I admit some of my friends think I'm a crafty mum. We have a craft cupboard which, when tidy, is a wonderful thing and I don't mind getting the paints and playdough out. Making playdough is one of my daughter's favourite things to do.
My bookshelves are also heaving with craft books that I go through every so often for inspiration.
But I can't sew. I can't draw. I can't crochet (although I have a book I'm going to use to teach myself) and while I've taught myself to knit I am painfully slow and rarely finish anything.
What I can do is make sure there is space and time in my children's lives for creative pursuits.
I'm not entirely sure where this image as a creative mum has come from, but I don't mind. Actually, I wish I were more creative.
What, though if you aren't? I know there are lots of parents out there who'd rather let nursery and pre-school take care of the messier activities. Read on for some tips on how to make creativity easy for yourself and your children.The summer holidays are only six weeks away and, with sports day, end of term this and that, we all know those days will fly by. Finding fun, but cheap, things to do will help make the summer a great one, whatever the weather.
So I'm going to start collecting egg boxes, plastic bottles and will stock up the craft cupboard so we won't be out of the all important googly eyes. And I'm going to surf the internet.
There are some wonderful resources out there and some great tips to make raising creative kids just that little bit easier.
- Take the crafting outside if the weather's good. Little ones will probably love painting without any clothes on and if they get messy, a refreshing dip in the paddling pool will soon rectify that.
- Even if you can't face getting the paints out, a bucket of water and paintbrushes along with a wall, fence, or patio and some sunshine will still entertain them.
- If the weather is not on your side, and let's face it, it's bound not to be, make children wear an older sibling's (or parent's) old tee-shirt as a cover-up. Save your newspapers too for easy to clear table covers (not to mention paper mache creations). A squeeze of washing up liquid in poster paints also helps when restoring children to their natural state.
- Before they go outside to dig or before the plasticine or poster paints come out, get them to run their nails over a bar of soap. Just remind them not to then put their fingers in their mouths.
- And check out these websites for some crafty ideas: www.familyfun.go.com, www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts, www.theideabox.com and www.plaidkidscrafts.com
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