Monday, July 15, 2013

Crafting Made Fun & Easy

Dear Em,
One of my very favorite things is to create fun & unique crafts with you. There's just a few things about  it that are not my favorite.

1) I can only find/come up with a few unique & original crafts a year. I get super excited about them, but after that I get burnt out. It's really stressful to try to come up with fun things all the time. I can't keep up. It's kind of like writers block. I will refer to it as "fantastic idea block." I'm basically going to blame "fantastic idea block" for the fact we pretty much just bought Daddy beer for Father's Day (which was OK later on when we needed a tent anyway). At some point during the year I'm spent, & we resort to crayons, markers, & play dough.

2) Putting together a fun craft typically requires shopping. I remember a day when I kinda enjoyed shopping. Now, it's just feels time consuming & stressful. Things will be out of stock, & I almost always come back with things I didn't originally plan on buying. I would be happy to do all my shopping via the Internet, from the comfort of my own bed or couch.

3) Fun crafts & activities typically involve a hodgepodge of materials. It's sometimes difficult to buy just what you need for the activity & we end up with a number left over items that clutter up our home & don't always work for other activities. Plus, what if I forget something we need? Then it's back to the store to find more materials.

Sigh. Being a crafty is a lot harder for me than it looks.

But then I found the answer to my "fantastic idea block," aversion to shopping, cluttering & overall laziness issues: Kiwi Crate. We signed up for a monthly subscription (although you can order just one or they even have birthday party favors). We have a little crate delivered to us each month with crafts & projects that we can do together. I don't have to think of ideas myself, the crates come right to our doorsetp without having to step into a store, & each one comes with all the items we need & only the items we need.

I look forward to finding our little crate in our mailbox each month. Last month was our very first month. I opened the crate to find all of the materials we would need for two different activities, step-by-step instructions on how to complete the activities, & guidelines on how much involvement might be required by the adult. There are also suggested talking points as you work together on the project.

Last month, on a cloudy & rainy day, we made a lantern. You were so excited to punch stars into colored wax paper & use glow-in-the-dark stickers to put the lantern together. We talked about how before there was electricity, people used candles to see in the dark. We talked about how when we lost electricity during Superstorm Sandy, we used candles & an LED lantern to see in the dark. Then we talked about how lanterns were created to see in the dark outside & protect the candles from being blown out by the wind.

After we completed your lantern, you tried it out. Your face glowed with excitement & pride as you walked around with a lantern you & I had created together. Your daddy looked at our crate & looked at what we had made & said, "Activities sent to you in the mail, that's a really great idea. I'm surprised you didn't come up with something like that." You know, I'm surprised I didn't come up with that too. It must have been "fantastic idea block" striking again.

Luckily, someone else did think of it, & now I'm wicked excited about the crafty year ahead of us. Now crafting with you can be my favorite again. Although, I'm sure there will still be room for markers, crayons, & play dough.

I love you so,

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