Crafts and projects bring a richness to our children's lives, for me they paint fond memories of my own childhood, memories and experiences I want my kids to enjoy. So what is a busy and incidentally- an organizationally-challenged homeschool mom to do?
My answer is Craft Fridays- an intentional day of our week set aside to enjoy a craft or project. These projects often tie into our studies for the week (I love connections!), but sometimes they are just for fun.
Craft Fridays are a little lighter, school-work wise. We continue with Math, because here, everyday is a Math day...and usually a few other subjects, but I lighten the load, to leave room for a fun craft. Many of my craft ideas are improvised from memories I have of school crafts... I have found 101 uses for tissue paper and glue, and 103 uses for the mighty paper-plate. Did you know a paper plate can be a sunflower for a study on plants, a turkey for Thanksgiving, or a color wheel for art study?
Many of our projects come from our use of The Story of the World Activity Book, library books and from websites such as Enchanted Learning. I began to institute Craft Fridays as a regular scheduled 'thing' after being inspired by a few homeschool mom blogs.
Over at By Sun and By Candlelight, they almost weekly, I kid you not...find a feast to celebrate. This challenged me to find more childhood delight in the everyday at our house. They also do many nature inspired things, and lots of baking. :) Over at Se7en, something crafty is always going on...and she gives detailed instructions! Se7en challenges me to get my craft on. After all, she is a homeschool mom of 8- and yet finds time to do some amazing, fun crafts with her kids.
This week at our house, we did a fall-inspired project. Leaf stained-windows; a craft I remember from my childhood, I like to do it each fall.
4 or 5 colorful fall leaves per child
a roll of wax paper
The Fun Part
-Take the kids out for a fall nature walk and collect leaves
-Place a sheet wax side up (scratch it with your fingernail to figure that part out)
-Place leaves face up on the wax paper
-Sprinkle grated crayons in fall colors- or even rainbow colors (I find a blunt knife makes nice sized shavings and smallish 'chunks'...less tedious than trying to grate them)
-Place another piece of wax paper, wax side down on top of the masterpiece
-With your iron set on the lowest setting, gently smooth over the wax paper. The wax paper and Crayons will melt. Make sure to seal the edges with the heat.
-Let the creations cool a bit and then you can hang, 'as is' or make colorful frames for them out of construction paper or yarn and hang them in a window.
Jenny's favorite art books
I hope everyone is able to enjoy art each and every week!