Guest Blog #2: She's Crafty!

I am always on the hunt for great crafts to do with my children. I believe
creating things teaches them that they can make something out of very
little, and it also gives them the opportunity to "run wild" with their
creativity. The important thing to remember when your children are very
young: try not to bring too much to the craft table. It overwhelms the
children and then you run the risk of having a massive cleanup. One of my favorite projects I have done with the kids is painting and decoupaging on blank, white, wrapped canvas. You can buy these canvas boards at any craft store and they come in a variety of sizes.
I recommend doing the project in stages. Have everything ready, but set it all up on a different table than the project table (which, by the way, should be lined with a vinyl or washable tablecloth).

Stages of project and Setup:
1) Find some colorful tissue paper and rip it up into small pieces. Also
find some colorful pages of a magazine or other paper. Pour some Mod Podge
into a little cup. Give each child a sponge brush or small paint brush. Tell
them to paint Mod Podge wherever they want on the canvas and place the
ripped up colorful paper on top of the Mod Podge. Encourage them to also put
paper on the sides of the canvas. Before you bring out the next round of
supplies, try to stall a few minutes so the Mod Podge will dry a bit. One
idea is to have them start peeling off the Mod Podge from their little
fingers. :)
2) Find some glitter or sequence or cut up a few pieces of pretty yarn. Have
them Mod Podge some of these fun things on the canvas as well.
3) While the Mod Podge dries for a bit, set up a paint and marker station.
Let them finger paint and/or use markers on the canvas. Challenge them to
apply color wherever they see white spaces. Ask them to draw little people
or animals or their name...kids draw the cutest little things. Try to not
let them paint TOO much, for then it all blends together into a dark brown
4) Clean up time!
Kids part is over, but parents: your job is not finished yet. Apply Mod
Podge underneath any loose paper or accessories to make sure it will really
glue down. Let it dry for 30 minutes or so. Once dry, apply a few layers of
Mod Podge over the entire canvas. It serves as a "coating" for your
creation, ensuring all of the paper and accessories will really stick down,
and provides a glossy finish.
Then, write or type on a tiny piece of paper the name and age of the child
who made it. Cut out that piece of paper and apply it to the bottom of the
creation with....you guessed it...Mod Podge (apply it underneath and on top
of the piece of paper). We have our children's canvas projects hanging in
our bedroom. It adds a splash of color and it always brings a smile to my
face thinking of the fun time we had creating it.

Maggie (mom of 2, Olathe, KS)

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