PART ONE OF THE SERIES
Did you ever wonder how you can enjoy craft time with kids without losing your mind? You want to have fun but, it never seems to go the way you wanted it. This article will give you easy and highly usable tips to help you make artsy/craftsy fun time with your kids fun for you too!
GET STARTED WITH THESE 3 EASY STEPS
As many of you know from reading the “About” section of Flowerdance Studio, I was an elementary school Art Teacher for many years. Each class I taught typically lasted for 50-55 minutes. I was always thankful that my Art Room had 2 doors. By the time the teacher showed up to take her kids out the exit door, the next set of students was coming in the entry door! It was always a big rush to move everybody efficiently and stay on time!
It could really be a trick to instantly pull the supplies off the shelves and out of the cabinets so the entering class could settle down and quickly start on the lesson. In this post, I’ll tell you just how I managed to do this and how can you can use the same, simple techniques at home. You’ll keep your sanity and artsy/craftsy fun time will be enjoyable for everybody.
ORGANIZATION IS THE KEY!
STEP ONE: TO ENJOY CRAFT TIME WITH KIDS, FIND AGE APPROPRIATE AND APPEALING ACTIVITIES
Before you can enjoy an activity, you have to choose an activity. How do you choose one that ensures your kids will enjoy it?
First, consider the age(s) of your child(ren). Figure out what their ability level is. Ask yourself what they are interested in. Next, pay attention to what they talk about the most. Also consider what they tell you they like the best. Figure out what skill you want them to learn. Once you’ve brought those things to mind, start your search.
If you’re a teacher, also consider the curriculum you’re using for courses besides Art. There’s always something you can come up with that extends a lesson in any other subject.
HOW TO KEEP TRACK:
Get a simple notebook, sheets of scrap paper, or post-it type note paper. Keep it nearby as you browse here at FlowerdanceStudio.com and the rest of the web for ideas, tutorials and printables you want to enjoy making with your kids. Jot those ideas down as soon as you come across them so you’re sure to rmember. Alternately, you could just bookmark each project as you come across it. If the post you find has a tutorial, it might be easier to print it out.
My Kids Arts and Crafts Activity Planner Printable includes a sheet to use to collect and organize your ideas. Once you download it from the Freebie Library, print it as many times as you wish! It’s the perfect place to keep track of everything you’ve found.
STEP TWO: TO ENJOY CRAFT TIME WITH KIDS, CHOOSE WHICH PROJECTS YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO DO
It’s likely that you’ve easily found LOTS of great ideas during your online search and want to simply jump in and play. Wait a minute though! You’ve got one main thing to decide. In order to stay organized, and keep your sanity, you have to decide what project you’ll play with and when.
I hear some of you thoughtfully asking, “Why be so structured? Why bother to plan since I want to be to be free, spontaneous, artsy-fartsy, and easy going? My kids can simply grab what they want and be their best, most creative selves!”
WHY HAVE A STRUCTURED FOCUS?
Here’s the answer to those thoughts. You plan it out simply so that you do not take the focus off of what the child needs. Don’t mistakenly put the focus onto yourself and your wish to be an easy going mother or teacher who doesn’t bother to plan. If you throw EVERY cabinet and drawer containing art tools or materials that you’ve got in the house open to eager little hands, with no goal in mind, you might be sorry. You’ll probably have to clean up a room that looks like a tornado went through and that’s never fun.
If you opt to use good planning and structure instead, you’ll be happier and more relaxed. Because of this, your child will be also. In doing so, you will teach your child how to FOCUS on and ATTEND to the project at hand. Structured focus will unleash creativity and help the child make an easy transition into, and then out of, the experience of it.
STEP THREE: TO ENJOY CRAFT TIME WITH KIDS, ASSIGN A DATE AND TIME FOR EACH PROJECT
As a classroom teacher, I had a helpful little thing that I still use weekly to keep myself on track; a Lesson Plan Book. It was a given that I knew I’d enjoy the company of every single student in the building for one hour, once a week, for at least 36 weeks that year. I also knew the exact dates and times they would arrive at my door. Since I wanted them to be happy in Art class and enjoy the experience as they learned, It made tremendous sense to plan thoroughly.
HERE’S HOW THE LESSON PLAN BOOK HELPED ME
As the kids came into my classroom, I’d quickly look at my planner to refresh my memory. I’d instantly know what the project would be. In the plan book, after the project description, I also wrote lists of tools and materials they’d need. I’d consult my list and quickly grab the items. I’d set them on top of the bookshelf that ran down the side of the room that was just below the windows. After I explained the project and did a demo, we were all ready to dive in. Each of the 6 work tables had a number. I’d call them one at a time so the children could walk along and gather the items they needed. It was like a dinner buffet but with art stuff.
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN USE A SIMILAR TECHNIQUE
Grab your Kids Arts and Crafts Activity Planner Printable (available for FREE here on Flowerdance Studio) or a simple calendar. In the space for each day’s art activity, schedule one of the projects. If a project will take more time than you’ve allowed, schedule it to continue on the next day. After you write the name of the project, make a quick list of the needed tools and supplies. You could even take a basket and put the materials inside. You’ll be ready to go.
AND, THERE YOU HAVE IT!
If you follow those steps, you’ll be calm, happy, and organized. You’ll be prepared and able to enjoy the company of your kids. You won’t have to frantically dig through the internet AFTER your child has become bored and started acting up.
In Part Two of Enjoy Craft Time With Kids Without Losing Your Mind, I’ll show you how easy it is to use the Flowerdance Studio Activity Planner Printable in greater detail.
In Part Three, Make an Art and Craft Kit for Kids, I’ll show you how easy it is to make an Art/Craft Kit for each of your children so they have their own tools at hand. Do this and you’ll experience fewer disagreements, fewer arguments and far less squabbling.
In Part Four of Enjoy Craft Time With Kids Without Losing Your Mind, I’ll show you how to easily set up an arts and crafts area for your little ones! (COMING SOON)
STEP 1: GET MY FREE KIDS ARTS AND CRAFTS ACTIVITY PLANNER PRINTABLE
GET THE KIDS ARTS AND CRAFTS ACTIVITY PLANNER PRINTABLE HERE!
If you want to grab this Craft Activity Planner printable for free, here’s how! Use the form below to become a subscriber to Flowerdance Studio. Then, check your email and confirm that you meant to subscribe! Upon confirmation you’ll receive a subscriber only password that will give you instant access to my Freebie Library. There, you’ll find this printable in easy to print PDF form. Just look for Design #015 and click the oval button. The PDF will pop right up and you can easily print it. Be sure to save it to your computer for later!
Once in the Freebie Library, you’ll also find many other printables that all lead to creative fun! Best of all, all of these printables are totally FREE for my subscribers!
You’ll also start to receive my weekly newsletter- my newest projects and printables will be delivered right to your inbox!
Get the Kid’s Arts and Crafts Activity Planner Printable + Access to my entire Freebie Library!
ARE YOU ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER TO
If you’re already a subscriber- thank you! And there’s no need to sign up again just to grab this printable. Just use your subscriber password to log in to the Freebie Library and download away! If you forget your password, check at the bottom of any newsletter from me! I always include a link to the Freebie Library as well as the password- just in case!
When you’ve finished, please share a photo of your planner in our Facebook group. We’d love to see it!