I was standing in Michaels last October, looking for paper fasteners to satisfy one of my daily brainstorms. I overheard a woman frantically looking through the island of prepackaged boxes of Halloween craft items. She was telling a nearby employee that it was her turn to bring a craft to her child's classroom and she had no idea what to do. She admitted she was not "good at this sort of thing." This is not the first time I have witnessed this craft-induced-hysteria. 

I don't care how un-crafty you think you are, please don't buy prepackaged crafts. Just like pre-packaged food, these kits are for the most part wasteful both to the environment and to your purse. These overly-packaged, paper and plastic filled boxes are topped with a premium price for convenience. They generally hold a bag of stickers. I admit that I have in the past used 1 or 2 of these kits with my then 3-year old daughter. But for the most part they left sticker backs and glitter all over the floor and the craft itself was not worth the effort. This is a shame, because it is always my aim to do crafts with my daughter that are worth saving, or at least wearing or hanging around for a season as she puts so much work into her creations. I'm really not trying to be a crafty-snob but I know we as responsible parents can do better.

I have recently discovered that  you can figure out how to do almost any kind of craft (or anything for that matter) on YouTube. From paper turkeys to tissue paper pom-poms - you name it, you can search for it. I personally subscribe to "EHowFamily,", "Parents" (like the magazine), and "ExpertVillage" videos, but most times I just do a search for what I'm looking for. As a visual person, I have found a craft much easier to learn and remember in this venue. You usually can tell if a video is going to be helpful or not in about the first 20 seconds...

Which leads me to a side I must mention. You might want to do these craft searches without the kids, as there sometimes is a lot of garbage on YouTube to click past on your way to the perfect craft. But that's another discussion. :)

I know this may seem like a lot of unnecessary work, and for what. But it really only takes a few minutes to Google or YouTube or (my favorite) Pinterest search "kid crafts for Halloween" for example, and go. Dozens of easy and thrifty craft tutorials are just a few clicks away, probably on your favorite mom-blog, discount or family oriented website. They will help you gather up some items you may already have laying around your kitchen and, TaDa, you're done before you've even left the house (pajamas optional). 

Remember to make the most out of  your time with your kiddos. They will remember most the effort you put in, not the dollars. 

Thanks for reading and tweeting!

3/27/2012 11:07:14 am

I couldn't agree more! I'll add that the materials often contained within the kit are not the best of quality - the paint sometimes dried up, the glue doesn't work well, the crayons cheap, the stickers don't really stick - or there isn't enough glue or paint, colors may be limited ... you get the idea. I'd rather piece together my own kit, any day, for a fraction of the cost and unlimited creativity!

Sarah (Moderator)
4/10/2012 04:07:02 am

That's a great idea, Vicky. I totally agree. I've recently started re-purposing beverage containers (pictures to come) into "craft carriers" (an idea I first heard on your podcast and finally got around to doing). But there also have been days my daughter and I have literally done a scavenger hunt around the house for items to fiddle with. It takes a bit more time but in the end is much more worth the effort. Thanks for the comment!


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    Hi, I'm Sarah

    Pinterest enthusiast Christian & homeschooling mama to a 5yo going on 15.  I'm always looking for  teachable crafts for little hands that don't cost a lot.      I also use crafts within our church's children's ministry.
    Would love to hear 
    your ideas- 
    Thanks for reading!


    August 2012

blooming kids crafts, Christmas crafts for kids, Thanksgiving crafts for kids, edible play dough, paper crafts for kids, free printable crafts for kids