That Pesky Control Thing

Yup, it’s back again. Complete creative license for the five year old vs. my need for order, neatness and a vision fulfilled.

I signed Little Man up for a handmade international kids’ card swap. Very cool, he’s excited, I’m excited.

Option #1: Plan the design of the card ahead of time. Gather needed supplies, give instructions, make ten cards all pretty much the same way. Let him do te work, but still participate fully.

Option #2: Hand out 10 blank cards, glitter glue, yarn and fiber, and the “odds and ends” box of stuff. Tell him to “make some cool cards” and then try to do my own project at the same time while interrupting very few minutes with “watch the glue!” and “hang on a second” and “maybe you could try to be a little neater?”

Guess which one won out?


Yup, Option #2

Probably the most interesting set of cards I’ve seen all year. šŸ™‚ And I will say that they are full of heart and 100% his.

It’s funny, I can really see value in both options. I love sitting down at the wheel and spinning whatever I feel like. However, if I had never made yarn before and someone gave me some fiber and said, “make some yarn, have fun!” I’d be more than a bit frustrated.

When Little Man started the cards, he really didn’t know what to do with all that stuff and became frustrated himself. I also got frustrated because while I wanted him to have fun and be creative, I also want him to learn to take his time and do his best work, especially when making something for someone else. For example, it’s probably best not to eat cheese puffs while you make cards. (Am I publically admitting I have cheese puffs in the house? Hey, at least they were organic!) And if you get cheese puff dust all over the card you should probably make a new one. (Yes, even if you wouldn’t mind receiving a cheese-dust laden card yourself.)

A battle of wills again, and again, I think it’s somewhere in the middle that we need to meet. Are you making gifts with children this year? What’s your approach?

We’re using freezer paper to paint t-shirts next week. Definitely doing that one step by step. (Ask me how I know. And why I’m I painting t-shirts anyway? Didn’t I just have a baby???)



Filed under crafting with kids, family, giving, swaps, Uncategorized

7 responses to “That Pesky Control Thing

  1. Maybe he could do all the cards next year! šŸ™‚ They are fun.

    Hee hee – you are a whirlwind, recent baby or not.

  2. My friend just bought organic pop tarts so your cheese puff comment was particularly funny to me.

    I had my son make collages and little Christmas trees. With the collage, I laid out ribbons, glue sticks, shredded party napkins, pom poms, bits of shiny paper, etc. I showed him how the concept of a collage works and then I let him have at it. He defnintely had a more minimalist approach to making a collage, but whatever.

    I also did a wee craft where I cut out a felt pine tree and gave him tacky glue and some bitty pom poms. I told him to glue ornaments on the tree. Then we glued the tree to some red construction paper. This was more craft than art where we were more focused on the end product than the process.

    He had fun doing both, so I guess that’s what mattered in the end.

  3. I am doing shrinky dink earrings with the kiddo. I actually did a tutorial on it because they turned out so well.

    I am definitely a #1 person, but the Creep is still too young (just barely) for the do-it-yourself approach. I set everything up, he colored them in and watched them shrink, and I finished them off.

    I might have to become a #2 person though because those cards rock!

  4. As with any child, I worry about being in control. I like the cards though. They are pretty cool and if they’re going around the world, other kids will appreciate them too!!

  5. ali

    Sweet cards, really. That swap sounds like such a cool idea.
    Way to let go of some control- kep posting successes like these and maybe some of us (like me) will be inspired to losen up a bit more! I’ve gotten better over the years, but there’s still a long way to go…

    Happy knitting,
    and card making,
    and t-shirt painting-

  6. What a cool swap, and I think his cards look fantastic! With my nine-year-old I’m gonna have him needle felt some stuffed wool trees I made and we’ll give those as gifts. I think I’ve become more of a #2 type of person as the years have gone by…

  7. I would have gone with option 2 too. I too like to be in control, but I have learnt over the years with mine, that they enjoy it more when they are doing it themselves (even though they get frustrated) than when I am directing. The cards are very cute.

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