Thursday, October 09, 2008

accessible craftiness.


While we love whole end-to-end crafty projects, I also love seeing kids just play and explore with materials. Something interesting always happens. We like to keep a few baskets of supplies out all the time on our dining room table - markers, pencils, beeswax crayons, kid scissors (funky edging scissors are fun too), bits of patterned/colored paper, blank notecards, glue sticks, stickers, lined notebooks, sketchbooks. This stuff is used ALL the time. I also like to keep things interesting by adding something new (rotating supplies) to the baskets every few days, so that they have something to experiment with. Things like paper clay, modeling beeswax, stamps and stamp pads, paper crimpers, decorative hole punches, blank storybooks - something different to keep it fresh. When my boys were toddlers, they had access to fewer (age-appropriate) supplies - as they get older, more items can be added to the baskets.

We tend to do a few craft based projects each week which tie into the season or what we are reading/working on that week. The boys then usually also make something every day with this pile of supplies. They write cards to family members or friends, make tickets to their shows, draw menus for their cafe, write wish lists or letters to me, make signs, create 'cartoons', or just scribble and cut and make a big fun mess.


Yesterday the boys were into a new rainbow stamp pad I found, and were using stamps on it, and soon moved on to stamping handprints...and eventually footprints (good thing it is washable stamp ink!). I like seeing how they think. Always something fun, creative and interesting!


We have a big 3-day weekend coming up - catch you all on Monday!

14 comments:

Lynnie said...

Your boys are SO creative! I love that you keep art supplies out all the time. We do too, but I don't really add anything extra and new as a surprise on some days, which is an excellent idea. Maybe with the girls' birthdays coming up we can invest in some goodies, like the crooked scissors and then rotate some stuff.

My youngest can still get into trouble with art supplies sometimes! Seeing the picture of your son's inky hands reminded me that she once ripped the ink pad out of its plastic container and rubbed it up and down both her legs like a sponge. Groan. It's not as washable when used that way!

Enjoy your weekend!

Aimee said...

You are ever so inspiring, creative mama. I am always amazed at the *consistency* you keep in art. It's just wonderful.

Lisa Anne said...

When Amelia was younger I spent a lot of time sweeping up tiny bits of paper off the floor because she was always making something in her little corner. She can still sit for hours and create something so beautiful, it is really amazing.

Lynch Family said...

I LOVE that last picture! The opportunity to create every day is one of the best parts of life! Kudos!

Dawn said...

Your house always sounds like such a fun place to grow up. I also like to see what happens when I just leave craft supplies out for my kids to use. Have a great weekend!

RunninL8 said...

What a great idea , Denise! A basket of craft supplies is just what we need to have readily accessable. Lo is BIG into drawing and writting letters these days.

Lori said...

have a great weekend! :^D)

Carrie said...

Looks like you guys are having fun. Love the PJ's (?) and LOVE his longer hair.. (my youngest has longer hair)

I like the idea of crafting. Just today we have already completed 3 different crafts, and are getting ready to make "fall ornaments" to eventually hang on a "fall tree".

These are certainly the best days of our lives!!!

Anonymous said...

Just want to be sure to pause & tell you how very much I'm enjoying your blog these days. We seem to really be able to manage many of the things your family does. This week, we did leaf rubbings & also started the metallic bead project with another family. Just that little extra element of adding texture with the rubber stamps really thrilled the kids. Now we have a lovely collection of beads -- when we get together next, we'll paint, then finally do some stringing. Fun! Thanks again. --Nancy in NC

8)(8 said...

My daughter sounds like she has a similar set up, but we have not tried bee's wax modeling. Your photos really show how wonderful your setup is for your kids.

Sally said...

What a wonderful idea! What I think is very important is not so much the materials themselves, but what you and your husband are saying to your children about who they are as creative spirits, and as individuals with something to say and express.

BIG :)

Teaching Handwork said...

very cool!

Stephanie S. said...

We have a couple of shelves in the den with different paints, large tubs of crayons, the art books, markers, etc -- but I did not think to include the stamp pads and funky scissors!
I think I'll rotate some of that stuff today - bring a few things upstairs. (most of our things like that are kept downstairs in the play room.)
Thanks for the idea!
Stephanie (via Growing Naturally)

Stephanie said...

Hi Denise, I just tagged you on my blog if you like that sort of thing. :)

I cannot wait to leave our art stuff out. Ruby is such an animal right now...the only thing I trust her with is chalk.