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MANN: Crafting is much more than scissors and sequins

Image Credit: SUBMITTED
March 14, 2019 - 12:00 PM

OPINION


When I was younger, my siblings and I used to get crafty in the basement.

I have memories of pipe cleaners, construction paper, and eventually a glue gun.

I can’t remember what was ever made, but I suspect it wasn’t nearly as beautiful or amazing as we THOUGHT it was.

And unfortunately, selling your ‘art’ at a roadside stand wasn’t the thing back then (unless it was and I have been completely misinformed), and so instead we sold our possibly really crappy art to our parents.

For way too much money I suspect.

And it probably went to live in some box, under some bed, until it was forgotten about enough to throw it out, thus making room for more crappy art.

Today is National Children’s Craft Day, which is kind of fitting.

In an area where we live by the seasons, late winter/early spring is a great time to celebrate crafting.

As the snow is melting (and no that doesn’t count as me jinxing the possibility of spring never arriving) and everyone is starting to brush off their snow gear and pack it away, it is nice to sit down at the table and make something with your hands — even if it’s just a mess!

Crafting is important.

We all want to encourage our children to grow their skill sets and become well-rounded individuals.

And yes math, social skills and learning how to change a tire are all really important (I’m embarrassed to say I would probably fail at the last one).

But crafting is a skill too — and we forget that sometimes what appears to benefit us the least, actually benefits us the most.

Watching my children explore the world of arts and crafts has been nothing less than fun, and let’s face it, they allow me the opportunity to once again pick up a paint brush and some stickers too.
 
Every time I watch my daughter proudly hold up her drawings of a Heffalump (refer to Winnie the Pooh if you don’t know what I am talking about), it is a lesson for me on how great a child’s imagination can be.

Even more so, it can teach us a little bit about what our children find important – import enough to write about, illustrate, or create a storyline with pipe cleaners.

And while they are crafting away, their self-confidence is growing, their vocabularies are expanding, and they are learning a lesson in building something from the bottom up.

Let’s not forget they are also learning to sit and create without any kind of electronic distractions.

From what I hear, you can compare crafting to mindful meditation, and that my friends can only mean good things.

Before you view crafting as nothing but a messy waste of time, remember that our children are working on fine-tuning their motor skills, working on some problem solving, and finding out what it truly means to be patient.

So for the next 24 hours, break out the glue sticks and glitter!

— Becky is a 30-something, red haired, mother of two, trying to navigate this life as best she can. She enjoys talking to people and discovering their stories. Still trying to balance her personal and professional life, she juggles work and play. In her spare time Becky can be found visiting with friends, spending time with her family and saving time by reading while walking.


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