31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010: Do More Crafts and Activities with Your Kids

Be sure you don't miss a thing! Subscribe to receive updates by email. Or if you use a feed reader, subscribe to my RSS feed! Thanks for visiting!

31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010: Do More Crafts and Activities with Your Kids

Join us all month for 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010!

The start of a New Year is a great time to evaluate your goals and priorities as parents, and a fairly common resolution is to take the time to do more crafts, play more games and just spend quality, focused time with our kids. But how do you take it from a resolution, full of good intentions, and make it a reality in your home?

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Define your priorities.

There are so many different crafts and activities that we could do with our kids, but that doesn’t mean we should do them all. Figure out what your personal goals and priorities are and focus on those things rather than trying to replicate every good idea you come across. Are you interested in incorporating a Waldorf approach to learning and play? Do you prefer arts and crafts that reinforce a lesson? Would you rather dance and play music than paint and draw? Is spending time outside in nature a higher priority for you than embracing the arts? I don’t think any of these is right or wrong, but if you try to do everything, you can easily become frustrated and discouraged.

2. Don’t make it too complicated.

I often feel sorry for our oldest daughter. She is the firstborn of two firstborns, and the poor child has always been stretched and pushed to hurry up and do the next thing. I was so excited to start doing crafts and activities with her that I started way too early and ended up completing most of them by myself while she played with plastic bowls and spoons at my feet. Unfortunately, while I at least recognize this tendency of mine and haven’t put the same pressure on our other girls, I’m still doing it to her. While I think stretching and learning new skills is a good thing, sometimes the most fun and precious memories come from simple crafts and activities that can just be enjoyed together, even if they’re the same ones you’ve done a dozen times before!

3. Check your supplies and plan ahead.

If doing regular arts & crafts together is your priority, keep basic supplies stocked and accessible so that you can pull the out even when you don’t have a more involved project prepared. For us, construction paper is the foundation for a wide variety of crafts, including chalk drawings, cutting and gluing, painting, coloring, book-making and more.

It also helps to plan ahead. You don’t have to have a rigid plan of, “We’ll do this on this day,” but putting together arts & crafts boxes with the supplies you need for 3 or 4 projects is a great way to make sure you’re not left digging through your supplies trying to find something to do.

Whether your priority is playing games, baking together or taking time to slow down and enjoy nature, think through what you need to have ready so that you’re not wasting precious time trying to get everything you need together.

4. Look for inspiration.

I know my first point was not to try to do everything, but as long as you keep a healthy balance, reading blogs who share ideas for crafts and activities is a great way to find inspiration and get motivated to do them with your own kids. Today, Amanda from Impress Your Kids, one of my favorite sites to look to for inspiration, is sharing her resolution to doing more crafts and activities this year as well as her plan for making it happen. There is no shortage of blogs with projects — from the simple to the more involved — and Impress Your Kids is a great place to start blog hopping!

5. Expect messes and meltdowns.

Whether you’re painting or playing Monopoly, don’t expect a beautiful, neat, idyllic experience, or you will end up disappointed. Expect paint to drip on the floor, Monopoly money to get spread across the room and someone to end up in tears when they lose for the third time in a row or can’t get their painting to look just the way they want it to. Each of these is a great opportunity for an important lesson and lots of love, but if you’re expecting everything to go smoothly, you might miss it, and that defeats the purpose!

Is one of your resolutions to do more crafts or activities with your kids? What is your highest priority?

The 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010 series is sponsored by Get Organized Wizard. Achieve your goals with Design Your Life, an e-program that’s broken into easy, manageable chunks and delivered right to your inbox each week!

About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

8 Responses to “ 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010: Do More Crafts and Activities with Your Kids ”

  1. I have a love/hate relationship with crafts. My girls LOVE them. They’re amazing about doing them on their own, but sometimes they want me to join in. I’m working on doing it with joy.

    I love what you said about your oldest. A firstborn of 2 firstborns. I have made a conscious effort lately to be encouraging, patient and positive with our oldest (of 3 daughters). I find myself being critical of her in ways that I’m not with the other two. Not fair. Not cool.

    Enjoying these posts!
    Marla Taviano´s last blog ..she’s got the itch. we all do. My ComLuv Profile


  2. I laughed when you described your daughter as a “firstborn of two firstborns”! My daughter is the same…and sometimes I feel bad for her and all the unintentional pressure we put on her. I have definitely been guilty of doing a craft on my own while she ran off to chase the cat. I’m trying to get better and let her do things her way even if it means not finishing it the way I think it should be! Great post and I love Amanda, so I’m off to see what she has to say on Impress Your Kids!


  3. Great post! I am trying to do more crafty activities with my 2 year old son. Yesterday we finger painted for the first time. He had a blast and was so proud of his picture! That’s enough motivation for me to keep doing more crafts!
    Dolli-Mama´s last blog ..Hello 2010! My ComLuv Profile


  4. Wow great posts! Thank you for writing all of these, they are inspiring me to do better this year with my resolutions. My daughter has is just starting to get old enough to do crafts and I’m so excited!


  5. My kids love crafts. We do them often and have since they were very small. The biggest problem has always been me. I have to make myself not get too perfectionist and let them do their craft with their own flair. They are so proud when they finish and get it just the way they want it. If they are forced to to it my “perfect” way, they have no fun at all!
    [email protected]´s last blog ..Great Links To Help Organize Your New Year! My ComLuv Profile


  6. A hearty agreement here! This was one thing I wanted to work on for this year and already gotten started.
    My first attempt was playing games with my three oldest (5,4,and 2). I was too tired from being up all night with the baby to be too over the top and it made it a pleasant experience. Someone had to sit out one game because of being unkind to a sibling, another cried because she couldn’t get her monkeys into the tree fast enough to win, and another totally destroyed a game of Kerplunk by pulling out too many sticks at once. But, at the end of it all, they all felt loved on and that was my goal. They weren’t aware that we didn’t follow the rules perfectly and no one ever actually won anything.
    Life is messy. =)
    Missi´s last blog ..Best Laid Plans My ComLuv Profile


  7. [...] newest post at Organizing Your Way reminded me that I had a tid bit to [...]

  8. Thanks for another great post. You’ve hit on another of my new year’s goals here. You said you started doing craft too early with your firstborn. Just wondering how early you mean? My daughter is 20 months old and has enjoyed a few craft activities out at play-group (though these don’t keep her attention for more than a few minutes). At home we just do basic drawing and colouring. We have done cooking together, but it is more me cooking and her sitting in the highchair tasting everything. I haven’t tried anything else yet. Do you think it would be too early? (P.S. my daughter is the firstborn of two firstborns too!)
    Julie´s last blog ..Modelling – for speech and language My ComLuv Profile


Leave a Reply

CommentLuv Enabled

You can use these XHTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <strong>