3 reasons to craft with your kids this season

Does anyone else out there wish they had more crafting ability? Or time, for that matter, to craft a few of those picture-perfect Holiday decorations with your kids?

My defense mechanism forever tended to be of the “ignore” variety. See pretty picture. Internalize that I will never re-create. Ignore Holiday crafting all together (with the exception of baking, which I happen to love as long as no icing or piping is involved).

But now I have a four-year-old and a seven-year-old who both literally leap for joy when it is time to decorate for any holiday, whether it’s draping fake spider webs on our bushes or making turkeys out of traced hands or gluing paper chains to hang on the Christmas tree. “Oh MOMMY!” They exclaim. “Can we decorate today? Pretty Please?” And whenever I say yes, they throw themselves into the task with total abandon.

We just took down our Halloween decorations last weekend, but the boys are already bombarding us with requests to get up something for Thanksgiving. As much as my husband and I would really prefer to relax a little after hectic work weeks, we can’t help but be egged on by their enthusiasm.

Exuberance is contagious.

And it’s really a lot of fun, too. But only if you embrace the notion that ugly trumps perfect.

Yes, it is fun to peruse Pinterest and gorgeous blogs and magazines in search of inspiration. But honestly, you should resist the urge to do “showstopper” pieces. Because when you need a craft to turn out “just so,” you end up judging both your own work – and the work of your children instead of just having fun and creating new, shared memories with them.

So go crazy with glitter, glue and everything in between – and let your kids do the same.

If your experience is anything like mine, you will get the joy of watching little fingers trace messily around construction paper, cut out the shape with plenty of jagged edges and misshapen fingers and glue them in a jumble to the back of a brown turkey that may or may not look like an oval. Then you’ll see your little tots do a jig of excitement while admiring their handiwork. Just don’t leave them alone with the scissors or their hair and other nearby objects might end up getting trimmed too.
little hand on construction paper

Another reason to let go of “doing it right” is that you may just be surprised how fantastically beautiful ugly can be. This is especially true if you add glitter into the mix when doing paper chains, which are a lovely way to decorate a mantle or a tree. Both of my boys’ fine motor skills are still very much in development, so their finished products aren’t so much of a chain as they are a big, hot construction paper mess. But trust me, it still looks more beautiful than anything else that’s ‘perfect’ or store-bought.

Best of all, you get a house that has flourishes that your little one(s) can proudly point to any and all friends stopping by and shout “LOOK! SEE WHAT I MADE?!?”

How about you? Got any hideously beautiful handmade items from your little ones that you’d like to brag about? I’d love to hear about them