Because I’ve been doing a bunch of embroidery lately, the kids have wanted in on the action. My nephew really took his time tracing some flowers to sew. And my daughter is doing her sheep in shades of pink.
You’re into Pinterest, right? I mean, you’re a crafter. And flipping through Pinterest is basically just a treasure trove of ideas. Since I volunteer in my kid’s 1st grade classroom, and the teacher has been awesome about letting me improve hand-eye-coordination and concentration with CRAFT! I look at Pinterest a bit.
We’re moving in to field trips and studying the earth and, specifically, tide pools (thank you, coast of California). So I pinned a few cute clothespin puppets. But I couldn’t find the one that I wanted in a pdf file that I could download! Add to that, the internet at home went down so I couldn’t have printed it if I did find it.
So I did what any craft minded individual did. I drew my own. I’m no artist, but I can copy decently. So here’s what I came up with.
Here’s the file:
If you’ve been reading awhile, you know that I feel about crafting with kids a bit like I do about poetry (I think everyone should write poetry, I think no one should read poetry!). Crafting with kids is exhausting and you better plan ahead carefully for the skill level and, under no circumstances, have any expectations of your or the children’s work.
So of course I’m now the “craft mom” in my daughter’s first grade classroom. And boy, howdy! are there a range of skill levels amongst 6 & 7 year olds. But we’ve tackled spool knitting, sewing felt, and tomorrow we’re going to try sewing buttons.
Major shout-out to the teachers of the world. I spend an hour a week with these kids and I lay awake the night before trying to plan for eventualities of what could happen while they craft. I can’t ever imagine doing it 8 hours a day 5 days a week. You all totally need a bucket button!
Don’t do it.
And if they are your kids? Really don’t do it.
I have SO MUCH respect for people who can do art with kids. Who can encourage them beyond the fear of “I’m doing it wrong” and get them to just create art. My eldest sobs, wails, and generally just stalls herself unless she knows what she is doing. And it drives me crazy. Because then she does it “her way” and basically crumbles paper and calls it whatever she wants or otherwise makes a mess.
So I put on my buddah pants, and calmly embarked on a felt craft project inspired by these super cute pencil toppers.
A few hints if you simply must craft with your children:
- Don’t sit down and expect to do your own project. Not only are you simply going to get frustrated as they stick their jam hands into your stuff, they haven’t seen the years you spent learning to smoothly cut and they may become upset that they can’t instantly reproduce what you did.
- If you simply must craft with them, try doing the type of project where you do all the prep and they assemble. Then you are all starting from the same playing field.
- Find your inner peace first and try to remember that a lot of this is totally brand new and actually really hard for them! Cutting, knowing which side glue goes, learning that you’ll have more fabric/paper if you cut from the edge instead of the middle.