October Crafts

If your child’s preschool is anything like ours, going back to school means an influx of art projects, some more abstract than others.  (One week, I kid you not, it was green paper covered in three dimensional dried brown gloop –paint mixed with potting soil – but that is not what it looked like!  One of the few masterpieces that went in the trash without any mom guilt.)

The October Smarty, marks the 1st full year of monthly Smarty videos!  (Meaning we’ve been adding to your art hoard too!)

Now that you have 12 months of art projects, not to mention all the crafts from school, what do you do with your child’s art?

Well, that depend on what exactly you want to do.

–          Save It?

An impressively organized parent I once worked with had a great system.  She kept all the art project for the month and at the end of each month selected two pieces to save, leaving her with 24 pieces of art per year.  This was filed away in plastic file box.  (I love this idea in theory, but my executive functioning is not up to the task.  I have a pile of art in my hall closet that hasn’t been reviewed since April.)

If you don’t want to store that much art, another option is taking photos and creating a digital photo book.  This gives you a chance to add captions and a few photos of your child; simultaneously creating a memory book.

–          Display It?

A curtain rod with curtain clips, or just a ribbon with clothespins, are two easy ways to display lots of art and easily change out new pieces.

Another option is a shadow box frame or a frame with the glass and matting removed mounted on the wall.  Both of these framing choices allow you to easily rotate the current art on display.

–          Play With It?

Reuse art pieces to make new art.  Cut shapes from old art projects to make a collage, cut flower shapes and tape to pipe cleaners to create a bouquet, or use a painting to make a personalized greeting card.

Help your child create his / her own art show and invite family to the show.  Active involvement in planning an event can be very exciting for young children.  It also provides the opportunity to practice multiple types of planning.  There are numerous decision making opportunities, including creating a guest list, naming each piece of art and deciding where and how to display their masterpieces.  Once the big day arrives, your little one can practice social and conversation skills while sharing about their art work.  (If age appropriate, you may want to visit a museum to look at art before your child’s show.  Looking at art in the context of creating their own museum may make the experience more engaging.)

Make a favorite art project again as gifts for grandparents, etc. or use the art as a concrete close ended activity for a play date.  Use this opportunity to talk about preferences (e.g., the grandparent or the peer) when selecting materials for the project.  Compare and discuss similarities and differences between duplicate projects.  If making the project with a friend, your child may want to teach their peer how to do the project.   It is also a great opportunity to practice giving and receiving compliments.

In the words of (name) on Smarty, “Until next time… Craft On!”