Wednesday, February 15, 2012

KidArt-Card Making

I realized recently that although my primary daily activity has been doing art and crafts with kids for the last 4 (almost 5! yikes!) years, it's somehow something I rarely document.  Doing art with children can be extremely trying and there I days that I just want to pull all of my hair out, but there are lots of different tips and tricks that you can use to keep everyone having a good time (including the adults! woo!).  I think KidArt will quite possibly be my new favorite blog segment as I love my job!

With yesterday being Valentine's Day, I helped the kids I babysit make some cards for their classroom. The idea of Valentine's was a little elusive and honesty trying to get small children to understand the idea of giving things are "special" can be tough. If you've ever had a kid hand you a piece of garbage and act like it was a big deal, you should know what I mean

Tips For Making Cards With Toddlers
1. Harness what they do best. The younger the kids, the less likely hey are to be able to create intentional designs or cut in straight lines. For their Valentines, I had the kids simply do whatever they wanted with markers and stickers on plain pieces of paper and then used those decorated pieces to form the cards afterwards. 
2. Emphasize the individual. When making a large quantity of any kind of craft, attention spans can run out. Considering we pumped out over a dozen cards, I asked the kids about each of the friends they were making cards for while they were decorating. Focusing on one card and one person at a time made the task a little more manageable. It can also work as a good lesson in friendship. 
3. Let them get messy. When doing any art project with kids, you kind of have to resign yourself to there be a huge mess by the end of it. It's okay! Sometimes freaking out about every little thing that spills on the ground is more stressful than the mess itself. Your next activity can be clean up time!

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