The above picture of my child’s artwork is my version of a successful Spring “craft.” When I get out our art supplies it usually starts like you would expect, then it evolves, in this case, into painting on themselves. Next, they decided to paint with mud. Finally, they painted themselves with mud. In my world, that is a successful studio time. That’s not to say that I don’t like to work with my children on projects that look like something or have a function. I’m just better at setting up situations for controlled, creative chaos.
Being an artist and enabling a toddler to make things are different skill sets. When my oldest child was ready for art supplies, I was not real sure how to organize it or what to expect. Jean Van’t Hul’s book “The Artful Parent,” gave me a vision for setting up time and places for him to create. I now own both of Jean’s books. Her newest book, “The Artful Year,” organizes cooking, crafting, and homemade play ideas around the seasons. This works well for me because holidays (those times when you are oriented to craft) are always sneaking up on me. I use websites to find craft ideas, but I like having a book, too. It enables my children to browse on their own and select something they want to do that week. But if they truly want it to turn out like the picture, then they will need to do the project with their dad.
With Spring Break coming, I will be making plans for projects. When I look for a craft or project, I want it to be something my children can direct, easy to set up, and usually on a specific theme. Here are the first three websites I search for ideas:
Websites for Kids’ Projects