Crafting with children – don’t go there!

Craft. You think it’s going to solve third world problems. You’re going to be Mother Earth and engage in delightful, interactive play with your darling children. Even better, they’re going to be creatively independent for two hours at the age of three and insist you take yourself to the living room with a cuppa and a good book and escape life for a while. It’s not like that. It takes five minutes to set up, ten minutes to fall out with your devil offspring and three hours to clean up.

Craft always seemed like a good idea at the time. It was the eleventh wet day of the week. You’d already visited soft play at least once so that wasn’t an option. Yesterday, you’d overstayed your welcome at the grandparents after only five minutes, as Joel did laps of the dining room table with underpants on his head, Abigail was somehow in a state of undress and bum shuffling perilously close to the potted plants and cack-handed Sam had knocked over a beaker of orange juice. And continuous scheduling of Thomas, Sonic and Peppa wasn’t working anymore. The natives were restless. So cue the big announcement.

“We‘ll do craft!”

In those days, we had a playroom so the children and mess could be contained. And that was the only good thing that ever happened!

Firstly, they didn’t plan. They didn’t do a design brief first; even a rudimentary sketch would have been acceptable. Materials were picked randomly with no thought to potential colour clashes.

Secondly, the application was distinctly haphazard. Why would you stick a red circle on the left and a green rectangle on the right?! Symmetry people! Symmetry!!

Thirdly, there was no concept of quantity. A whole bottle of PVA glue was practically wasted to attach one sequin. Why is Abigail crying Joel? Because there’s no fecking glue left!! It’s all on your toilet roll which you are claiming is a rocket, when it’s clearly a toilet roll covered in PVA glue and one sequin!!

Finally, they became bored. Restless. Uninspired. The artistic flow had stopped flowing. Well, it had been an entire ten minutes so evidently my three Dorys had to go and waste their ten minute attention spans on some other activity. But there could be no escape until they were stripped of all clothing and their hands had been baby wiped to the point where they’d lost a significant percentage of their epidermis. Then they were permitted to leave the room.

You peruse the scene before you. More glue on the table than on models. More glitter on the floor than in bottles. More felt squares covering the floor than the actual protective mat. Recycling was suddenly redundant. Everything within a metre of the table was binned. All surfaces also received the baby wipe treatment and the playroom was restored. The models were proudly drying on the windowsill, after you’ve magnificently resisted the urge to add them to the contents of the bin bag.

On reflection, it hadn’t been too bad. The children had been creative, inventive, productive and innovative. Maybe craft wasn’t too bad after all.

“Can we paint our models now?!” 🤬🤦🏻‍♀️

2 comments

  1. Oh how I hate crafts! I had an understanding with nursery that any craft projects involving glitter were to stay at nursery and NOT come home.
    Lockdown has not been kind or considerate to my anti-craft stance, there has been a great deal too much glue, tissue paper and yogurt pots.

    Liked by 1 person

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