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Connecting through Creating
Hi, friends. This is Meghann with Practically Hippie, a blog about motherhood, simple living, and our Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool. I’m also the creator of Rooted Childhood, a seasonal collection of ways to connect and create as a family.
I am not a naturally crafty mom and I never would have thought I would be helping so many other families with young children find ways to keep the magic of childhood alive by connecting through handicrafts.
My oldest daughter was born with a creative spirit and a maker’s heart. She taught me that children can handle more of the construction paper crafts and hand print turkeys at Thanksgiving. Children have an innate desire to create beautiful things. Creativity is the truest form of self-expression and children benefit greatly from a wide variety of creative experiences. But how can we provide that to our children without adding one more thing to our already overloaded to-do list?
I want to share four ways to set yourself up for success and turn crafting and creating into an extra special time spent with your children that is nourishing not only for their hearts, but yours as well.
Number one – stock your craft cabinet with basics. You’d be surprised what you could do with a shortlist of basic supplies. A variety of yarn, embroidery thread, sewing needles, ribbon, buttons, watercolors, card stock, fabric scraps, a hot glue gun, and a crafter’s number one necessity, Mod Podge, are all some supplies I like to keep on hand. Shop secondhand for a great deal and always try to use what you have on hand before buying new.
Number two – keep it simple. Handicrafts don’t have to be complicated. Consider a child’s abilities when choosing a project and ensure it’s a project that challenges, but doesn’t cause frustration. This will allow your child to take ownership of the project and have a deep sense of pride when the project is finished. Keeping it simple also means you don’t have to get caught up in pinning all of the perfect crafts on Pinterest. Life presents so many opportunity for making gifts, creating beautiful seasonal décor, or making useful items for work or play. When you approach handicrafts in this way, you’re not adding to your mile-long list, but actually serving multiple purposes.
Number three – set aside time. When our days are filled with lessons and exploring nature and keeping up with the house, it can sometimes feel impossible to fit anything else in. Look for downtimes in your day when the whole family could benefit from coming together to do an activity. In our home, afternoon quiet time spills over into audiobooks or independent play for my children, and catching up on housework for me. When I set aside time a couple afternoons a week for creating together, I can plan my schedule accordingly where it actually fits in.
Number four – do it together. As children get older, their abilities increase more and more each year. It’s easy to forget that just because they can do something alone doesn’t mean they should. Spending time together crafting is an open invitation for good conversation, big questions, and memories that will last a lifetime. Once you begin inviting your children to explore these simple, beautiful moments of connection and creating in your daily family rhythms, you will be pleasantly surprised at how your child will start to create handicraft projects using their own creativity and curiosity. Children have this natural ability to bring magic, wonder, and joy to their projects that is so greatly enhanced when they feel it is valued and encouraged in the family culture.
It is my hope that you will take on the challenge of connecting with your children through creating. Remember to keep your craft cabinet stocked, keep it simple, set aside some time during a lull in your busy days, and do it together to create memorable moments that will leave your children knowing that they are loved, honored, and heard.
Meghann Dibrell is a wife, mother of three, writer, blogger, and proud lefty who lives in the Texas Hill Country on 6.5 acres with a large garden, two dogs, a flock of 17 chickens, and a pet bunny. She’s spent years creating a life of simplicity and joy by focusing on what matters and establishing rhythms that allow for the greatest gifts of time and connection. Practically Hippie began in 2014 as a blog to share simple living strategies for families along with home decor, natural living tips, and homeschool adventures.
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