About Crystal McClean & her Blog
Crystal is a winner of Top 25 Creative Moms - 2013
Where do you discover new kid-friendly crafts?
I try to find inspiration in everyday experiences to keep things fresh. My son is great at looking at things and coming up with his own ideas or modifying mine as well to put his own spin on things!
My mom always had a crafty idea up her sleeve when we were kids, and now she also makes crafts with her grandchildren over the webcam! It's such a wonderful way for them to have fun together when they are an ocean apart.
I keep my eyes open when we are out and about and if I see something interesting I think about how we could do something similar using the items we have in the cupboard.
I'm still old-fashioned and visit the library and browse through their books for inspiration, as well as old books handed down the family since the 1930s. Of course, when all else fails or I need something quick, I have a few web sites I've grown fond of over the past few years, or I search for specific things if needed.
What's one creative product you would recommend to all moms?
There is no need for anything expensive. My essential list (that I've had since the age of 5) is tape, glue, string, staples, and scissors.
Add a healthy stash of 'junk' such as cardboard tubes, boxes, paper, some fabric (a couple of old kids shirts in bright colours works well).
Mix in some paint, crayons, pompoms and sequins for good measure.
Throw in some imagination and you can make just about anything!
How do you encourage your child to explore their creativity?
Our children have loads of unstructured play time which is very important, especially in today's world of being over-scheduled. Most of their toys are not electronic and can be used for many different activities to encourage them to think about the wider world, and not be constrained within the one purpose only type of toy. We do many crafts, most of which do have some structure, but there are ways in which they can make the projects their own. If they don't want to colour within the lines, that just fine! One of their favourite expressions is "Getting messy is fun!"
What are your favorite blog posts?