Cafe Brigitte

A place for stay at home moms to talk over coffee

Observations of the Craft Lady June 24, 2009

Filed under: Crafts,Parenting — Cafe Brigitte @ 8:34 pm

This week I am in charge of crafts for Vacation Bible School (how that happened is a whole other post). I did not get much time to prep, since some one else was in charge of buying all the supplies, so every night I have stayed up late getting the next day’s project prepared. I have spent hours cutting out pieces of felt to exacting measurements, with smooth edges, etc. I have also done each craft myself, so that the kids would have a model to follow. The directions were followed exactly – the designer of the crafts would be proud to show my work. 😀 In other words, I have been a bit of a perfectionist where these crafts are concerned.

In doing these crafts with the kids, I have learned a big lesson. I need to throw my thoughts of a perfect work out the window. The kids, ranging in age from 4 to 12, have taken the basic frame work of each project and done their own thing. Instead of a nice hill scene with trees, the sun, and clouds, a child decide to paint eels on his backpack. Instead of a foot print on a forest path for a banner, another child drew a jungle.

After the first day, I realized that I needed to throw out my notions of the perfect project and embrace the way the kids executed the craft. If they were happy with their results, then I needed to be happy with them too. Perhaps I will now enjoy being “crafty” with my girls at home.

The other observation I made was that the younger the kids, the more creative they wanted to be with their projects. The 6, 7, and 8 year olds really wanted to paint their own designs or cut their own, even if they modeled what I had done with other media. The 10, 11, and 12 year olds were content to use the precut pieces (even though I had intended for the younger kids to use the precut and the older to cut their own). The 9 year olds fell on either side.

That observation brings me to the question, do we, as adults, put too much pressure on kids to conform, so that when they reach the preteen years they become less creative and free thinking (and, to be frank, a bit lazy) or is that just a natural part of maturing?

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