Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Crafting for the Non Crafty Mom

So here's the thing. I'm not super crafty. I know I'm not super crafty. Sure, I pin plenty of things to try with the girls, but we don't do much. And when we do, it's much more about the process, not the product.

But now that Madison has a year of preschool under her belt, she likes to process and the product. She likes to do projects. She likes the experience, but she also likes to have something to take away.

Beading? I can handle that. Play dough? Right up my alley. Painting? Sure. Basically, if the prep is light and it's focused on play, I'm in. We make and play with rainbow rice. We make and play with cloud dough. I'm planning on making this Frozen inspired silly putty.

Anything beyond that where you get to walk away with something you can hang up or play with? Ummm...yeah, not my strength. The prep alone kills me. Best leave that to preschool.

Oh, but preschool is over. Shoot.

I can do the free play, I can do the teaching, I can do the sensory stuff, but clearly, I need to step up my game on the craft thing and fill that void. Not daily, maybe not even weekly, but at least a few times a month I need to let this kid make something.

So I'm cheating a little. Just a little. Just enough to get me started.

I joined Kiwi Crate. I'd seen their posts on Facebook. You know, where it says which of your friends like things. Turns out a lot of my friends like Kiwi Crate.

By the way, this is NOT a sponsored post. They did not send me a free box or pay me any money to talk about them. But once I knew how much I liked this, I did join their affiliate program. So if you join, I get some credit for that.

You know what? I like them too. Enough where I wasn't cancelling once my free trial was over.

We get one box a month, and right now, we only get it with enough craft supplies for one kid (you can ask for extra so two or more kids can do it together). Their age range is 3-7, and Reagan isn't at the point yet where it's worth it. Twenty bucks gets us a box containing supplies, instructions, extension activities, and stories that will make two separate creations. Usually one is clean and easy and one is a little messier and more involved. I started over the winter, and we had fun with snow projects, but by far our favorite is the farm project.

Now, if you are a crafty mom, this probably isn't the subscription box for you. I know some of my friends are already shaking their heads and saying things like "You know, you can pick up all that stuff at Discount School Supply or Amazon or the Dollar Store". Yes. You are right. You can search for a project on Pinterest, pick up the supplies, prep them yourself, and do a comparable project for less money.

Here's the progression of the farm animal finger puppets we made.

See all those little pieces of sticky felt? I would have to cut all those out. And make the bodies for the finger puppets. The prep alone would have made it a no.

Totally capable of doing all this herself, once it was laid out.

That was IT for clean up.

Ready for a show!

But for me, my time is worth something. I don't want to not do crafts because I know that I don't have the time to spend cutting out pieces of felt to the right size, scouring the Dollar Store for the right supplies, finding a place to store all the excess. If I'm going to do a craft with the girls, it's one that they can be involved in 90% of. Cutting out sticky felt isn't in their capabilities yet, and I don't want to spend my crafty time getting all finicky. Simply put, I would not have done this farm project on my own. I would have seen it on Pinterest, pinned it, and then when we were itching to dive into the craft supplies, I would have reverted back to something where the parent prep is low and the kid involvement is high. We wouldn't have done something like this. Would that have been just as ok? Sure. But looking at how much she loved this project, I feel like I owe her one like this a month. We got a month by Kiwi Crate subscription - you can get a better value by prepaying, but I like having the ability to pause when it looks like life is getting busy.

Some projects are messier. Some require more set up. Some are as easy as this one. What's cool is that with the two projects you get, you get a meter telling you what to expect. You also get a little "magazine" and directions for a few projects that you can do on your own. For an almost four year old, getting THIS much mail with THIS much stuff inside is the best.

For one week only, if you use the code GET10 you'll save $10 off your first crate, plus, you'll get free shipping.

If it can make a non crafty mom seem crafty a few times a month, I'll take it!
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