Wednesday, October 26, 2011

hey! crafting is fun! (when my goals are clear)

One of our first (and favorite) crafts: Fruit of the Spirit apple garland.
Every time we hit a new kid stage, the whole family has to adjust.  Ever since Burrito hit the "real deal" toddler stage a few months ago, I've been struggling a bit.  Struggling with her unpredictability.  Struggling with less free time some days.  Struggling with what on earth to do to keep her entertained and engaged.  Struggling even to find ways to teach her and help her grow in faith.  Not too long ago, I was talking with our youth director who said that there was a time with her daughters when she always did a craft in the morning after breakfast, as a routine.  I think that piece of advice stuck with me, even though I didn't do anything about it right away.
I learned to make these cute bracelets at MOPS.

Then I had a heart-to-heart with my Mom, who did a fantastic job of passing on the faith to my brother and I.  I told her I was struggling with how to teach my daughter about faith, given that she won't sit still!  Mom reminded me that she used actions to teach us Bible verses.  She encouraged me to use Burrito's interests and strengths to teach her.  So, I went back into the most important jobs I have (mother and faith teacher) with renewed motivation. 

I decided to start with the most important Bible verse of all: John 3:16.  I made up actions and acted super enthusiastic as I said it.  Before I knew it, she was joining me and now she has almost the whole thing memorized (including the reference!).  Today, we started on Romans 10:13. 

Pumpkin seed pumpkin.  We rinsed the pumpkin seeds and dyed them by shaking them with paint in 3 Ziploc bags.
I also decided that to connect with my daughter, who when it comes to the 5 love languages is a Quality Time and Gifts kid, that I should really be doing more crafts with her.  She responds very well to crafts and the time we spend together making something is time away from the TV and time in which she feels especially loved.  So we have started doing a craft almost every day.  I especially like using crafts that incorporate some Bible teaching, but I can't always find them, so as long as it is something constructive, I do what I can find.

Fall wreath (Sprout TV idea).
I even went to the craft store a couple weeks ago and picked up a bunch of crafting supplies: felt, paper stock in pretty colors, construction paper, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, buttons, a hole punch, jewelry wire, etc.  I was surprised how many supplies I was able to get for a low price.  In the meantime, I had been scouring crafty mommy blogs (such as this one) to find good craft ideas for Burrito and I to do.  A good craft needed to be age appropriate, not too expensive, and something that would take about a half hour to work on.  I started listing links to good crafts in a Word document.

And then I discovered Pinterest (follow my boards here).  It took me a day or two to get up to speed with it and then I was off and flying.  I was so excited to find a visual scrapbook where I could "pin" my ideas, recipes, etc.  Also, I could see my friends' ideas.  It was a great way to find good craft ideas.

For years I've described myself as the least crafty person ever.  And it's true that I'm not artistic and I've struggled with working with a sewing machine in the past.  I'm not the greatest spacial thinker.  I'm a conceptual thinker.  Big ideas are my purview.  Big abstract ideas.  But, for Burrito, I was going to try.  And I was finding a surprising number of very approachable crafts.  After all, if a toddler can do it, surely I can too!

Painted mini-pumpkin.
So, I really began to get into it.  And I started remembering myself as a child.  Weaving potholders on those little looms.  Cross-stitching complicated scenes for Christmas presents.  Doing calligraphy.  I even remember receiving a child's sewing machine that delighted me.  I may have my deficits with certain types of crafts.  I may prefer to express my creativity through writing.  But it's kinda fun to do a little craft.  Not only that, but I am finding myself connecting with Burrito.  We both look forward to doing a craft together.  Some work better than others (apple card lacing was not so popular--but she still said doing a craft that day was the best part of her day!).  But we always have good quality time together.  We gain confidence as we successfully complete simple projects.  We put our own spin on ideas. 

Watercolor painting that Burrito titled "Spider."
I'm also finding that I'm thinking of more ways to re-use things that I might other-wise throw away.  Toilet paper rolls.  Random scraps of cardboard.  The big box the diapers come in.  That has to be positive, right?  Less buying and more using (at least in theory!). 

I may not be the most crafty person ever.  I don't quilt.  I don't sew (other than a little slip stitch).  I can't draw.  But I can do simple crafts with my toddler.  Sometimes I can even use them to teach her about God!

1 comment:

  1. Be sure to frame the spider water color- it is beautiful and will make a nice addition to any wall in your house!


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