Kitschy Coo recently had a very interesting discussion on her blog about crafting with kids, and the perils that lie therein. She kind of stole my thunder *shakey fist*, because I had been all set to write a hilarious post about the joys of gluey fingers and marker pen on the coffee table, but she did it a lot better than I ever could :) For my views on the subject, scroll down the post and have a look at the comments.
So instead I'll try and give you so many amaaaazing websites about crafting with little ones that you'll run out RIGHT NOW and buy some stickers and glue and glitter and poster paint. Go on, there's bound to be a 24 hour Tescos not too far away :)
The Crafty Crow is a brilliant source of craft ideas, and is very conveniently organised by age group, from 18 months up to 12 years. The halloween section this year was fantastic, and gave me loads of simple stuff to do with my storytime group. The blog doesn't feature the tutorials in full, but has an image of the end product with a link to the site it came from. Saves you trawling through Google looking for 'Homemade Bathtub Paint' :)
Bloesem Kids: Bookhou Crafts is the kids crafts section of Irene Hoofs' pretty blog. It's so beautifully designed and calming to look at, you might even forget the glue on the sofa :) There are four contributors (all with fantastic blogs of their own), each taking it in turns to post a project. The photography is lovely, the projects are delightful, and there's not a glitter encrusted child in sight. As well as crafts for children, there are crafts for you too, like new ways to display the endless streams of paintings from nursery, and a brilliant book of textures for little sticky hands to explore.
This next one's in French, but the photographs for each project are so simple and self explanatory, that it doesn't matter if the only French you know is, 'Ou est la gare s'il vous plait?'. Julie Adore Dimanche is the crafting adventures of Julie and her cute-enough-to-eat 2 year old daughter. I am loving Monsieur Enlacet, who can help a child learn how to tie shoes, and the Mer Salee is very pretty.
Finally, Kids Craft Weekly is a fab little newsletter sent by email, full of stuff for you and your munchkins to get stuck in to. You can sign up here, or view back issues here. Each newsletter has a theme, which you could easily tie in with other stuff you do that week - so for example along with making some rockets and aliens from the space themed newsletter, you could also visit a science museum, find some books about space in the library (Aliens Love Underpants is one of my favourites), and watch Wall E on dvd.
So what are you waiting for? Clear the furniture, make sure the cat's in a safe place, and have the industrial strength cleaner and bottle of gin on hand for later. My best tip for a stress free session is oilcloth. The biggest piece you can afford. You can spread it out on the floor or drape it over your table, it's waterproof, wipe clean, and if you buy the heavy duty stuff it should last for a long time. Happy crafting!
P.s. The artwork in this post, 'Quality Street Wrapper on Fire', 'Aggression with Crayons' and 'Glitter Glue versus Biro' are originals from the new autumn exhibition by Munchkin, and have been reproduced with the artist's permission.