Given our busy lives, do you usually plan ahead for your kid's "craft projects" or do you make something w what you've got around the house?

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Teresa - posted on 05/12/2012

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Hi Julie, what a great question! so many parents get stuck on ideas on how to keep their children occupied and fitting it in with a busy life when you are working is not easy, I have always worked and had four children to keep occupied and sometimes felt I was running a pre-school! You have had some very good ideas from other mum's, keeping a craft box available is always good, but also games and activties that you swope and change so they dont get bored.
I tried to do some craft that would be a small project and take maybe a couple of days to finish, and tried to connect the to what they were interested in, for example my sons were car crazy, so we got some old boxes and they built a garage for their cars sticking them together one day then painting them the next, they loved it. Dont forget cooking is also a great way of keeping then interested making cupcakes and decorating the can be messy but fun.
I would try and see what things they are doing in schooland try and connect the for instance if they are doing some interesting stuff in art class try and and continue it at home.
Also dont forget the out door play its great fun to build a den out side where they can play and have friends over.
Sometimes planning does help during the school holidays I would make a list of all the things they would like to do and stick it on the fridge and tick it of as we did them, this gives them something to look forward to but importantly allows you to plan your time to fit in work and special vistis and projects. The most favourite game for mine was a treaure hunt around the gardem, I would write lots of clues and they would go on a treasure hunt around the garden, I would put small gifts wrapped in gold paper for them to find, they loved it. Rainy day crafts such be thought out to, if you get days when you can not go out, try and think ahead so when they get up there is something organised for them to do.
Also look at what is on in the area where you live, there maybe some play day activties that are not to expensive for you to go to, or the children this might give you a short break and they get to play with other children. Dont forget parenting if you are lucky is a two man job so plan together support each other and most importantly have fun! good luck

Julie - posted on 05/10/2012

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@kelly: Thanks for the through reply. I think I am in the same camp. We have 2 baskets of craft supplies from which I draw to make things with my fam. However, seems to feel a bit unorganized at times, kind of like my kitchen cabinet that holds the non-perishables like the random can of chickpeas that I will use "some day." Do you think it would it be helpful to you to magically have a large database of projects that only used a specific list of supplies?

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We have a "craft drawer" in our buffet table in the dinning room (which is where we do the crafts). It is stocked with the standards: craft paper, paint, brushes, glitter, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, etc. along with left over stuff from previous crafts. I can do a lot of things with what is there, but sometimes I have to go out shopping for additional supplies. When i have to buy stuff, I usually have left over, and I toss it in the drawer. When the drawer starts to get too full, I will search projects that include specific materials that I have so that we can burn through them.

Julie - posted on 05/10/2012

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@Amy: Thanks for the reply. Cool to hear that your husband is involved in planning too! I'm trying to figure out ways to make "crafting" easier for moms AND dads. I find that dads tend to default to mom and am wondering why that's the case...

Amy - posted on 05/10/2012

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We usually do a combo. We have a kids table and filing cabinet that is filled with craft stuff, like crayons, markers, scissors, glue, coloring books, constuction paper, paint, and oragami paper, that way whenever the kids want to do something they have access. Occassionally we plan craft that we need supplies for so we do some planning.

I should add that my husband is incredibly crafty and comes up with great ideas for the kids to do down in his workshop. We also buy the kits at the bookstore when they are in sale so we have a paper airplane kit and an oragami kit.

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