At school every day it is the teacher's job to have many activities for the kids to work on. These activities correspond to the lesson for the week, or the time of the year. Ever since my kids have been in day care (since 12 months old), they've been coming home with these cute little art projects made from construction paper. There's a drawer in their room that I've been stuffing them into. Some have gone up on the wall, and reluctantly some in the recycling bin.
The library has tons of books on craft activities for kids, great books on making art from leaves and trash. Then there is the before mentioned Pintrest. There are curriculums and mail in craft kits: where someone sends you all the materials in a box in the mail each month for craft activities.
So really, there are tons of options out there to help me get inspired and crafting like a pro Kindergarten teacher..
So what's my problem?
A year and a half ago I blogged about picking up a gingerbread man kit from Trader Joe's. When I gave it to the kids to decorate, I observed Kaio looking at the box to see the image, then copying how it looked on the box. I contemplated whether he learned to do this in school or not. Well now I'm convinced he did (see A Subtle Act of Creative Defiance). I've seen him take this copy-the-example approach in other boxed craft activities too, and he does it without determination in his eye, but with a vacant subservience. Like he's fallen into a pattern of how to approach the projects.
Back when Kaio was in school and daycare and the construction paper craft activities came home, Kaio was never that excited about showing them to me. They were usually just stuffed in his bag, discarded. I could ask about them and he'd explain that's a turkey, or a pilgrim hat, or a fire work, whatever. He gets much more excited showing me his latest Lego starship. Last Sunday he spent half the day building pirate ships and sail boats out of legos and trying to make on float in the bath tub.
So as I was saying, I was so worried about what activities the kids would do at home and how they would survive without seasonally appropriate crafts.
Well, I'm not worried anymore. behold exhibit A, B & C:
Nala then, needed to make her own book too.
Rocket Ship. Nala's in the background manning the control station.
A trip to the craft store with a $5 spending limit
Every pony likes baby racoon's tree
A swan eating a fish
Tyrannosaurus and his favorite squeaky bunny toy named squeaky
Yoda refuling Ahsoka Tano's Space Shuttle
A new skirt
So basically, I'm not worried about preparing daily craft activities for them anymore. Original arts and crafts projects just exhale from their being. An inescapable product of their childhood experience. And the less parameters placed around this creativity, the more truth seeps out of their expressions.
By recognizing these little events as just as valid as those macaroni dinosaur bone activities, I learn to take some pressure off myself. They are teaching me that I don't need to be feeding them information.
They are doing just fine.