At the risk of being overly general, I think that there are two kinds of parents when it comes to kids and crafts. On the one hand, there are those parents who plan out crafts to do with their kids. They have drawers and cupboards filled with supplies and they read Martha Stewart Living to get ideas. They totally rock. On the other hand, you have parents like me. What distinguishes us isn’t our own abilities (because we may actually be crafty in our own right), it’s the fact that we just can’t ever seem to get it together to do crafts with our children. When we have scrap paper, we recycle it. And when we pin clever kids’ craft ideas on Pinterest, we know in our hearts we’re never going to do them.
My own shortcomings when it comes to kids and crafts actually pre-date my job as a parent. For five years before my daughter Hannah was born I was a Brownie leader. Each week I led a meeting with a dozen or so seven and eight year old girls. Other leaders dutifully planned craft projects. I asked my girls to draw a picture about whatever the topic of the week happened to be. Some of the girls complained about having to draw yet another picture. I pointed out how awesome I was in other ways, and then handed them a piece of paper and a marker.
Mail order craft kit saves my crafting bacon
Given my lack of motivation in the areas of kids and crafts, I was delighted when someone offered me the chance to try some craft project kits with my children. Green Kid Crafts sent me a box with three craft kits to try out, and I was enchanted. The kits have all of the crafty goodness, and none of the work on my part. Plus, they have an environmental conscience, since they’re filled with plant-based and recycled materials rather than plastic and fun foam. You don’t have to produce a bunch of waste to get your craft on, and their business is even carbon neutral. Total score!
Hannah gets her craft on
Our box contained three projects: a scrap book, wind chimes and a pirate costume. My daughter Hannah, who is seven, was all over it. Ever the little artist, she let her creative juices fly free. I reserved the pirate costume kit for my three-year-old son Jacob, and I found that I had to do much of the heavy lifting on the project for him. He’s not quite old enough to cut along the dotted line, for example. While the Green Kid Crafts website says that the projects are designed for kids aged three to eight, I would say that you’re going to be doing a lot of the work if your kids are under age five or so.
Hannah shows off her wind chimes
The idea behind Green Kid Crafts is that you pay a monthly subscription fee and receive one of these craft-filled boxes each month. If you like the idea of doing crafts with your kids, but you struggle when it comes to coming up with ideas and assembling materials, this may be a good solution for you. But you do have to consider your kids, as well – if they’re not into crafts, that’s probably not going to change just because you paid a subscription fee. As I said, this would be a great fit for my daughter, but not such a great fit for my son.
Jacob shows off the pirate craft I assembled for him
The other thing I just noticed in looking at the Green Kid Crafts website is that they seem to only ship to US addresses. To be honest, if I had realized this in advance I probably wouldn’t have accepted the craft box, which is a lesson to me to do my homework. However, if you live in the US, unlike me, this will not be an issue for you. Once again, being Canadian has its downsides when you want to do some online shopping. We’ll just have to console ourselves by visiting the doctor for free.
Now, I’d like to hear from you. Are you a craft star or craft dud? How do you get ideas for crafts to do with your kids? Do you try to be green when it comes to choosing craft projects? And how do you keep your supplies organized and contained? I’d love to hear!