I don't really do anything traditionally crafty at home with Asher yet, but he's been pretty interested in paining and glue-ing and such at playgroup recently, so we decided to have an painting afternoon (or 'art jam' as a particularly hip friend calls such events) over here tomorrow. After buying some Tempera powder paint on Friday I have been busily looking for finger-paint recipes today and came across some really good kids crafty resources that I thought I might share. There are lot's of finger-paint and playdough recipes about (I've used the playdough recipe and it works a treat. Dissolve the salt first so you don't get a grainy texture) and there are lots of different lists of ideas out there, but good ones are not always that easy to find. One of my old favourites is the very lovely Kids Craft Weekly which sends ideas direct to my inbox and is geared toward little kids. the photos on the site are great and the ideas are often really simple and good - I recommend anyone who has little kids around subscribes for ideas. There is another site that I came across whose approach I really like. . It's called 'A Magical Childhood' and so far I've only been looking at the craft ideas (there is a link in the navbar that says 'poetry' which terrifies me so much I can't click on it yet) and as the author says, there are heaps of guides for projects that achieve cute results, but little kids would prefer to focus on the process rather than the result and they get bored easily. Her ideas seem to be geared toward what she calls 'laziness' and what I prefer to think of as letting your kid give his or her creativity free reign. She talks about lying in the bath and letting your kid use watercolour paint on pieces of paper you have taped up around the bathtub. It sounds awkward to me personally, but it sounds like fun for fans of the bathtub. You will see what I mean if you look at any of her craft ideas with the word 'lazy' in the title.
The other web resource I rediscovered was the Raising Children website which reminded me that despite my recent frustration with Asher's tantrums and general toddlerness I'm doing ok at managing it. It also reminded me of the reasons these little people have hissy fits and some of the more positive ways of dealing with the difficult behaviour.
I couldn't have found/rediscovered any of this stuff without Sanjay spending a LOT of time with Asher today (and all weekend actually!). I think it's really good for the whole family for them to spend big chunks of time one-on-one - it improves their relationship, Sanj has more of an idea of how I spend my days and I get a bit of mental space. Thanks Sanjay!
I'll try and blog about tomorrow's Art Jam, perhaps I'll even include pictures!