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crafting with kids

Doing crafts with your kids is very important, because it exposes them to a project that takes you hours to prep and even more hours to clean up. No, just kidding. It's really important for some reason. To make the other mothers feel guilty, probably.

pieces of joseph

not yet technicolored

These are some pieces I prepped for our smallgroup to create Joseph dolls, complete with custom-designed multi-colored coats. Harvey made his early as a demo. And then insisted on taking him everywhere. "Can I take my joseph in the wagon with me?"

joseph in the wagon

it's a long wagon ride to Egypt

He also said adorable things like, "Mama! Zion's trying to eat the coat of many colors!"

butterfly footprint card

as seen in their natural habitat, under a refrigerator magnet

In the same vein, I made these butterfly footprints with the kids for valentine's day. It's not so hard to do, really. First you spread paint evenly over every surface in your kitchen. The kids walk all around getting paint on their feet. They you wait for one to kick you and at the last minute, BAM, hold up a piece of paper. Repeat for other side.

No, I'm just kidding, the actual process is slightly more messy.

I've been thinking about the difference between doing "art projects" with the kids and just doing art. The former is contained within a clear set of steps, and there's a final product in mind. The latter is an invitation to make a big mess, but theoretically more creatively engaging.

harvey painting

artiste hard at work

I think I'm in favor of free-form art, at least until Harvey's finished products approach something I can coach into presentability. Or until he can do a craft kit on his own without asking me to do EVERY SINGLE STEP for him. (Dude! If I wanted to make a doll myself I'd make a BETTER one.) Now if only I could get him to stop drawing on the toys. ("But Grandma did it!" he says. I guess we all just have different metrics for how much we're willing to suffer for art.)


After reading your post, I asked Eug if he could be in charge of crafts for Noah and Tiny Blob (I get nervous even thinking about it) and he said he'd think about it- he said he's better suited to "Art". Then he thought a bit, and said maybe, because there's big money in crafts. I'm not sure if he was joking.

On a somewhat different note, I generally find it hard to "play" games that Noah likes for any length of time, unless he's enjoying it so much that I can't help smiling. But I love taking him out, or cooking or gardening or cleaning or loading the washer with him. It's interesting to figure out how to help him grow and have fun and learn, because I genuinely want to play with him but much of the time I have too many things I'm trying to accomplish.

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