Every night my four year old son goes to bed at 8:00 and my husband follows pretty close behind (sometimes even earlier), so that is when I get started in the craft studio. It's a chance for me to pass the time instead of watching television on the couch while snacking on bon-bons. I have a room full of supplies that I love to experiment with. Fabrics, ribbons, beading, paper, yarn, even stuff for candle making!! But I never get the urge to pull those things out and just sit down to craft with my little boy. I guess it never really hit me until today when pinned a fun Easter craft onto my Pinterest page for making embroidery floss Easter eggs and I thought to myself "will we really end up doing this?"
So, I sat down and listed all of the possible reasons why I never craft with him. I'm putting it out there to help me overcome these perceived obstacles and realize I'm missing out on some awesome mommy-son fun time. Please, don't judge!
The mess. I am far from a good housekeeper, that's for sure. But something about purposely making a mess on my dining room table and then realizing I need to clean it up before dinner seems daunting. I am actually thinking about the after instead of the during. This probably all started when I first let him finger paint. Oy.
Boredom. Whether it is him or me, one of us inevitably loses steam mid-way through and has no desire to finish. This happens a lot while building Legos. We start off nicely, with him helping me sort out the different colors and handing me the pieces we need. Then next thing I know I'm the one totally engrossed in building the Starship Enterprise and he is completely engrossed in The Cat in the Hat.
Frustration. I will admit that this may be the biggest obstacle to our crafting time. I take for granted that my son is only four, especially since he talks like he is 40. So if we are trying to follow instructions to get a specific end result I get a little frustrated when he takes some artistic liberties (or simply doesn't listen to me). I remember at Christmastime we had some snowman ornaments with adhesive backed pieces which stuck to the white base. I don't know how many times I would stop him and say "no, that doesn't go there, use this instead." So what if his snowman had an arm sticking out of its head and a carrot where the arm should be. It was his project and I should have let him do it. But I'm a control freak and not ready to let him nurture his inner Picasso.
Imagination. Some crafting projects require imagination and sometimes I just don't have any. This is also why we don't play house or dress up or any other fun things that a kid likes to do. I leave that to his dad, who is very good at playing "Army men" for long chunks of time.
Territorial. Occasionally I need to get something done during the day up in my craft room. The little guy follows me up and loves looking around at all the "stuff." Then he starts touching it. And wanting to make things with it. But it's my stuff! I need it for a future project! I swear! Last night I watched an episode of Hoarders and realized every time the person said "oh I need to keep that in case I ever do such and such" that.is.me. I have boxes of supplies from crafting projects that I haven't touched in years. But the minute my son wants it, I say "oh no mommy is going to need those again if I ever decide to make a feather covered tiara with pipe cleaners and rhinestones" (you get the point here...)
Electronics. This is the worst one to admit to, but I'm putting it out there. My son and I are both addicted to our electronics On a Saturday morning it is not unusual to find us sitting side-by-side on the couch with our iPads playing foolish games. Sometimes he looks at mine and asks what different words are laid out on the Scrabble-like game board (I justify this by saying I'm helping him learn to spell). Or he asks me to help him achieve a certain goal in his building game. But I realize this foolish addiction has got to stop, for both of our sake! Now please don't think all my kid does is sit on the couch and play games, that's not true at all. He has a lot of toys that he plays with, he has karate and swimming classes that keep him active, and when the weather is nice we hit the park. But his time with his iPad it is definitely time that would be better spent on a project. At least once mommy gets that first cup of coffee in her system.
So, I wrote this post to lay it all out there and realize I need to start getting more crafty for FUN not just profit. My son needs it. I've been feeling really guilty about it and it's time I take action, especially when he told his teacher that I should come into class and make a craft with his friends. I can't come up with a single idea of something I can make with a group of three and four year olds! Last year I went to his class and taught them how to make lollipop ghosts with tissues and pipe cleaners at Halloween, but that isn't going to fly this time around. Looks like I'll be "pinning" a lot more and testing them out with my son on the weekends....NO EXCUSES THIS TIME! And to keep me honest, I'll post pictures of the end results.... no matter how messy they come out!
If you have any great toddler craft ideas (that can be done with a large group, and with little mess or prep) please comment!
|Let him alone for just a few minutes....|
|Mess in the making|
|NO! NOT MY STUFF!|