Log onto pinterest and type ‘kids craft’ into the search bar. You’ll be inundated with endless pictures of bugs made out of pasta, flowers and birds made from plastic cups, busy bags, fluffy paints, 100 uses for a toilet roll and DIY learning games by the paper machete bucket load.
Have a look at my pinterest board and you’ll find 21 craft pins for kids.
I’ve attempted 1.
It was glow in the dark bubbles.
I’m not a craft Mum.
And that’s ok
When I had my first son, I had visions of caterpillars made from egg cartons, binoculars made with toilet rolls, newspaper pirate hats and pretty much every activity I had seen on Art Attack.
The only stand out craft we have made was a very hungry caterpillar out of paper and I did 90% of it.
I don’t enjoy arts and crafts, I really don’t and its taken me awhile to admit that…out loud because god forbid I be that mother who doesn’t allocate time to craft everyday. Any DIY project I attempt will end up looking like one of those ‘pinterest fail’ photos. I will cry if I ever see a meme floating around of my DIY with a ‘nailed it’ caption attached. That shit will follow you to the grave.
I tried. I tried to collect recycling bits and buy glue and coloured card. I tried to organise googly eyes and buttons. I tried to have a dedicated craft area of our home but none of these things lasted. I ended up recycling the recycling bits because I hated having junk in our home, I packed away the craft area because it always looked cluttered and I got rid of the googly eyes and buttons because boy #2 came along and I just knew he was going to swallow one.
Instead I moved the card, the pencils and textas, the playdough, the paint and the colouring books into a cupboard that really doesn’t get opened that much unless the kids want the playdough.
My kids don’t seem to pester me for it, if they adored arts and crafts and asked me all day long then I would suck it up and give in but they don’t. S likes to draw and for his birthday from B he got a sketch pad and some nice pencils so he will draw quite a lot, B likes playdough and J would probably eat it if he could. When its someone’s Birthday they will usually make a card using a pre-packed Mr Maker kit and every now and then I buy these $3 craft kits from spotlight that has everything they need in it (thanks to my sister in law for showing me those little pretties, it makes me feel better about my parenting). Then of course there’s playgroup where we will do some sort of craft activity and S will obviously do some at school.
Is allocated craft time at home really that important? Am I a terrible mum for denying my children that. The answer is no, of course not. I don’t remember my mum ever doing craft with me, perhaps that’s why I don’t enjoy it, aha! its her fault! Geez mum, should have given me a frigging paint brush.
I cant sew either. If the kids need their favourite pyjamas stitched up or a teddy bears crutch closed together, they go and see Nanna and she fixes it with her sewing machine from the 70s (complete with green and brown floral travel case). If they need a costume for a party or school event, I go to spotlight or costume direct. I attempted textiles and design in year 9 and my best friend did all of my assignments except a baby’s blanket that I made and Mum still has it, most likely as a reminder of the only creative thing I have ever achieved.
The thing is, some Mums love arts and craft and that’s awesome and they enjoy doing it with their kids and that’s even better. Some people love DIY canvas art or pencil holders, me? I would just rather go to Kmart and get that stuff. But seriously, why do we try to do things that we don’t enjoy just because we feel like we have to? I really used to feel like a bad mum because I saw so many adorable things people were doing with their kids and here I was with a $3 pre packaged spotlight bag. But as I’ve grown as a Mum I’ve realised that to be a good mum, all you have to do is find things that you do enjoy doing with your kids and do them as often as you can.
I may not be a craft mum but I’m a Mum who will read her kids a bedtime story every night and I’ll read with expression and different voices for every character, I’ll play lego until the sun comes up, I’ll kick the footy or play a game of soccer or cricket on the back lawn every time my son asks me to. I’m a Mum who will tickle and join in the big bull game with Dad, I’ll never pass up an opportunity to watch them ride their motorbikes or to go and catch yabbies at the Dam, I’ll pretend that my code name is ‘beauty’ when we play road wars in the car and I’ll absolutely make sure I say ‘over’ after every radio communication in the car cockpit. I’m a mum who will sign her kids up for every sport they want to play and I’ll be there to watch every game and every training session, I’ll take endless photos and actually have them printed in photobooks and not leave them on the hard drive forgotten, I’ll jump in puddles and climb trees, I wont flinch when my son brings a lizard inside and I’ll totally fire up google when he wants to find out what kind of lizard it is. I’ll make a cake with them and even though its slower, I’ll let them crack the eggs and of course lick the bowl at the end, I’m a mum who will listen to their stories and give just the right amount of enthusiasm at the right moments, I’ll play eye spy in the car and I wont pull them up on the fact they’ve changed their letter twice during their turn. I’m a mum who will make paper plane after paper plane because they’ve landed in the dog water or on the roof, I’m a mum who will fly kites and go on bush walks and show them how to handle animals gently. I’m a mum who will take them in the garden and let them plant the seeds one at a time so that they can be proud when they start to grow because they planted them.
I may not be a craft Mum but I’m still a good Mum.