Add kids to any activity and it makes it a zillion times harder and messier! But, give them paints, glitter and scissors and it becomes a whole other level! Right! But that's ok! Messes we can clean up, but the memories will last forever. With so many spring holidays coming up you will want to break out the art supplies and make some hand and footprint art or other memories! So...what is a momma to do??? Take a couple of steps before you start and it will make the festivities a little easier on all of you!
1. Prep it! Have you ever seen a cooking show and they have every ingredient pre-measured and in its only little container ready to go?? Its really annoying when you are trying to follow along, but a great concept when doing activities with kids. You wouldn't give them the entire bottle of glitter without expecting it EVERYWHERE! Get all the supplies you will need together and organized BEFORE you have the kids sit down! Make sure they are aporiate sized containers, so that when they do spill them it is not the entire bottle! Put the supplies you will need first in the front and easily within reach. This does one more thing...you don't have to leave the kids to go looking for supplies!
2. Cover everything you do not want messy. This includes the kids! Kids have a fantastic habit of getting things dirty that weren't even in the room. So, move everything that is in the way (this could even mean the chairs!) cover the table with a table cloth or newspaper, cover the kids with smock or strip them down. We frequently do project on the kitchen floor--it is the only room with a wipeable floor!
The worst part of a crafting activity is the clean-up, so if you can just pick up the coverings or the kids and wash them down it will make clean-up almost nonexistent!
3. Be Prepared! Now matter how hard we try those pinterest recipes never try out just right! The same happens when do activities with kids. Have a plan. Get step by step directions or just let them create their own masterpieces. The end product might not be how you pictured it. The tail or eyes might be in the wrong places...but it was made by your little one. Keep that in mind and let your little ones create! It will be alright to give up control a little bit! I promise!
4. When possible separate the kids! I know you are making the same project, but if they are not fighting over paintbrushes or paint colors it will make the mess and experience a little better. If they can take turns doing different things it will keep the fighting over supplies to a minimum, but will create more work for you. Now you have to keep two different activities on track and contained, but if you sit between them and have everything prepped it should make for a better experience.
5. Give them options to be imaginative and creative while staying within the project borders. Let them choose the color of spots or use pom-poms instead, they can choose the shape; a dog's head can be a heart, circle, diamond, oval, triangle...It might look a little different, but that's ok! It is ok to have a purple giraffe, or a fish made out of hearts. Let them explore the options and be creative!
There are soo many art and craft projects that you can do with your kids! Most of them are really simple and need very few objects: tissue paper, paint, markers, glue, construction paper. Just type in "Kids valentine projects" for a whole page of ideas! Remember....ANY activity with kids is gonna get messy and probably frustrating! Just take a deep breath! It will be alright! Make sure to do these steps and you should have a great experience!!
P.S. Have them make a "nice" one first while they are still willing to listen to directions then let them go with directions.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!