by Carrie Perry
Let’s be real for a minute. Not Facebook or Instagram real, but genuine, mom of the moment real. I have three boys. They range in ages from nine to fifteen. They are not the target demographic kids of most Pinterest DIY crafts. Boys. Teens.
And if I am transparent with you about myself as a mom, I would tell you that I don’t want to spend forty-five minutes shopping on Amazon, thirty-five minutes setting up the project, and then fifteen jaw clenched minutes of my kids complaining about the project. Geez.
In the interest of being real and being really stuck for the foreseeable future, at home . . . with said kids, let me share a few activities that I know will be fun (and relatively easy). I tend to be thrifty (aka – cheap) and we like to use things we already have, so hopefully you will be able to do a couple of these projects with your personal kid demographic.
Disclaimer: a few of these I have actually done with real, live kids. Some are still on my bucket list.
Project number 1: Sew a straight line. Yep. That’s what I said. My youngest son got this idea a couple weeks ago as he watched me hand-stitch a busted seam on an old teddy bear. He immediately wanted to start a sewing project and had grand ideas about what we could make. Inwardly, I cringed a little. Sewing means knot tying. And pins! But I smiled like a good little mommy and said yes. Previously, we had visited the remnant rack at Wal-Mart, but we could have easily recycled an old shirt. And I have to say, it was a true joy to watch him learn to thread that needle, attempt to tie a knot, and sew a straight stitch. Our pillows are still a work in progress, but he’s in the lead! For older kids, add details! Sew buttons on something, maybe even learn a fancy stitch.
Project number 2: Paint a rock. I know. It’s been done a thousand times. (And we know there’s an entire article dedicated to it.) But we went hunting for the rocks in our yard and it was magical. Even my big boys wanted to paint, “Just one more, Mom!” We are setting them on our porch for now, but as soon as we’re allowed to be out and about, we will place them on the Swamp Rabbit Trail for bikers and walkers to spot. I had craft paints saved up from years of random projects and they are so cheap! We even splurged and bought one pack of paint pens to add small details. This was an investment that really paid off.
Project number three: Crayon resist and watercolor painting. You can buy resist in the art section of Wal-Mart or at a craft store, but it is smelly and takes patience! Not to mention, the fine motor skills needed! But a white crayon works great as resist! The idea is that you draw a silhouette image or even write a secret message with the white crayon. Make sure to press down and really get wax on the paper. The use water colors to fill the paper with color. And I mean FILL the paper. We even broke out the straws to blow the wet paint around on the paper and that made interesting run marks. You can even sprinkle salt on the wet paint which creates a cool effect! When the paint dries, use a paper towel to blot the paint off the crayon areas if needed.
Now here are a couple that I haven’t done yet, but plan to in the coming days!
Project number four: Plastic cup weaving. We will cut a plastic cup to be much shorter than usual. Then we will glue small twigs from our yard onto the cup (vertically standing upright). The ones I have seen done all use popsicle sticks, but I don’t have those on hand! Then using yarn, ribbon, strips of old clothes, weave over and under the sticks as you move around the cup! I have to admit, I might be more excited about this project than I should.
Project number five: Altoid tin creations. Okay, there are so many choices for this. Rather than tell you how to make one of these, let me just suggest that you search this topic on Google or Pinterest. We have a bunch of these tins scattered around our home and I am itching to make a tiny habitat or mini chalkboard. The possibilities are terrific and there are ideas that appeal to little kids and big kids alike.
Just remember, we don’t have to be perfect to have a perfect day. And the memories are worth the work – and maybe even a little glitter in the carpet.