I love kid crafts! It's the kids that make the crafts difficult, though...
I have found that the most stressful kid crafts are the kind that have an expected outcome. The cuter the project is supposed to turn out, the more I start to twitch. But John loves crafts - so what's a mom to do?
Luckily John has very limited cute craft experience. Glitter? That's just for the big girls. Sequins? What's that? Plain paper and markers are still exciting for him. And if I pull out the glue his eyes light up!
But glue is tricky. And messy. And dangerous.
Here's my favorite glue tip: A little puddle of glue on a plate and a q-tip is just the thing for spreading glue. No chance of over-zealous squeezing, and easier to use than a glue stick.
For today's craft I let him chose a large piece of construction paper. I gave him some markers. And I cut circles and squares out of more construction paper. He colored. He glued. He had fun. That's what I call a successful craft time!
Craft stress does not end as your kids get bigger. Two weeks ago at our mid-week youth activity we decided to have the girls dip candles. This was to illustrate the mutual theme for the year
"Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God" (D&C 121:45)
Our Young Women's president did a great job illustrating that verse. She held up a little piece of wick that had been dipped in wax a few times. It had not waxed strong! As we gain our testimonies by following the Savior and daily choosing the right, we will wax strong a little at a time, just as the candle will become stronger after repeated dipping into the wax.
Then we dipped candles with the girls.
We had 7 colors of wax and we discussed each value as we dipped wax (ie - how can having faith help your confidence wax strong?, etc.) I thought it was a rather brilliant lesson. The problem was the wax.
Wax on the table. Wax on the floor. Wax on girls finger tips. Wax over on the drinking fountain.
The clean up took for-e-ver.
We were just about done when I notice a pot of hot water on the stove. We had used a lot of hot water to keep the jars of wax warm as the girls were dipping, and I thought it was just one of our pots, waiting to be emptied. So I picked it up and poored it right down the drain. I heard Diane yell NO! and I could see immediately that I had made a big mistake.
That pot of water was actually a pot of hot wax. I had noticed earlier in the evening that the hot wax was totally clear and looked just like water. But I forgot....
The wax was all over the inside of the sink. and down in the drain.... I was able to clean out the sink, but the drain was another matter.
It took a plumber to fix my big mistake (luckily there is one in another ward). The wax had solidified into a candle shaped piece right in the drain of the sink - too bad I didn't wash down some wicking, too....