Saturday, March 16, 2013

Arts for the Uncrafty: Kiwi Crates DIY Page

I have always loved the idea of craftiness. As a child, I went through a stage where I thought quilting was the coolest thing ever (I was a weird kid, okay?) At various points in my life I have tried to get into needlepoint, crocheting, knitting, and sewing. I have bought the supplies for a variety of craft-inspired hobbies only to have them sit collecting dust on shelves until I sigh loudly as I dump them into trash bags bound for Goodwill.

At this point, I don't even try to trick myself. I smile at Pinterest boards filled with instructions on how to build your own functional cruise ship out of t-shirts and soda can tabs, but I don't bother pretending that I'm ever going to do any of them. I have friends who can do these things, so I believe that they happen in the real world; they're just outside of my wheelhouse, a wheelhouse that consists almost entirely of over-analyzing pop culture and writing overly-academic essays using ancient rhetorical terminology.

Not knowing if craftiness (or lack thereof) comes from nature or nurture, I didn't want to doom my child on both counts, so I decided it was time to try to break back into the crafts game for her sake.

That's why I was thrilled to discover that Kiwi Crates has a new DIY section, and it is amazing!

Kiwi Crate is a craft subscription service. They send monthly projects addressed to your child with a variety of activities. I haven't tried them yet because my daughter is only two and they suggest their projects for age three and up, but their projects look so great that I'm excited to try them when she gets a little older.

In the meantime, though, the DIY section has more than enough to keep us busy, and it is organized so well. You can browse projects by material, age range, or theme. There are science projects, homemade toys, and educational games. Each project comes with easy-to-follow instructions and a guide to which areas of development the activity addresses.

Beyond all of that, they're ridiculously fun, and even I--queen of discarded craft projects--can do them!

Need proof? With one run to the store for a few quick supplies, my daughter and I were able to do three of them this weekend:

Up first was the simplest. We added a few drops of paint to some shaving cream and created "paint." This was very easy to clean up and she had a lot of fun painting some paper plates. The next day, we used some in the bathtub where it was an even bigger hit. 

Painting is serious business. 

The next two projects took a little more prep. We made up a batch of Kool-Aid dyed rice and noodles. Those had to sit overnight to dry. The next morning we mixed the rice in with some plastic Easter eggs, toy animals, jewels, Easter grass, and rocks. She played with it all with some funnels and cups. She sat still with this for an hour, which in her world is the equivalent of three days. 


Then we used the noodles that we dyed to make some bracelets and necklaces. This was definitely the task the toddler had the least patience for, but she did manage to put a couple of beads on the string, and she was very pleased with her end result. 

This is what I got when I said, "Show me your bracelet."

If you, like me, are missing the crafty gene, I highly suggest you take a peek at these DIY activities. And if you are someone who's craft-inclined, I bet there are plenty of starting places that you could spin into even more amazing projects.

What's your favorite crafty thing to do? 

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