Monday, April 23, 2012

Creating with Kids:Preparing is Key to Fun



Preparing is Key to Creating with Kids.

When creating and crafting with kids we all have this vision of how it should all go.Everyone giggling,painting and sharing ideas and materials nicely. Cleaning up together with a willing and happy heart....

Well if your house is anything like mine with my 1 child plus triplets and friends-toss that picture right out the window.
My very first tip is to prepare. Prepare YOURSELF.And DON'T under any circumstances tell them what you are up to till you are actually ready. Other wise their unbridled excitement may torment you to get started.
So again, Prepare first. That is, gather all your supplies ahead in one place for the project you have in mind. Having a bin or a box to keep your supplies in will speed up up future creating activities.Yes- there will be more fun creative times in your future.
Decide when you want to create. Before they eat as you know is not always the best time, when I'm tired I KNOW is not the best time. And certainly when you are rushed or may have to be 'pretty' after if your painting may not be the best time either. I like to set a day in the week ahead. Making this creative time the 'thing to do for that day'. After a late breakfast or lunch when they need to be entertained. If it is a rainy or HOT day all the better. You know what works best for your family.
Next prepare your work space. Clear the clean clothes of the kitchen table, have your old wash clothes on hand for spills.Kids dressed for mess. Nice music to play, a drink in your hand of your choice, A few snacks ready in the end as a treat. Also know where you are going to put these projects to dry is helpful. be it an old cookie tray, floor space safe from little paws and feet,another table or counter. That way when they ask "Where do I put this,I want to do more."You are prepared. Again, the more prepared you are the more fun you will have with your kids too.
Start off with something small and simple. Here are a few of my favorites:
  • Draw anything. when bringing out new materials it is always fun just to experiment with them.
  • Make cards. Cut and fold the paper to match envelopes. Using simple markers/crayons,stickers,stencils. Want to step it up? Rubber stamps, cut paper, glue,buttons,glitter etc. Send out to shut ins, relatives and friends, class mates etc.
  • Watercolor on paper.Using the simple watercolor set from the dollar store. Nice if you can have one for each child. I have a large roll of white paper from the local warehouse store I keep just for this. The kids love to roll it out on the floor or sidewalk.hang across the wall to display.
  • Chalk art. do this on your porch or out in a playground.
  • If you like to make paper airplanes, decorate them.
  • Play dough/clay even better if they can sit at a table outside where clay crumbs can fall.
Actually, back to that vision, here I do look forward to creating with the kids now. They too know where supplies are to pull out on their own (triplets are now 10), how to clean brushes and what is necessary to keep things nice for next time. Their friends love coming here for just that reason. We don't fuss about painting as we have practiced and learned how to have fun, without getting things everywhere. Which is what I think us parents fret most. A huge mess and something ruined.
Just take your time and the more you create together the easier it will become.

Stop back for more creating with kid tips.
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