Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Book review

So you know we're homeschooling. We have a pretty comprehensive curriculum and I like to think the kids are pretty active outside of home, with swim class, soccer, dance, and park days or other field trips. One of the areas I feel a little weak in is their art background.
We've got the Mommy, it's a Renoir! or Miniature Masterpieces or whatever the one is with the postcard matching. It seems designed by someone with OCD, frankly, and I question how much my kids were getting out of it. Besides, I'm worried more about their creativity than recognizing someone else's.

I keep them stocked with crayons, markers, construction paper, glitter glue, and scissors. They get regular infusions of stickers, too (thanks, Mom!). I try to get out the play-doh regularly and I plan to get out my iron for a third time in Madeleine's life to do the wax paper and leaves thing. I was a camp counselor for seven summers, but they aren't ready for so many of those crafts and they're expensive on a small scale! The kits from arts and crafts stores aren't much better, especially when you consider they're single-use. So what else can I do?

I got an answer. On our Friday night date, after dinner we went book shopping. Yes, that's our idea of a good time. I picked up Kath Smith and Charlotte Stowell's Fun Things to Make and Do. I just read the first page but didn't go any farther than that. It was on the bargain shelves in the kids' section (where I admittedly spent most of my wander-time--what mother wouldn't?).

Let me say that even if you aren't homeschooling, this is a fantastic book of kids' crafts. One is making your own puzzle by gluing a picture to cardstock. Yeah, that's an easy and simple one, but how many of you have done or thought of it? Then there's the spiders from plastic dish scrubbers, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes. Rachel was thrilled that hers was all pink except for the red glitter glue.

One of the best things about this book is the picture directory at the back. Madeleine has already selected a few she wants to do, and Dale has a favorite. None of these involve a great expense, either. A package of straws, paper plates, camembert cheese boxes... I'm in love.

I see the splatter monsters by Hallowe'en, and we'll be making the foil balls for Christmas. The straw danglers and the window lights are on my list, too. What am I talking about?
Buy the book.
It's from the same folks that brought you these.

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At 9:22 PM, Blogger Kristina said...

I just want you to know that's our idea of fun, too!


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