I am really good at pinning creative ideas, and even better at buying supplies for creative projects to do with my kids, but I’m really BAD at actually completing these projects. Sometimes I’m even bad at starting them! I like the idea of it, I’m full of good intentions, but following through on those creative ideas is another matter.
(Oh, I’ll make more things, all right, but I won’t stop pinning!)
This week was my second consecutive week of vacation, and while we were kept busy for the first week with a fun camping trip with some family, I found myself starting to experience some boredom and cabin fever come week 2. As it’s mid-August, the kids are also starting to get squirrelly and spend more time in front of screens than I would like. We don’t have a lot of disposable income for day trips, and the weather has less than reliable anyways. So although I’ve been having a good time with all the extra baking and cooking I’ve been doing, I decided it was time to get a bit crafty with the kids for a change. I went rummaging through Kitten’s cupboard and dug out all of our rarely-used craft supplies.
Our first project was Woodsies. I bought these on a whim one day at the Dollar Store and then never followed through on showing the kids what to do with them. I used to love crafting with these as a kid! Basically, you have a bag of random, assorted wooden shapes, and you can assemble them into whatever shapes you like using glue, then paint them.
This kept me and the kids busy for a good hour. I’d show you a picture of what we created, including a bunny, an eyeball, a person, a flower, and a frog, but we didn’t put them in a safe place soon enough and so they’ve been scattered, lost, and/or broken! Oops! I knew I should have put magnets on the back and stuck them on the fridge!
Next, we tacked a project that had been sitting in the cupboard for over a year! Shameful, I know! I had gotten a kit for making 2 stepping stones, so we went to the Dollar Store and and picked out some decorations (shells and stones), and moulds (2 foil cake pans). Easy and cheap! We mixed the cement in an old toy bucket, (the dust caused some widespread gagging…pour slowly!) poured it into the moulds, jiggled them to smooth out the top, and then popped the resulting air bubbles with a pencil. Then, the kids got to work pushing in the shells, decorative stones, and their handprints! I tried to write the date on them, but I did it when the cement was still too wet, so it slowly filled in. Oh well! They’ve been drying for a few days now so I’m going to pop them out of the moulds and place them in the yard. A nice keepsake, I think!
For our last project, we needed just a couple of plain ceramic mugs and an assortment of colourful permanent markers, again, all from the Dollar Store. Are you sensing a theme here?
This project was quick and easy and I got the idea from Pinterest. I was intending to have the kids decorate plates, but we could only find plastic plates, so we just got the mugs instead. Just as cute! The kids had fun drawing and writing on their mugs, and then I baked them in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. This makes the decorations permanent and washable. Some of the colours faded with the baking process, but no biggie! Overall, they turned out great and the kids love using the mugs they decorated themselves. I’m thinking this project would be a great future gift idea from the kids to family/friends.
Here’s what typically annoys me about doing crafts and stops me from following through: I feel like it always takes longer to set up, referee the process, and then clean up then it does for the kids to actually enjoy completing the project! But…I will admit….these crafts saved a couple of days from boredom-induced madness, and now we have some lovely keepsakes to remember our time together! Totally worth the trouble!
I gotta do this more often!
Got any other great, thrifty, and not-too-messy craft ideas? Share!