Yes I know it doesn’t always feel fun when the kids have got the glue gun out and the glitter is all over the kitchen floor. I have lost count of the number of bits of cardboard we have in various states on our “I am still working on it shelf” in the garage. But seriously there’s good reasons why I can’t shake that urge to jump in my car every time I get a voucher in my inbox from Joann’s or Michaels’ craft shops!
This Halloween I was reminded of the pure joy you get from making something, as a parent-kid team. Something that starts in your collective imagination and ends up as something useful and fun to make is the best. As I laughed out loud with my 13 year old, whilst we pinned bags of cereal on her black jacket in a home-made make-shift costume. I had a flash back to her as an 18 month old making play dough balls with me in the kitchen. Then I realized it’s simple:
What we cannot imagine we cannot do. And we cannot do what we cannot imagine!
If we don’t have time to be creative thinkers and doers (at any age) we might not know that if you can imagine it, it can be. I don’t mean this in that anything is possible, yes you can be anything, kind of way, but really if it’s not able to enter your consciousness in any form how can you know something is possible? How can we change things, make things better if we can’t picture a better way in our mind? If all the voices in your books, school, home, religion, club, gang, church sound the same, how can you see things differently?
How does crafting help you may ask? Well here are 8 possibilities for you to imagine!
1- Crafting let’s you communicate and sit with your feelings. There is a joy in just putting things together with your hands.
2- The more materials you get your hands on the more you can work out what makes you tick, what challenges and delights or calms you down.
3- Making things allows you to ingest and learn stuff. That cardboard box you made into a house is a 3D shape and it really needed some planning to allow you to have the door and windows where you wanted them!
4- Sometimes crafts come in kits (argh!) and you have to sit down and follow the instructions. This can be more challenging or more enjoyable for each child. And with kits that gap between the image and the thing you make can be wider or closer according to how well you follow the instructions!
5- Teamwork – yes sometimes you make things together and you have to be able to explain what you see in your own imagination so you can make it a reality together.
6- Time together – actually just sitting and crafting alongside each other means you are “doing something together” and that’s when those surprise conversation sometimes happen – like when you are in the car or walking the dog.
7- Crafting teaches us to TRY, yes its true we have all had many failed attempts at crafting, which ultimately teach kids that it’s good to try something anyhow, even if it’s not a roaring success