I have a confession to make: I don’t do crafts with my kids. It might be forgiveable if you consider that my boys are 4 and 2 but probably not, the truth is that the potential I find for various different kinds of stress in doing a craft activity with them makes me unlikely to even get started.
We sell a huge range of craft items in the shop and many of these would be great for using with smaller kids but I just can’t pluck up the courage to just go for it, and that sucks. I see loads of parents come into the shop with more kids and less time than I have and they look genuinely excited about popping open a craft kit and sitting down for an hour or so of engrossed activity with their kids. I’m envious of these mums (and I have to admit there are some dads in this category too) who seem to either lack, or to somehow be able to just ignore, that little voice inside that points out all the potential hazards for mess and waste in these activities.
I could say that it’s the potential for mess that bothers me most, but I’d be lying. While I’m happy to do housework and though it bothers me when the house isn’t in great shape I can’t really say I’m a clean freak or a neat freak of any form. One of the main things that I think bothers me about crafts is that they cost money and I know for a fact that my kids’ first attempts probably won’t go exactly according to the instructions, either leaving me with a disappointed four year old to console or just a pile of messed up cardboard/plaster/clay etc. and a couple of ambivalent kids. The end result in such instances will probably go in the bin. That potential for waste is a pretty big factor but I do have one other reason that I’m a little more ashamed about.
And here comes the deepest darkest part of why I don’t do crafts: the alternative to a failed craft activity is a successful one and when that happens we have a new addition to the household: another thing to find a space for in our little house. In order to make room for a new collection of craft ‘success stories’ some toys would have to go to make room, and I have to admit I prefer toys. A toy gets played with when they first get it and even if it’s not a huge hit there’s a good chance that it could become one in the future. For example Logan enjoyed trains and tractors but Alexander loves them: toys that got packed away and played with just every now and then are now staple every day items in our house.
The alternative of keeping a box of finished crafts that probably wont get looked at again for years (if ever) at the expense of losing a box of toys just doesn’t seem attractive to me. I don’t know if that makes me a horrible person (I hope not) but I just can’t get into crafts for pretty much that reason above all the others I’ve mentioned. What I’d love to know is what is it that makes crafts so appealing to other people. Customers look genuinely excited at the prospect of something that simply fills me with dread. I could try and blame it on my childhood but that probably wouldn’t work as I have distinct memories of doing quite a lot of crafty stuff with both of my parents when I was wee. The sad thing is, I just don’t understand the appeal, and I genuinely feel as though I’m missing something, and much worse I feel as though my kids will be missing out on something too, any thoughts/responses would be most welcome. Thanks for reading, Cheers, John
P.S. I should point out that I frequently bake with the boys. It’s always easy to find space for tasty tasty cakes!