One of the things I most looked forward to after having Samantha was all the fun arts and crafts we would be able to do together when she got older. I was going to teach her to cross stitch, knit, sew, and latch hook when she was old enough. Before that, I imagined all the cute little kid projects we would make out of egg cartons, pipe cleaners, glue, glitter, and paint. I was so happy to a have a girl. It would be so much easier to keep her occupied on rainy days and have some nice, quiet time where she was busily gluing and I could sit next to her reading or working on my own project.
Well, it turns out, the use of paint, glue, and scissors requires quite a bit of dexterity, that even at almost four, Samantha has not yet mastered. And, crafts are very messy. Instead of a fun thing for us to do, it has become yet another thing we have power struggles over.
I want to paint, Mom, she’ll say. No, I don’t want to clean it up. When I do relent, more often than not she wants to make hand prints and paints her hands various colors, leaving little colored prints behind.
This last week has been rainy, and in desperation, I broke out the art supplies. I looked online for projects we can do (turns out I don’t have a lot of are supplies). I found paper mache Easter eggs to make. Perfect, I could make the glue out of flour and water since we didn’t have any real glue, and I had enough tissue paper. We made the eggs (meaning, I made the eggs while the girls wadded up tissue paper and squished it in the glue, smearing it all over the table). They dried and then we painted them (another mess).
I had a lot of left over glue, so the next day I decided to make collages with the girls. I had an old magazine to cut up. It would be great practice for Samantha’s cutting skills, and easy enough for Ella to do, too. Samantha didn’t quite understand the concept and was more excited about using the glue, so she just took whole pages, print and all, and glued them on her paper. She kept putting the glue directly onto the picture, so she wound up with a bunch of articles face up on her collage.
I cut out pictures for Ella and let her try the glue. She just dunked the pictures in the glue and wadded them up, over and over again. Eventually, hoping Samantha would get the idea by watching me, I took Ella’s collage and did it myself.
Ella continued with the glue. Without any pictures to glue, she decided to taste test the glue and found she liked it. (I guess it kind of tastes like koomla, same ingredients.)
At the end of the project, Samantha had a bunch of articles face up with extra glue all over the top, I had a nice collage, and Ella had a full belly.