Sunday, January 8, 2012


Like much of the rest of the country, this winter hasn't exactly been "wintery". We haven't had the warmth that some have had, but just rain and mid 40's.  But my boys are dying for some snow. So we had to make our own.

Now, normally, I'm not sure I would have let myself call this a craft.  After all, there's relatively little mess, little preparation, and it was so quick to do.  But what I discovered was that I have had such high expectations for crafty time that we just never did anything.  It took too much energy, and some days I just don't have it. But with a goal of doing a craft with the boys once a week, I needed to find a way to make it work.

So we're lowering/adjusting the bar. Snowflakes. To make them a little different, we used magazine pages rather than regular printer paper.  This had a few benefits.  The first is that the paper itself it thinner, which makes multiple layers easier to cut for small  hands.  The second is that my boys live large and in color - their snowflakes needed to match them.

During naptime I tore out a bunch of pages from an old magazine, looking for pages rich in color.  I then cut them into 8x8 squares with my handy scrapbooking paper cutter, and folded them up. There's a good tutorial here on how to fold, if you're looking for a reminder. By having everything ready, making the snowflakes could go faster - an important feature in a craft project for my on-the-go boys.

Instead of asking them to come have craft time, I waited until they were just running around aimlessly, sat down, and cut one.  I unfolded it, squealed, and they came running.  (Just like I had planned <insert evil laugh>) They were hooked.  So we got out their scissors, and I just let them try the first one without instructions.  I worked on one at the same time, and did some modeling.

It was fun to watch them learn so quickly what happened when you cut through all the folds, or cut off a whole edge.  They didn't need me to tell them,  And the "failed" snowflakes taught them what not to do on the next one.  The oldest was able to be totally independent, and found that repeating what worked on one snowflake onto the next and then adding a new "technique" worked best for his learning process.  He would unfold it, check results, refold, and cut again..  The little one still struggles with scissor control, so when he hit his frustration level, we switched it up.  He drew a line of where he wanted the cut to be on the folded paper, and I cut where he drew.  He still felt in charge of the process, and was able to be successful.

We had a great time.  Bright colored snowflakes grace our windows, and the boys are proud of they did.  Setup and cleanup were so simple that I can't wait to find another good project for this week.  Total win.

1 comment:

  1. Such a simple yet profound idea! And I need to take notes on how you get the kids to participate without knowing they are participating...genious!!