I'm thrilled to tell you that my friend Katy from Sycamore Stirrings is guest posting today! She has a wonderful idea to share with you and I know you will love it! Even if you aren't a crafty person and feel like you're all thumbs when it comes to doing crafts with your kids you'll be able to pull this off with great results! Enjoy!
Put together a Creation Station!
Creation Station is a collection of art and craft supplies put together
for the sole purpose of letting your child do what they want! To
create! to use their imagination. To see the potential in an old cereal
box. You will be amazed with what they come up with. Creation Station
also provides an opportunity for your child to master the tape
dispenser, stapler or the bottle of Elmer's Glue (gulp). This activity
really leaves kids feeling confident - it is a powerful thing to take
an idea and carry it through into a project.
used this as a station activity when I taught kindergarten and I just
recently made one up for my own girls. My 5.5 year old can get lost for
an hour creating, thinking, and trying things out.
Organizing Your Creation Station
need one large plastic tote that everything can fit into. And a caddy
for the art supplies. The craft items I put in a shoe box, I call this
the Treasure Box. The creating materials I simply put on top of the
caddy and shoe box.
Suggested Art Supplies:
Tape Markers Pencils String or yarn Scissors Glue - Elmer's and Glue Sticks Hole Punch Stapler (depending on your child's age)
Paper (I threw in some pads of paper we had sitting around) Packaging - cereal boxes, lids, cardboard pieces Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Rolls Paper Plates
Treasure Box Ideas:
Stickers Pipe Cleaners Straws Tissue Paper Fabric Scraps Ribbon/lace pieces Buttons Stamps and Ink Pad Glitter Glue Craft Sticks
~Start with 4 or so from the list. Items should all fit in a shoe box.~
1) This activity works best with kids 5 and older. Younger children are
still developing the cognitive skills needed to conceptualize a project
and then carry it out. They also may lack the fine motor skills needed
to use the tape dispenser, glue, string, etc.
2) Start out with very basic supplies and limited creating materials.
You don't want the activity to be about the "stuff." The activity is
about creating. You'll be amazed with what they come up with using only
a few things.
3) Teach your child
how to keep the tote organized. They will not want to use the Station
if they can't find the supplies or have to wade through piles of paper
4) Keep the Station fresh.
Add a new supply or put a few new things in the treasure box. It is a
balance - you don't want to make it about the stuff, but you do want to
keep them stimulated.
5) Use what
you have!! This activity is all about seeing the potential in
something. Look through your recycling bins. Look through your craft
supplies (you know you have more than you'll ever use!) Look through your sewing supplies. Pretty soon your child will say, "Let's put this (whatever this is) in Creation Station" and you won't have to look anymore J
6) Accept that this is a messy activity. Let 'em create. Pick one spot
in the house where Creation Station happens. Explain that cleaning up
is part of Creation Station.
Let 'em do their thing. It's always so tempting to make suggestions or
offer ideas. Be there to help with supplies, not to plan their project.
8) I found that this activity was equally popular with boys and girls.
Sometimes by 5 years old boys move away from arts and crafts, but boys
seem to love the freedom of doing their own thing.
Katy has been blogging at Sycamore Stirrings for about two years. She shares tutorials, favorite recipes, and is the originator of Muffin Tin Monday! About ten months ago, she and her family moved to Luxembourg from the States. It wasn't long before she had turned their new house into a cozy home and learned to make her favorite recipes using the metric system. I have so enjoyed being able to travel along with Katy vicariously through her blog, enjoying the little differences (my favorites are the chocolate cereal and finger counting), as well as the grandeur, that is Europe. I hope you will give her a visit and say hello :)