NOTE: This is a re-post from last year. Hope you enjoy it! This year we’ve been stitching hearts onto cardboard and it’s been going surprisingly well. My eight- and six-year-old love it and my three-year-old tolerates it for about twenty minutes before he gets bored. I followed the tutorial here: http://www.redbirdcrafts.com/2012/01/sew-heart-valentine-tutorial.html
Valentine’s Day seems to bring out the crafty side of my fellow stay-at-home moms. And while I appreciate the sentiment behind all those cute Valentine’s card ideas on lots of blogs right now, we are doing well at our house just to get through a construction paper and glue session and wind up with some crooked hearts without cutting someone’s finger off.
Craft day at our house is a big, fat mess every single time, but this time I thought I’d share some tips I am willing my future crafting self to remember. You know, for next
Valentine’s day. Or Easter-egg dying day (shudder).
Hello, nice to meet you. Would you like to shake my freakishly purple hand?
1. Put the toddler in the high chair before you start. Always. Always! How many times do I have to tell you this, self? Otherwise he’ll be running around with purple, inky hands saying, “I not poopy!” which means, of course, that he is
poopy, and you will have both an inky toddler and a poopy diaper with which to contend, and this is not a good situation for anybody.
Get behind me, Satan. (non-washable ink)
2. Make sure the ink is washable. I mean, hello. I did notice when I got out the blue ink that it said, “washable.” Which the black ink did not say. But how hard could ink possibly be to wash off? Well, I’ll tell you. Very hard. So hard, in fact, that even after giving my two-year-old a bath for an hour, and using lots of soap, he still looked like he had a black eye and some oddly tattooed hands. Thankfully this should not be a problem next year since I threw the non-washable kind away and vowed to not let any other such insanity enter the house as long as I have young children.
Eye Love You.
3. Googly eyes are a hit! In fact, my five-year-old helped my two-year-old sit there and glue on googly eyes happily for at least twenty minutes. They didn’t really care about those cute heart stickers I bought, so next year I might as well just buy a couple extra packs of googly eyes.
4. I have to cut out other activities on craft day.
I’m doing better about this! Maybe writing posts will help me remember my own
advice. I remembered our sticky snow ice cream disaster and thought, wait! I
need to only do one thing at a time! And cut other things out! So, we just had
our Valentine’s Extravaganza on the schedule that day. I counted it for
handwriting and copywork (which it was).
We went to our homeschool Capitol Day earlier this week, and it was awesome. (If you’ve never been to your state’s Capitol Day, I’d encourage you to Google it, find out when it is, and go.) But because of that, and our Valentine’s Extravaganza, we got exactly zero math lessons done this week. But, I reminded myself, it’s okay. Better to do a manageable amount and not get stressed out, than to try to cram everything in and be yelling at my kids. So, that’s a praise! I didn’t yell at my kids! Thank you Lord!
- Busy at work
5. It will get easier. Next year, my toddler will be three and a
half. Practically a man! So, I’m sure it will be easier next year. And if it
won’t, I don’t want to know about it, okay? I’m just going to keep repeating it . . . It will get easier . . . It will get easier . . . It will get
easier . . .
6. It’s worth it. Despite the mess, the clean up, the chaos, this is important. I want my children to make Valentines for family and friends and neighbors, to show their love and appreciation for their teachers and grandparents. I want them to learn that life isn’t all about them. And the sooner they learn that, the better.
Bar Keeper's Friend, you are a friend of mine
On a side note, my husband has been yearning after a certain Pottery Barn table for years. But can you imagine the stress of a gorgeous new table? At least this one is all dilapidated, so if it gets a little ink on it, it’s no big deal. Three cheers for old kitchen tables.
Happy crafting with your kiddos. I’m sure at your house it’s much more orderly than at ours.