Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Mr Maker...

You may recall that many moons ago I lamented that my oldest child was not setting high standards for the others to follow when it came to your "traditional" creativity.  Being a fan of the visual arts myself, I have tried to encourage all of the kids to get a little more creative on that side of things.  It hasn't really worked.

Lion still prefers to scribble when he draws and colours in and I choose to believe this is an emotional outlet for him because he CAN stay in the lines and he CAN draw intricate illustrations he just prefers not to.  In his words "Ugh, but Muuuuum, Mrs P makes me draw properly at school so I need to do this now so I don't have to do it at school".  Well okay then.

Dragon is also a fan of the "fireworks" style of colouring in.  He does love painting but his attention span is limited to one sheet of paper and once that is done he considers himself all painted out so he stops.  Box construction is more his style, just like Lion but he doesn't have the eye for making working models of things like Lion can do.  I would have to say scissors would be Dragon's craft tool of choice.  He can make an awesome jigsaw puzzle... as long as you don't mind having five million white pieces that you can't figure out where they go.  No, he does do a great job of jigsaw puzzles, he just needs to be reminded to stop cutting before things go too crazy.

Monkey... well, Monkey likes to eat textas and crayons.  I think there's hope for him yet.  He does get creative with a whiteboard pen on his highchair tray... until he sucks on it so it doesn't work anymore.

Enter Mr Maker.  Have you seen that show?  It's the one with the slightly manic guy making junk out of junk and calling it craft.  Anyway, it's given my kids more of an interest in craft so it can't be all that bad, can it?

Well, it's meant that I've had to step up and actually do some craft with my kids.  That's not a problem.  I've got to do the craft that they specify or put a really good spin on the craft that I want to do so they change their mind.  Now, since I rarely want to make anything they see on Mr Maker and it usually involves 15 paper towel tubes and special yellow beads formed by feeding yellow sticks to monkeys and collecting their poop while it's still soft and forming that into beads... and y'know, other items that I just happen to have hanging around here but I selfishly don't want to let the kids use because I'm just mean.  So anyway, that means I have to convince them to do something at least a little more interesting.

Craft Project 1.
The boys saw beaded metal bookmarks in a bookshop and wanted to buy one each.  At $7 each I said no way!  "We'll make them"... it was out of my mouth before I could catch myself.  But it'd be fine, I envisioned a piece of ribbon with some knots and beads and that'd be good.  I ran the idea by the boys and it was turned on its head.  Nope, they wanted to make some JUST.LIKE.THAT.  We went to Spotlight and beads were picked, I found the right bookmarks and we crafted...

I think they turned out great and we made three with heaps of beads left over for the price of one in the bookshop!

Craft Project 2.
Last week Kate over at Picklebums, as well as being perfectly imperfect, tweeted this link to Filth Wizardry and I checked it out... It seemed simple enough, so I picked up some plasticine for $2 and got some hand me down stamp pads and away we went... It wasn't that easy.  They just couldn't get it together.  I couldn't get them to understand that they had to follow certain steps to get anything worth printing.  Lion eventually got it a bit but he would copy the things I had made.  But we had fun, Monkey ate plasticine, we got covered in stamp ink, the boys got plasticine stuck under their short stubby fingernails.  We made a few cards with our stamps and the boys ran off to play while I scraped plasticine off Monkey's hands and packed away the stamps before he could paint himself with one.

I think if we do it again I will spend a bit more time making patterns in the plasticine with them before we even got out the stamps.... I'd also probably make sure Monkey was not involved.  The space in the middle of the cards is supposed to be so I can cut it out and put a photo behind it so it's a frame card but they also had trouble following the instruction to leave that part empty.  I can't remember if they had had a nap that day but boy did they have trouble focusing and following instruction.  Always fun for craft!

There you have it, a couple of our more exciting craft activities these school holidays. 


  1. Cool!
    I like the plasticine stamp idea, might think about trying it out.
    Box Boy often wants to do complicated and unresourced crafts as I'm making dinner. Never when I want to.
    But they have been enjoying Mr Maker very much.
    Did you see the one about exploding pictures? BB did one with a superhero coming out. It doesn't look as good as Mr Maker's but it at least only used things we actually had at home.
    May your crafting be good fun.

  2. What a fun and creative mom you are. I also love how you took pics of the tools and paper just laying there. Great memories and a fun project. You can see the pride in projects and on their faces.

  3. LOVE those bookmarks! I smell Christmas presents...

    Mrs. NB

  4. My daughter loves the show as well and kept on asking me if e have this or that. Unfortunately I'm not the crafty type but your post inspired me to at least try as it seemed much fun. Cheers!

  5. We are watching Mr Maker right now! Love the crafts you've done. My girls are craft nuts!!

  6. What great ideas!! I bet your kids had a wonderful time doing these crafts (& hats off to you for doing them with them - art is not my favourite part of their education).
    I haven't seen Mr Maker - sounds good though (well kind of except for the mess it induces!)
    Have a great weekend

  7. What great ideas! Thank you for posting this. I've never heard of Mr. Maker but he sounds awesome!

  8. Hey, those kids are artists, for sure! And that Seasons cookbook by Donna Hay... I love mine! Mostly, I bought it for the pictures. lol. My cookbook cupboards are overflowing, Hamburger Helper is crammed into the pantry, and I am quite happy wishing I could cook like Donna but knowing HH often saves the day!

  9. I just love those bookmarks - they are beautiful!
    And that last photo with the bookmarks is stunning.

    My princess always begs me to do projects and I try my best.

  10. Boys are slow o develope the fine motorskills that lend themselves to intricate art projects. Mine don't bloom into artists until 8th grade ceramics. I have 4 glazed fish and a couple pinch pots that will have to do.


I'd love to hear from you, even if it's just to say "Hi, I stopped by for a read today"
We love comments, we don't love spam. Too much spam means I'm moderating comments now and have put on an anti-robot word verification doo-dad, sorry.