Thursday, June 14, 2012

Early Grammar Stage Focus - Arts and Crafts

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This is part six of my series based on the article 10 Things To Do With Your Child Before Age 10.  To learn more about what I am doing, read my first post on Reading and Writing.

You can get this "10 things..." article plus SO much more information in the book Teaching the Trivium from the good people at Trivium Pursuit.

This week's focus is on Arts and Crafts.

Ahhh.  We come to something that is familiar territory for all.  Any parent of a child knows about arts and crafts.  It doesn't matter which style of homeschooling you use, or even if you homeschool or not, you are probably well aware that children like crafts =)

Looking back on the past few years, this is not an area we have spent a considerable amount of time.  Sometimes I wonder why I started teaching my son reading/writing/math/etc. so soon, but then I remember that he really didn't have much interest in things of a creative nature.  I had to 'force' him to play, and if we did a craft, he would be done very quickly.  He did much better with more structured time of learning, memorizing, etc. with me right by his side.

Fast forward a couple of years and my daughter is in love with anything crafty.  She also does well sitting and playing creatively by herself.  I'm sure that is no coincidence, just like I'm sure the opposite was no coincidence with my son.  Thankfully, my son has also grown considerably in this area in the past 6 months or so.

10 Things To Do With Your Child Before Age 10 reminds us that young children learn with their senses and encourages each family to have an area of the house with free access to many arts and crafts supplies.  They suggest keeping an area well stocked in colored pencils, crayons, markers, paints, paper, scissors, glue, clay, wallpaper sample books, fabric sample books, matting board scraps, sewing, knitting, and crocheting supplies.  Obviously this list would be tailored to the age or your child.  I can't imaging letting my 2 and 3 year olds have free access to paint, markers, or even glue for that matter =) but I can see great merit in the concept!

 Currently (because of my daughters great interest) we keep a small table in our family room that always has a big bucket of crayons on it and also coloring books.  Both of my kids have been spending a good amount of time using it, which pleases me because it beats them asking to watch TV =)

We are going to be moving to a new home this summer (if all goes well!) and I've been thinking about creating an expanded area, including more of the things the article above suggests.  I'm hoping to have this area near our homeschooling area, so that my little girl can occupy herself while I work with her big brother.  Then of course they could both use the area at other times.  I've seen other homeschoolers us these Trofast units (they come in lots of shapes and sizes) and they look pretty neat for storing lots of arts and crafts supplies.  What kind of storage/shelving/etc. do you use for storing these kinds of supplies?

Brainstorming a bit, I cam up with some things I would want to include...
  • crayons
  • colored pencils
  • coloring books
  • plain paper
  • stickers
  • pipe-cleaners/popsicle sticks/etc.
  • yarn
  • adhesive (on a high shelf)

Part of me gets worried about the inevitable waste of money and resources, and also the inevitable mess that would go along with two preschoolers free usage of a station like this, but someone assure me that the benefit would outweigh these issues.  Anyone?

What kinds of supplies am I missing from the list above that your young children love to use?

My goals for this area are simple:

  1. Create a better work area (with storage)
  2. Stock with more supplies

This post is a part of the following series:

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  1. We have those things within sight, but they are up high and they have to ask for permission. I think that as they know the boundaries (no coloring on walls, etc.) and show responsibility, then you can add to the accessible supplies. So they will be crafty and responsible! I would add playdough, office supplies (paperclips, post its, etc.), scrap paper and safety scissors to the list as well. However, I'm with you in cringing over the mess and lack of control (but I guess that's part of the point)! Praying for your new home!

    1. Good suggestions! I'm thinking maybe I'll keep some things within reach and then others up a little higher, like you mentioned. I'm hoping that this area will be in a separate room or the basement in our new house...somewhere where we are at frequently, but not in view from the front door =)

  2. I have read your article on 10 things to do with your child before age 10,it was an amazing article..I agree to your point of view..And even in this article on children art and craft too.I would add on some more things to your chalks,marble papers,drawing books etc..

  3. I love crafting!! : ). Tyler enjoys it to a point-- he is over things fairly quickly-- not into details.

    I would add pony beads (to be used only with you), stamps & ink, not sure what they are called... But Tyler loved making things with these wax-like strips? Sorry that was no help! Play dough ( though I find this the messiest craft of all!), tissue paper.... Check the dollar store for some starters!

    1. Those are great ideas! I love pony beads =) I hate play dough with a passion lol whenever we get it as a gift I let them take it to the grandparents =)

  4. Feathers, buttons....

    Hope all works out with the new house!!

  5. I have all of those things locked up tightly. But... I've got a LOT of littles (3 who are under 3 at the moment). I'm looking forward to when we close on our house, we're planning, among other things, to turn the massive back porch into a craft and sensory area for our littles (and the biggers who like to pretend they're above such things as mud kitchens) to explore, create, and play! I can't wait. :)

    1. Yes, 3 under 3 would create quite a mess with all that stuff! My kids are getting more and more responsible (but not perfect of course!) and they do will with the crayons and paper we have out now, so I'm hoping adding a few options will be good for them! Your porch idea sounds fun! I'm dreaming of all the possibilities in our new hoe too =)


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