i seriously do. i seriously hate crafts. i apologize to all of you who love crafts, but it’s just not me. frankly, i don’t like things to get my hands, or my house, overly dirty. kids are wonderful, but the thought of kids with paint covered fingers tossing glitter around my dining room turns my stomach a bit. when i was first debating staying home, i assumed i would either go crazy or my kids would hate me. not quite a motivator to make the big leap.
while i am sure for some people crafts can be relaxing and fun, for me they tend to evoke images of art class in elementary school and middle school where my final product always STUNK. ceramic pigs that really looked like a pink log and self-portraits that were nothing more than a stick figure. art? not my strong suit.
i don’t even really consider myself to be creative. i am better if someone has an idea and i can refine it, streamline it, enhance it. i love to organize things… ahhh… pure bliss. unfortunately for me, art is the exact opposite of organization, that is until clean up time. i love clean up time!
when i was laid off, one of the things i had to challenge myself on was whether or not i could change my perspective on pipe cleaners and elmer’s glue. i knew i would have to find a way to channel my inner kindergarten teacher for the sake of the kids. if i couldn’t, i felt that i probably didn’t belong at home.
i approached this area cautiously and thought back to my project management days. did i have the tools and resources to get the job done? no. we had some crayons, markers, old & faded construction paper and a lone hole punch. i dug around online and found a basic art supply list for the SAHM. i collected coupons from michael’s, joann fabrics and hobby lobby. over the course of a few weeks we stocked our art cabinet with washable paints, paint brushes, clothes pins, glue, finger paints, yarn, glue sticks, kid scissors, and some poster paper. i will need a lot more garden therapy before something like a hot glue gun or glitter comes in the house.
i had the tools, now what do i do with them? i needed ideas and fast. i talked to friends, researched online and poured through all the parenting books in the house. next, i did what any results-oriented person would do and i made a list. the Kids Activity List contains ideas for projects that we have the resources for, take less than 45 minutes start to finish, and that minimally disrupt my sense of order (i.e. i only need to wipe with a washcloth or quickly run a vacuum to recognize the room again).
we tackle on average one project a week. i try to “let go” once all the tools are out and give my son the reins. he is a much more creative soul than i. we laugh, we get messy and he is happy. this is all i really want.
the list started small and over the past few months has grown to +20 ideas. i cross things off when the response is less than stellar, leave it on if the kids like it and we want to repeat, and add more as new ideas come to my attention. the list is managed online through my igoogle dashboard which makes it super easy to reference. the list is a success!
i now believe that being home a SAHM doesn’t require me to do crafty art projects with my kids. i probably don’t need those supplies, but it’s nice to have projects on deck for rainy days. also, since i have been home, i have noticed that sometimes art just happens. think of sidewalk chalk and sand boxes. there is always someone with messy hands and i love being here to clean them up.
it’s been a few weeks since we hit the art cabinet but with rain expected in the coming days, i am reviewing the list for our next project. i will be poised and ready for the chaos.