Crafting with kids

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow… :)  That’s what my kids are singing these days.

With the extreme chill setting in this part of the world, outside our home looks covered in white. The skies are grey and you can see the puff of smoke when you breathe.

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What a perfect excuse to stay indoors, be warm and cozy and CRAFT!!!

That is exactly what we did this past weekend.

It really started when we had our older Princess’s birthday party. When her friends looked at the different things we have done in our home, they all were very excited and asked me to teach them some crafts.  A couple weeks ago I gave them a mini class where they made paper garlands from old magazine papers.

image004  We simply used old magazines, a pair of scissors and modpodge. The kids loved it and left asking for more. What’s more their moms were impressed with their work, too!

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I worked out with my ever-supporting husband and decided to start my own crafting classes.

This past weekend when it was all dark and grey and cold outside, we were warm, cozy and crafting in my house – busy with my first craft class. :)

I wanted the kids to understand that they don’t need to get expensive papers, crafting kits etc to get their creativity showing. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the beautiful crafting kits. They can be used to make many pretty things with great ease.  But they should not become the limiting factor for kids.  Some common things, which we usually trash can be converted into things to treasure, if we think outside the box.

With that in mind, I created a list of about 20 projects which the kids can do with a little adult supervision. I plan to teach each of these on alternate Saturdays at my home. Part of the earnings from these classes, will go towards buying more supplies for these classes and remaining will go towards sponsoring some little child’s education back in India, just like the profits from my shop do.

So, for our first project, we used the following things:

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1. Old magazines {courtesy my friends who know how much I love colorful paper. A big shout out to all you folks :) }

2. Old cardboard boxes {packaging of all the things we purchase online or in store}

3. White cardstock paper or white printer paper {had on hand}

4. Craft punches in heart and butterfly {not shown above} shapes. {had on hand. These are best purchased with coupons or when there is a major craft supplies sale going on. I’ve been collecting a few of these over several years and using them in various crafts that I do.}

5. Some little glittery things {leftovers from my stash}

6. Some white duck tape {purchased from Walmart}

7. Colorful ribbon {purchased from Walmart. You could also substitute with some twine or burlap thread may be?}

8. And our trusted modpodge  {had on hand. No surprises there.}

Instead of canvas (which can be quite expensive) we made boards using cardboards from shipping boxes and white paper on top. Mr. C also used the file punch and scissors while making these boards. He uses them for his papers etc.

  Supplies 2

He cut cardboard the size of standard cardstock paper (8×11 inches), punched two holes in the cardboard as well as the paper.

The kids glued the cardstock and the cardboard together using modpodge and I helped cover the edges in duck tape to give it that nice finished look. We pressed each board under some weight (used containers from kitchen as weight) so that it became flat.

While the boards were drying up and flattening out, kids punched hearts and butterflies using the punches and then adhered them on the board using their own imagination.

A ribbon through the holes completed the craft and made it ready to adorn the walls.

Here are all the things we made:

  Craft5 Craft4 Craft3 Craft2 Craft1

One little girl went home with her craft before we could grab a picture of her work. I will try and post it some other time for sure.

Here’s what I learnt from this experience:

1. Kids have excellent ideas – give them a basic channel and the ideas can ebb and flow

2. Crafting can be an excellent tool to teach and to learn how to reuse the material that we normally waste. Also its a tremendous boost to kids’ self-worth when they can make something useful themselves!

3. Crafting together is also a great way to teach kids to work in teams – sharing their tools, helping each other, brainstorming ideas – we did all this and more in this group. In fact I learned several things from the kids myself!

4. I took a more open approach for my class – just explained the techniques to kids and let them run with their imagination. That is how we got so many different designs with just one class. Mr. C suggested we take a more organized/systematic approach the next time, so that everyone works towards one single design. I am going to give it a try. Will keep you posted on how it goes. :)

Overall, this was time extremely well spent. Satisfaction 100%.

Over to you guys now. Do you do any such activity with your kids? What is your experience like?

Can’t wait to hear from you guys…

Stay warm, keep crafting!

xo,

~Varada

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