I was recently asked about my favorite thing to do. Do you know what I wrote? Crafting with my kids.
I wish I was more artistic and more of a free spirit and, well, a lot of other things. But I think because of that I try to make sure my kids have artistic experiences and opportunities.
I find creating relaxing and invigorating at the same time. It is fulfilling and makes me happy. I love playing with color and different mediums. I want my kids to be able to experience the same happy calm that comes through the creative process.
Small disclaimer: Just because these are the things I want for my children, and you look at these pictures and think we craft everyday – we don’t. Sometimes I hate pulling out the paint or the play-doh or the glue and paper and scissors and markers because I know it will make a mess. Usually a big one. And usually one I have to clean up mostly by myself. I have to make a conscious decision to choose creativity over convenience. And oftentimes I don’t make that decision. I find it easier to invite creation when the dried on paint from the last venture is completely scraped off the dining room table and I can’t remember that it took me three weeks to clean it. (I’m thinking a ratty old table cloth would make clean-up a lot easier. I will have to try that.)
But the rewarding part to me is oh, so rewarding. For instance, with Erik’s note project, he decided he wanted to create a stamp and stamp it all over for a background on his poster. So we found a sponge to cut, he asked his brother to cut a block of wood for him on the saw in the garage, we heated up the glue gun, and – viola`- a self-made stamp is born.
Djeryd is working on a poster about Edgar Allan Poe at the moment for English. My creative boy, because of past experience, came up with the idea to make a fluffy had for a skeleton so it looks like The Mask of the Red Death. Out comes tissue paper, glue and a pencil. And he is going to have a terrific poster when he’s done.
If I can try to remember my ultimate goal in all of this, it makes saying “yes” to the mess a whole lot easier. My parents bought me a plaque I keep in my messy living space. It says, “Please excuse the mess, the children are making memories.” Djeryd is fond of reminding me of its wisdom when my internal mess-o-meter is going ballistic. I remind myself the pathway to almost any worthy goal is slow going – so be patient and keep making creative messes.