, that I mind, as whether the items end up looking the way they ought. We did elephant valentines in February that wound up becoming a single monster elephant valentine, with something like ten googly eyes stuck on it. It took everything I had not to remind them that elephants properly only have two eyes!

What I try to keep in mind in times like those is that it’s not about me, it’s about my kids, and whether they enjoy what they’re doing. If they are, hooray! Win-win. If they aren’t … we should probably be doing something else.

Oh yes, I saw your ‘elephant monster’ on your blog. Cute.

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