Friday, September 3, 2010

Summer Crafts with Kids Report

I always start the summer with grandiose plans. This is the summer I was going to teach my girls to sew, do all kinds of craft projects, make humanitarian quilts, as well as have thoroughly organized job charts and routines, lots of cultural experiences, and an abundance of peace and harmony. 

And then reality hit. 

We accomplished some of those things with more success than others.  We didn't craft-up a huge storm, but we had a few successes I thought worth sharing.  Above are a set of pillowcase skirts we made. My 11-year-old and her friend arrived one afternoon with the old pillowcases from her friend's bedroom. They wanted to make them into skirts. It turned into such a great project!  All we basically did was cut off the closed end-seam and rolled the raw edges down to make a casing for elastic. So easy and the girls felt so proud!
The 11-year-old made a little stitchery project.  I was gung-ho to get her making a bunch, but one seemed to suffice. And I should just feel good about the fact that we finished that one.
Another crafting endeavor that worked out super was making glass pebble magnets.  This was perfect for my girls.  The glass pebbles are really easy to find at WalMart, Target or any craft store and cost me about $5 for a bag of 100 or so.  ModgePodge scrapbook paper to the back of the glass and let it dry. We glued the magnets with E6000 glue.  I used rub-on letters as well.

A neighborhood mom had a brilliant idea.  She coordinated 10 moms with 11-year-old daughters for a craft group that met once a week.  Each mom took one turn to host the girls, provide the craft supplies and a treat for a couple of hours and the rest of the summer my daughter had a free, fun craft group to attend. This was the project we did when they came to our house.  The whole thing was great!  Next year I'm motivated to put together a similar group for my 9-year-old daughter.
One last craft that seems to be all the rage at the moment but is SO EASY to do with kids. Tissue paper flowers.
I'm sure these tutorials are all over the blogosphere, but someone asked me how we did it so here's a quick explanation. Tools needed: tissue paper (this package cost $1 at Walmart), wire and a pair of scissors.

Cut the tissue paper to the desired size - I used six sheets cut in half for this flower since the package came with twelve sheets.

Accordion-fold the tissue paper, wrap at the center with wire.  Trimming the ends in a point or a scallop will help the flower look even prettier.

Separate each sheet individually and fluff the flower. Voila- that's it!  It's a quick, satisfying project for kids. My 9-year-old did two big flowers in as little as 10 minutes this afternoon.
And lest you think my boys were ignored, we had Legos, Play-doh, and rock-painting projects going on too - with varying degrees of success depending on which TV show I had to negotiate them away from. I am also counting opportunities to make 'armor' out of packing supplies as successes.

Addendum: It's funny. My original intent was to write a post lamenting the stuff that didn't get done - but in looking at the things we did accomplish, it feels like a successful summer.  A good lesson for me. (And perhaps I'm not the only one.) I'm pretty good at looking for and totaling my deficiencies.  Thanks for the encouragement and reminder that finishing a few small projects is a really great thing. I feel better now.

12 comments:

  1. I never accomplish all my summer goals either ~ but hey, it's summer and they had fun!

    I love the idea of the craft group. Unfortunately I'd probably be the only one hosting.

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  2. Hi Amy!

    Yep, I also had grand ideas for the summer but only managed to accomplish a handful of them. We did enjoy our time together though and that is all that matters.

    Thanks for sharing your summer projects! Since I have a house of "boy", I loved the "armor" the best.

    Stefanie

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  3. I've been thinking of a summer goals blog post--until I realized everything was kind of half done. Urgh.

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  4. Your posting makes me wish my girls were young again. But then, only one liked crafts, the other was very much a tomboy. It looks like your summer crafts were a success!

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  5. Thanks so much for the tissue paper flower instruction! Much appreciated :)

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  6. I can completely relate. Our grand art and craft plans were always in stiff competition with sunshine, downtime and baby time. Enjoy what you did accomplish, it's wonderful!

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  7. Next year I want to come to your house and be a kid. At 75, do you think I will fit in? BettyLou

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  8. Great projects and I love the idea of the neighborhood craft group for the girls. I may have to do that next summer (or the next ~ my daughter might be a litle young still. She's 5.)

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  9. I bet your kids had fun - and I love those little magnets! I've got to make some of those!!! Thanks for the idea!

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  10. You are awesome. And I love the craft group idea - I will have to store that one away for a (much) later date.

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  11. What wonderful skirts and a great project for sewing together.

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