Well…for a while anyway! Doing this 31 Days of Easy Crafts for Kids has been so, so, so good for me. I’m going to share a few things I learned about myself and my kids here in a minute, but let me just take a moment to say…
I DID IT!!! IT’S OVER!!! I’M DONE!!!!
I’m so relieved to be done with this past month! Crafting is messy, tiring, and a lot of work, and doing a craft almost every day for 31 days has been crazyness. BUT. I learned a lot and I’m so glad I made the decision to do this challenge. Here’s what I learned.
When it comes to crafts, H is a perfectionist.
Okay, so I kind of already knew that, but this cemented it. In the beginning, if she couldn’t do something the way she thought it should be done, she’d ask for help. But I also learned something more important. I, as her mother, am able to persuade her that her work is good, even when she doesn’t think it meets a high standard. I want her to believe that as long as she’s doing her best, what she does is great. Did her owl with one green eye and one red eye look slightly creepy? Yes. But She believes it’s great because I told her that however she wanted it to look was great! Through this 31 days of crafts for kids, H has learned to care less about how others perceive her finished product and more about if SHE likes how it looks or not. If she likes it, it’s great. And I’m thrilled with that.
You see, I want her to try her best and work hard, but I want her to understand that she is enough. Her fingerprint Christmas lights aren’t going to look like the ones on Pinterest. Her kazoo might not play as nicely as the one on YouTube. The colors in her coffee filter art might not be as vibrant as the colors in mine. But in spite of all that, I want her to understand that the works of her determined little hands are beautiful.
M may be silly and quirky, but she has more skill than I realized.
She seems to not really care what things look like or how they turn out, but if asked, she’ll demonstrate the ability to follow directions. Take, for example, the fingerprint Christmas lights. It takes a lot of fine motor skill to put a dot on each and every little light socket. But she did it! She did a “few” other dots along the way, but she was able to do exactly what she was asked.I think this is important for me to remember. H & M are not going to be the same. I don’t want them to be! And both of them are beautiful in their uniqueness!
It’s better to let go.
We did a variety of different crafts and some turned out exactly like I’d imagined (like the Family Handprint Christmas Tree) and some didn’t (like the Growth Chart). All of them were fun to do, but I think the ones where the kids had the most fun and learned the most were the ones where I just let go and let them do their thing. Crafts for kids aren’t supposed to be perfect, they’re supposed to show the child’s personality. That personality shines through the best when you, as the parent, just let go.
I really enjoy doing things (including crafts) with my kids.
Is it terrible to admit that I didn’t really think this was true before I started this series? I mean, sometimes we had fun together, but most of the time, I was just too busy to notice that I really could enjoy spending time with them. When we did these crafts, I had to close the laptop, put down the phone, brush dinner plans aside, and focus 100% on the activity we were doing because if I didn’t, I could end up with paint all over the walls! In shutting out the rest of the world, I realized that I could really have a great time playing (or in this case, crafting) with my kids.
If you want awesome crafts for kids, messes aren’t so bad.
At least, they’re not if you have the right setup. I have two setups, the table and the floor. If they’re at the table, I put newspapers out under their project and just throw it away when they’re done. If they’re on the floor, I have a plastic tablecloth that goes under them. It’s our painting tablecloth, so it’s fine if they get paint or glue or markers on it. I just let the paint dry and stick it back in the closet when we’re done. Having a good setup is essential to make messy crafts something that won’t make you want to pull your hair out.
I can do it.
I can not only craft with my kids, but more importantly (to me anyway) I can write about it. I can pick a topic that I’m semi-interested in and write about it every day for 31 Days. I can stick with the plan and see it through to completion. This is BIG. Have you ever tried to stick to a diet or excercise routine for a full month? It’s hard! I’ll be the first to admit that I often fall off the bandwagon after the first couple weeks. This month was no cake walk. It was hard work. But I DID IT! And that shows me that I can keep going and maybe not write every day, but definitely set a schedule and stick with it!
I’m so, so glad that I participated in the 31 Days challenge this year. It helped me to grow as a mom and a blogger. I hope you enjoyed it as well! Tell me, which was your favorite craft this past month?