Friday, January 28, 2011

Giant White Spiders...or Snowflakes

...crafts, crafts, crafts, crafts...

I swear I must be chanting that mantra in my sleep.  One more snowstorm and I'll probably let Jax tattoo the word CRAFT onto my forehead with a gluegun.  Or worse, I'll start bedazzling.  Enough crafts!  But no, winter continues, and so does my feeble attempts at entertainment.  I was pretty impressed, however, that just saying the word paint was enough to make Jax turn off the tv and run to the kitchen table.  I guess saving some things for freezing/snowy/rainy days isn't such a bad thing.

Today, class, we are making snowflakes out of a child's repeated handprint.  This craft is not ground-breaking.  I heard about it from several preschool crafty websites, but I can't give anyone particular credit.  It requries paper, paint, and your child's hand.  Sounds easy enough?  It is, unless your kid has a tactile issue, like mine, and hates having his hands dirty.  Then this one can get a bit tricky.  As usual, I suggest bribery.  And teach your kid to wash his own hands and send him on frequent breaks to the bathroom.

So you get a piece of construction paper and some white paint.  I chose blue to emphasize how freakin' cold winter is.  Then you paint your child's hand white and try not to let them touch anything.  Good luck.

Em was not excited about having to paint her hand, not being able to eat it, and for me to have to push on her pudgy fingers.  Overall, Gerber puffs were in order as consolation.

Then, you guessed it, you have your child make repeated handprints from a center point to create a sort of snowflake pattern. 

In hindsight, I would suggest a less rigid and organized pattern.  Pretty soon Jax's snowflake just looked like a bunch of repeated handprints, not at all like a snowflake.  I needed to let loose a little and let him plop his hand down wherever he wanted.  I'll admit, it's hard for me to do that sometimes.

But then the snowflake got a lot flakier and a lot less structured.  Much better.

Still looks a bit more like a giant white spider than a snowflake, but I'm sure you'll learn from my mistakes.

Em's isn't much better, although hers is less structured because she doesn't know what a pattern even is yet and she's not too keen on following directions.  Also, she was trying to grab the paper, eat the paper, eat the paint, grab the marker...not as easy.

Another tip: if you're going to try this with an under-one-year-old, consider having another grown-up on hand for moral support, damage control, to hold your cocktail, etc.  Because if you don't, you're in for a game of Choose Your Own Adventure.  Craft with your toddler first = baby has a meltdown.  Craft with your baby first = toddler gets into mischief.  Either way, you're screwed.  You'll probably focus a little too much on the baby and forget your toddler is busy playing with paint that you didn't give him on a project you didn't authorize.

 Who?  Me?

If you can let yourself just go with it long enough to help him finish the mess he's already started, you may end up with another, even cooler, picture to hang on the wall.

When I asked him what it was a picture of, he said, "Hands."  Um.....okay.

Remember to relax and enjoy this time with your kids, as messy and chaotic as it may be.  Turn your back for a second and your table may look like this:

but the end result will be well worth it!

Or you may just end up with a huge mess and giant white spiders. 


amy g said...

LOVE it! We were crafty today too...

i especially LOVE this part...

"to hold your cocktail, etc"

4PM crafts next week? :)

Nikki said...

I think their version of snowflakes are way more awesome than the variety that keeps falling from the sky! Forget Picasso, art created by children is so much more interesting.

Aj said...

nice! i love those pictures.. but they really do look like spiders bones! i really like the new format of the blog! im glad all is well!