The Concord Museum in Concord, Massachusetts has a special exhibit during November and December called “Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature“. During the holiday season, the museum is filled with about 30 or so trees that are decorated by original ornaments based on children’s storybooks. Volunteer decorators use their imagination to dress up the trees based on a story’s theme, illustrations, or characters. Our daughter’s kindergarten class took a field trip there and she enjoyed it so much that she wanted to go back so that she could show me her favorite trees. It really was quite an amazing and inspiring exhibit! So much creativity was poured into making each tree a work of art.
I have a shadow. Right now, it’s 4-years-old and it likes to copy almost everything I do. This shadow currently loves to stamp just like me. And it likes to work right next to me at the table.
In continuation of sharing our weekly crafting play dates, here is a project that we did at our house when it was our turn to host a couple of weeks ago. We bought some fabric markers and let each child decorate a shirt and a tote bag to take home. And while the kids decorated their gear, the mommies decorated little baby onesies for one of the moms expecting a new addition this spring.
My 3-year-old daughter and I have two friends that we meet on a weekly basis for a crafting play date. We each rotate taking turns by hosting at our homes, providing lunch, and a fun age-appropriate craft to do together. Today was our sixth get together and after sharing some of the past projects on Facebook and receiving such positive feedback, I thought it might be nice to share the idea with all you in case it inspires some creativity.
Today’s craft activity was decorating headbands. (In case you couldn’t guess, all three friends are girls.) Our friend bought these 1″ wide headbands that are wrapped in grosgrain ribbon from Amazon and they are priced at $13 for a package of 12, so each girl got to decorate 4 headbands. Part of the problem of having three toddlers is that they generally want the same things so we were a little nervous that there is only one of each color in the package. But luckily we spread them out on the table and each girl picked a new color to decorate as we went along until each of them had completed four — all without any quarrels!
As a parent of a toddler, I’ve found that it can be difficult to work on a project with my child present in the room without sparking her curiosity. She’s all about touching and feeling “mama’s toys” as she likes to call my collection of stamps and ink pads, so I like to involve her in small ways that won’t necessarily disrupt a project.
I’ve also made it a point to involve her in what I like to call “collaborative effort” projects or cards that we send to family and friends. This is a great way to craft together where you (as the parent or teacher) can sort of relax and allow a child some artistic freedom yet still create a structured project in the end.
The easiest way that I’ve found to do this is by stamping an image onto white cardstock and then allowing her to “color” it in with markers, crayons, colored pencils and sometimes her dot paints. Not only does she feel like she is helping me, she feels important and proud when I show her the end product.