Over the past five years I've done a lot of crafting in spite of kids. Crafting around kids. Crafting for kids. I'm-crafting-damnit-can't-I-just-get-one-fricking-minute-to-myself-without-kids. What I did with kids that involved craft materials was nothing I considered crafting. It was more like
1. Drawing on demand for a perfectionist Biscuit who knew he couldn't make the SR-71 Blackbird look exactly "right."
2. Dragging the easel and paints out into the driveway, pouring paints into Tupperware, managing the inevitable freakout when the wind blew the paper up, replacing said paper, and finding drying space for dickety-eleven works of "art" that would eventually (who're we kidding) fill the recycling bin anyway.
3. Managing the glue bottle.
But it seems five may be the magic age! Biscuit is not only interested in crafting, he's able to do so many more things now. He's tried his hand at embroidery, and this summer he worked the foot pedal while I made him some new pillowcases:
(pattern in Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts)
Then last weekend he went to Jo-Ann with me and chose the trims and fabrics for superhero capes for his best friend Will and Will's little sister. He did a great job, don't you think?
So today, when he woke up chattering away about his birthday (which is in September, mind you) and how he wanted to have a cooking party and that we needed to make decorations RIGHT NOW, rather than going with my first instinct and whipping out the calendar to illustrate the point of there being no big rush, I decided to go with it, and together we made this:
Yep, a garland. One of those things I never thought I'd have any desire to make (kind of like wreaths) until I saw them popping up on the Internet and they wormed their way into my mind. (Check out this post to find my original garland-spiration, and this Flickr set for wreaths that make my heart go pitterpat.)
It was so fun making this with the Biscuit. It was playful, colorful, and creative. My teacherly side liked that he got to practice tracing (fine-motor skills), color mixing and matching, puzzles, and design. I also think the project had a nice balance of "on" and "down" time for him, as five-year olds need both--sustaining attention to one project for long is not in the cards, but this project alternates between adult and child roles nicely.
I've written the whole thing up tutorial-style in a Flickr set that is pretty darn thorough- let me know if you try it out!