So I have been putting together a kids’ craft station over the past 6 months.
I took over some Ikea Trofast drawers, stocked them up with a few art supplies and waited to see what would happen.
What followed was: a lot of cutting and sticking.
I haven’t got involved in the adult coloring movement myself, but I really do get it as a very basic form of art therapy. My kids love craft at any time, but when they are processing anything emotional, or just feeling a little out of sorts, they are positively prolific. It is cutting and sticking agogo in our house. We live overseas from all of our extended families, and so whenever there are visitors coming or going, the volume of cutting and sticking goes up exponentially. Hundreds of sweet little cards and decorations are made and sent home in hand luggage.
Here are my reflections on how to arrange a cracking kids’ craft station:
1. Major on the basics
Colored paper, colored card, old wrapping paper, scissors, sellotape, glue sticks, crayons and marker pens. That is it, really. Of course there are other fun crafty things to have hanging around, but just with these basics, kids can create amazing things.
2. Make sure you have enough of the basics
A kids’ craft station with not enough scissors is like laying a trap for tetchy siblings.
3. Go for good enough quality
Especially glue, scissors and marker pens. I’ve been taking this thought on board lately. I used to buy big packets of markers from the dollar store but, honestly,they just dried out too quickly and were not a lot of fun to use. My sister-in-law gave us a huge packet of Crayola pens for Christmas and they are a pleasure to color with.
4. Relax about the end product
I am preaching to myself here. It really is about the process. So many times one of my beans will be absorbed in sellotaping the life out of a homemade birthday card and I have to just smile and nod. Or they will go at it full tilt for 20 minutes and then skip off leaving a half-finished pile of chopped up wrapping paper. But, they are feeling all the better for it!! So what does it matter if it isn’t ‘finished’? Of course there is a place for encouraging completing and finishing (I know I wish I had learnt that as a kid) but a just for fun kids’ craft station probably should be just for fun.
5. Relax about using up all the resources
Were you one of those children who saved all the best stickers for a rainy day which never came? I know I was, and I don’t want to pass that trait on to my kids. The stuff is for using and enjoying. It isn’t precious; we can get more when it’s all used up.
6. Relax about the furniture
Being a mother of young children is a difficult season for the furniture in your life. A couple of years ago I decided I wanted a beautiful dining room table that I didn’t mind getting scratched… This is a tricky combo. But I spend a lot of time in my living room and I want to see gorgeous design but I don’t want to be the kind of mom who is constantly saying, “Put a coaster under that!” So I got a table from Ebay. It’s solid mahogany, seats 8 people and cost me… $40. Love love love it.
7. Have a few interesting items in reserve for a rainy day
I keep a few things aside in case we need a bumper craft session.
- cotton wool
- perler beads
- water beads
- scissors with fancy edges
- poster paint
In case you’re in the mood for shopping, here’s a couple of suggestions:
These Melissa & Doug Wooden Stencils are so classic and stylish.
I love this Fun Craft Kit – Kaleidoscope Assortment – a little bit of every fun thing from pieces of felt to googly eyes 🙂
Of course, I have those fantasies about incredible, beautiful kids’ craft stations as seen on Pinterest. I love them; I just know I have to be realistic. But in case you are looking for some gorgeous ideas, here are a few:
This is from the Family Fun Magazine. Chalkboard paint is awesome for kids. In our former house I painted one of our living room walls with black chalkboard paint. Maybe I should do that again.
And how cute are these chalkboard tables?!
This is from a blog full of ideas called my-creativeway.com.
I love the sweeties theme here in this kids’ craft station at kylieminteriors.com:
Or how about this for taking the art outside? This is from fixthisbuildthat.com.
Wishing you a wonderful creative week filled with cutting and sticking galore.
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