I'm sorry but I hate doing crafts with my kids
I know it’s creative and good for children, but I just can’t bring myself to get involved with all that gluey, painty mess.
I blame Val Singleton. When I was small she would be there on Blue Peter confidently creating marvellously colourful and useful things out of empty bottles and cardboard.
I so wanted those creations, they had little drawers that opened when you pulled the tiny brass paper-clippy thing. And they were covered in sticky-backed plastic. It made them look like they were bought, all smooth and symmetrical.
But whenever I had a go there would be tears. For a start we never had any of that stuff- we might have an empty cereal packet one week, but we surely wouldn’t have four yoghurt pots of different diameter and 16 lollypop sticks on the very same day that the muse struck me.
And glue, that was always an issue. If we ever had any of the marvellous stuff you could only ever get it out of the pot once for a limited amount of time before the whole thing gummed solid. And to this day I have never ever seen sticky backed plastic in a shop.
So the end result would be a sorry, cock-eyed thing nearly holding together with the entire roll of sticky tape. You could still see the bits that said Snap, Crackle and Pop and when you put something in a drawer it fell out of the bottom. “Never mind dear,” my mother would say, but I did.
Glitter brings me out in a rash
Consequently, my children don’t do crafty things at home, or at least not any that require my assistance. It’s not that I don’t want to do stuff with them – I’m delighted to sing, read, bounce on the trampoline and play endless games of Monopoly (Ok, not quite endless). But I just can't bear glitter and pipe cleaners.
Now I know you can go to a shop and buy a packet with 16 lollypop sticks in it and some card and glue that works, but I still can’t bring myself to. I know the end result will be rubbish and have cost more than just buying a ‘real’ version of whatever it was they wanted.
I just believe deep down my efforts will end in misery and, consequently, so will theirs. A few times I’ve had a go, but it’s all ended in a crumpled misshapen mess and bad temper. They now know that if they want to make it, they’re on their own.
My nine-year-old knows this and has come to terms with it. In fact, he’s really very good at making things. He decorated my bra when I did the Edinburgh Moonwalk earlier this year.
It astonishes me, he seems to know exactly how to set about getting the result he’s after, which bits of whatever to attach to the something else. I am very proud of him and also very relieved; it seems I haven’t crushed his creativity.
So, in conclusion, I could either sue Valerie Singleton for the mental trauma, or I could make peace with the fact that I hate craft and that it won’t do my kids any harm at all.
Post a comment
You must be signed in to post to Ready for Ten.
Haven’t registered? It’s really quick and simple.