One Artsy Mama

A place to find and share inspiration for kids' crafts, "big girl crafts," home decor, jewelry, family activities, holiday fun, and so much more.

Amy is a winner of Top 25 Creative Moms - 2013

Where do you discover new kid-friendly crafts?

One of my favorite sources for all kinds of crafts, including kid-friendly ones is Pinterest. My 4 year old son loves to browse through the images with me, and even has his own board called "Little Crafter's Pins" where we pin the things he wants to make. Another great source for ideas is Family Fun magazine; we look forward to getting the new issue each month and immediately sit down in the rocking chair together to browse through it and "dog-ear" the pages we like best. I follow on Facebook, which often posts fun kid-friendly activities we might like to try. And, of course, I also get inspiration from friends' blogs, from things I see in the store {like pre-made crafting kits}, and just from certain supplies we might find. I look for inspiration everywhere! Once we find an idea we want to try out, both of us are usually impatient crafters, so it doesn't take long before we gather or buy our supplies and make it!

What's one creative product you would recommend to all moms?

Mod Podge! I love it. I would have to have it on a deserted island...I could use it to 'glue' a raft together. ;) It comes in so many formulas; our personal favorites are the Washable Kids' Mod Podge and the Sparkle Mod Podge, but there's also Dimensional Magic, Outdoor, Antique Matte, Super Gloss, Original, many fun options! My son and I have made countless projects together with it, including fun seasonal coasters, pumpkin luminaries, Valentine vases, collage photo frames, name it, we've probably Mod Podge-d it. I've also used it in "big girl" projects too, like some of my jewelry, hand-painted signs, canvases, and other home decor crafts. It works like a glue and also like a sealant. It's probably the single most frequently used crafting supply in our home, which is saying something!

How do you encourage your child to explore their creativity?

I try to introduce "Little Crafter" to all types of crafting experiences. He has tried painting, watercolors, beading, decoupage, sewing, stamping, working with foam and vinyl adhesives, and all kinds of other projects. Because I started him with paints at age 2, he's grown up with art as a part of his life and he gets really excited about it. When we see a project he likes, I teach him how to do it and how to properly work with the necessary supplies. He prefers some things over others; for example he hates coloring but loves painting, and I let him follow those preferences. He loves working with glitter! I trust him to use some of my supplies, like my beads and my washi tape, and he is very careful and responsible with them because he knows I'm entrusting him with something important. Because of that, he's been able to make some really great things; for example, he designed and beaded two pairs of earrings I was able to sell. I gave him the money for them, and he felt like it was a million dollars!

I think the biggest thing is just making him feel like he can't fail. Just like I would tell the adults in my crafting group, "There's no such thing as a mistake, just a creative choice." He feels like he can and will be successful, whatever creative pursuit he tries...and so he is. Just today, we were painting something and he said to me, "Now that is a masterpiece. I am a real artist." We talked then about how being an artist means creating something, and we mentioned all kinds of people we knew who are artists in their own way. That's the key; getting your child to believe that he/she IS an artist, which gives the confidence to explore creativity in whatever forms available.

What's the single most precious memento you have from your children's infancy that's not a photo? Please incude a link to a picture if you're willing to share!

Amy Latta

I think the most precious thing I have from my son's infancy would have to be his Wubbanub pacifier. It was a Soothie pacifier attached to a cute little dog so that when he dropped it, it wouldn't roll away. He absolutely loved it, and used it so much that eventually we had to buy a new one since it got so well-worn.
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Does your family have a special tradition for Easter or Passover? Please share a link to a picture along with your response.

Amy Latta

Our family is somewhat unique, as we celebrate both Easter and Passover. Although we are Christians, we have Jewish heritage on both sides of the family. We feel that understanding and celebrating Passover together is a part of our story too, and enhances our experience of Easter itself as we see how Passover points to Jesus. We cook a traditional seder meal including matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, and charoset, and eat it as we read through the written service. We use hagaddahs I made that combine the traditional text with a children's text. It's always fun to hide the afikomen {a broken piece of matzah} and let my son search for it after dinner. He gets a silver dollar when he finds it, so he always wants us to hide it again and again. We finish the meal off with a delicious flourless chocolate cake from a local bakery. On Good Friday, we participate in a local "cross walk" through the community, to remind us of Jesus' suffering and death, and on Easter Sunday, we attend church, then have a family dinner as we celebrate the resurrection.
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Can you suggest a fun summer activity like berry picking that helps kids learn where food comes from? Please link to a picture we can use if you have one.

Amy Latta

We love going to a local orchard where my son can actually pick the fruit that's currently in season. In late May, we pick strawberries, later in the summer we pick peaches and plums, and in September, we pick apples. We get to ride a tractor out to the fields where an employee gives instructions about how to choose the best, ripest fruit. Then we pick it ourselves, and after paying for it, enjoy some of our fruit with a picnic lunch.
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