Do you hear that? That is the sound of my festive St. Patty’s Day craft hitting the floor. All of the pieces have scattered to the four winds of my living room. They are no longer welcome on the table in front of H. The foam four-leaf clover is literally being eaten by Baby C2… I wonder what awful, horrible chemicals he has just ingested as I fish it out of his mouth while asking H, “Why did you throw the craft supplies.” H stares back blankly.
I don’t need to ask. I know why he threw them. It is after 5:00 PM. It is after a full day at school. He is tired, hungry and not in the mood to glue googly eyes on four-leaf clovers. I also, naively, thought that I could set up the craft and leave him to explore while I cooked dinner. BWAHAHAHA, what was I thinking.
I like to have small little things that help celebrate the in between holidays like Valentine’s Day and St. Patty’s Day. I want the kids to remember them fondly, but I am not a decorate the whole house for every holiday kind of person. This is the reason I thought a cute little craft would make the holiday fun. I found it at Michael’s. It was a little box of large four-leaf clovers with googly eyes and Irish stickers. Cute, right?!? Not to the children it wasn’t. It completely crashed and burned.
However, there are lessons to be learned from my crash and burn experience:
- Timing Is Everything – Is your little one tired, hungry or hangry even, wanting to go outside? If any of these are the case introducing a sit down activity will not work. Aim for a time when they are bored, not sure what to do and looking to you for direction. This will definitely increase the interest factor.
- Activity/Craft Type – Especially for little kids age appropriateness is important. If it is too young for them or too old they will lose interest quickly.
- Attention – Sometimes the best way to do activities is to create memories with your child. If they are wanting your attention they will try to obtain it in a positive or negative way. Help prevent your craft from crashing and burning by sitting down and doing it with them. You having an interest will automatically increase their interest and prevent the crash and burn scenario.
- Sometimes There is No Reason – Just like trying new foods, sometimes your kid just won’t be that into the activity you want to do with them. Follow their lead, after all the activity is for them and introduce it again later. A no today, does not mean a no forever.
Looking back on our St. Patrick’s Day craft I should have picked a better time for us to play. 5:00 PM is prime hungry time and nothing fun is going to happen when the little ones need to “eat, eat.” The other thing I wish I had done differently was to stop, sit down and do the activity with H. Also, if I had been sitting there I would have realized that Baby C2 could actually eat the foam shamrock. As much as I think it is important for them to learn to play by themselves, after a long day without mommy maybe all they needed was to spend time with mommy.
Peace, Love and Fun Activities,