Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bang for a Buck

My first kids craft post is not going to be a novel idea. This is a more of a reminder to pay attention to great kids crafts while you are out and about. Saving them for a rainy day can turn any boring weekday into a creative, happy, peaceful house. In our family, the goal of any craft is to consume time. I am not going to lie to you. I have an ulterior motive for almost everything my kids do. I am not going to get out all the painting supplies and mess up my kids and my house for a craft that the kids are going to tear through in 5 minutes. Call me lazy, but I am the type of Mom who wants to get some good solid peaceful time out of a craft. My kids may be abnormal but if I get paints or crayons out and hand them a piece of paper, I get about 10 minutes of quiet. I also get lots of "I don't know what to make?", "Can you help me draw a... ", and "I need another piece of paper."

Recently I was at the fabric store (I seem to live there) and my kids immediately started begging in the $1 section. I did what I normally do and quickly said "no" until I looked up to see my kids holding these tiny wooden bird houses. I saw the possibilities for quiet craft time and instead allowed each of my girls to choose one. Suddenly, I was a nice Mommy and they proudly held their birdhouses through out the store. They didn't even paint the things yet and I was already getting positive behaviors out of my kiddos. Yippee!

A couple days passed at home and we finally got a snow day. We got out the paints and our birdhouses and got ready to be creative. I thought for sure this activity would last 15 minutes at most, especially for my 2 year old. Boy was I wrong! They set to work and all was quiet- not for 5, 10, or 15 minutes but for 30 minutes! Even the two year old was busy painting away. We had a lesson in the beginning of the project about using manners and asking for items to be passed to you and wouldn't you know it worked! Here they sat, painting away, with an occasional "Would you please pass the...". I was in Mommy heaven.

When they finished their bird houses, I handed them a piece of card-stock and asked them to create something else with the left over paints. I was shocked again when the quiet painting continued. Mission accomplished! For $3 total, I got almost an hour of happy, quiet, polite, creative kids. We also had lots of wonderful art to show Daddy when he got home (brownie points for Mommy!). The best part, the houses are now filled with birdseed outside our kitchen door. The kids love watching to see if they are popular with the local birds while they eat their lunch.

My lesson learned, some simple wooden houses, or any of those cheep wooden things found in the dollar isle at the craft store, can make for some happy kids and one relaxed Mama. So don't forget to pick up a few to have on hand for your next "snow day". You never know when you may need to use them!


  1. Those turned out great! The best thing is they only cost $1. I love the peace and quiet time of an art project too.