Crafting with kids

You know, there are some days a lot of days, when I look around I see this

puzzle pieces

and this

messy living roomand upon further inspection, I walk into this

living with kids

and on these days, I could do one of two things, well, maybe three things.  First, I could freak out because, well, look at the place.  It’s a total mess.  And I didn’t even show you the sink piled up with dishes or the overflowing laundry.  I could try to get myself pulled together, pick up, and get on with trying to get all the things accomplished in that day that I had set out to do.  OR I could just scratch the day I had “planned”, ignore the mess, and jump in with these two hawnyawks, aka the dueling mess makers and have some fun.

school picture crying

Does this picture make you laugh or what???  It was done at their Mother’s Day Out preschool by Lifetouch Portraits. Look at Oliver!?!  Poor kid.  He did eventually give them a lil smile

oliver school picture 2011

I did say “lil”…nothing like the smile that Henry gave em

henry school picture 2011

So back to the three ways to handle the messes…I have actually done all three of the above and let me tell you from experience, the “freak out” won’t get you very far.  Now if you have the energy to pick up and tackle your day, then by all means…jump in, get after it man, get stuff done.  I LOVE those days where I feel like I’m on top of the world, where I feel like I can accomplish anything.  I say bring it on, if you know what I mean.  But, I also know my limit and occasionally I will have one of “those” days.  You know those days, right?  Those days where you feel like you literally are muddling through, where nothing feels very easy…you don’t have the energy to clean, make dinner, or do another load of laundry for what seems like the millionth time.  Those are the days where you want scream, “this day is soooo fired!!!” a la Donald Trump.  You don’t ever say that???  Well, my sister and I sure as heck do.  That is our secret spy code to que the pep talk or to make the other one laugh.

And if it’s one of “those” days and I keep stumbling upon mess after mess, I sweetly surrender and raise my white flag.   These are the type of days where, if I am able to, I just like to hunker down at home and get messy with the kids.  Who needs to shower anyway?  And can I just ask why oh whhhhhy is it on days like these that someone unexpectedly stops by…never when my house is all tidy and neat.  Don’t you hate that…no, I love the visitors, but hate when I answer the door looking half crazy and it looks like an explosion of toys went off behind me…not to mention that I smell bad, too.

It was on this particular day when I was faced with all the mess in the pictures above, that I scooped up the kids and whisked them away to my craft room to paint.  And this is what we created in the chaos of the that day!

crafting with kids

Super cute, right?  And easy!  And it kept the kiddos busy!  And looky there, we actually still got something accomplished in that day.

kids finger painting turned art

glittered finger paint art for kids

Now, Sam, on the other hand, walking in the door to all the mess at 5pm may beg to differ, but he is a super schmarty pants husband (who has learned, I might add) not to ask “what the heck has happened here” or “what exactly did you do today?”  Yes, you might say those are VERY BAD, verrrry verrrry bad questions…run far far away from those questions.  Those questions will take you down a super scary path…no one, believe me, no one wants to go there.  So it is on those days, that Sam walks in smiling, and takes a look around…I can literally see his smile fading as he takes in the mess and the fact that there may be no dinner ready.  Then he locks eyes with me and says, “anybody want some pizza?”   Yes, super wise answer.

So, back to the pics, I first saw this idea on Emily’s lovely blog.  Her son had made some fall art and I thought the idea was adorable.  She had mentioned that she was originally inspired by the art at Sarah Jane Studios.  The possibilities are endless…you can make cards for others, wall art, gift tags, or you could even string a bunch of hearts together and make some garland for the christmas tree or mantle.  Ooooh, I may have to do that.

So, if you want to do this, here the steps you can follow.

1.  Grab some paper, I had some Strathmore canvas cards on hand and then break out some finger paints, we like Emily, used the Crayola Washable Fingerpaints.

2.  Let the kids get messy.  Then if you are feeling a lil wild, break out the glitter.  I had Martha Stewart’s glitter on hand so we went ahead and bedazzled the heck out of Henry’s painting.

finger painting with kids

3.  Cut out whatever shape you want.  I cut out a few hearts until I got the perfect heart that I wanted to use as a template.

cut out hearts

4.  If you are doing some art like I did, grab some frames.  I had these from the dollar store lying around.  I used my computer to print out a little 4×4 square with the word “love” written on it.   You can even add some cute ribbon to the back of each frame so it would look oh so cute hanging up on the wall.  Again the possibilities are endless.

Have fun gettin your craft on!  Oh, and if you don’t have kids of your own, then offer to watch your nieces/nephews for an evening and just think how sweet it will be to send them home to their parents with these.  No nieces or nephews…hmmm…offer to watch a neighbor’s kids or a friend’s children for the night…you get my drift, right?