I know that there are so many toy options for kids these days, it is crazy. I personally try and keep the computer games and other electronic devices from becoming too much and I have even limited video games from our house. I am still a believer that kids need to have down time. And since they can’t all sit still, crafting can be a great way to create time and space with your children, away from all the buzz.
I love Todd Oldham’s book, “Kid Made Modern”. This book is full of crafts for kids, that are inspired by the great modernist designers of our time, Charles and Ray Eames, Luis Barragan, and George Nelson to name a few. Each of the unique crafts in this book is based on an iconic work from fashion, art or design history. Kids can create their own masterpieces, all from basic tools and items from around the house.
Kids love building forts. Oldham takes the basic cardboard box fort to new levels by introducing details from modern architecture. Many of my favorite backyard birthday parties when the kids were little were the ones where I took boxes home from work, set up a lot of water based paints and brushes of all sizes… and let the kids go at it. They had such a good time constructing with tape and painting the boxes in a rainbow of colors. It was always so easy to set up and the payoff was hours of entertainment for little ones.
Let the kids have a hand in their room decor, with a sweet mobile project inspired by the kinetic sculptures of Alexander Calder or turn a simple white lantern into a one of a kind work of art.
There is nothing more satisfying for a child to turn to you and present the “work” of art they have made. As a parent it feels good to know they have had time to explore their own creativity and achieve some success. The great thing about handmade, or finding things to do from ordinary supplies, is that it challenges us to go beyond just the turn of the clicker.