I refused to do craft with my kids the day Kitty started nursery. It was the nursery’s idea. “They come here to make a mess!” said Kitty’s nursery teacher,”not in your house.”
Goddamnit, I thought, you’re right. Since then crafting is BANNED, even though my kids love it. It’s all they want to do. I relented a few months ago and did some papier-mâché with Sam and I swear to God every single morning since then he’s asked if he can do papier-mâché.
The online hobby supply specialists are in town at the moment and they heard that I was so incredibly anti-craft and they said “Oh come on!” (I may be paraphrasing). “Have a look at the Hobbycraft stuff and see if you can’t find a fun project to do with your kids. We’ll pay you!”
Well alright, I thought and went online determined not to be able to find anything – as I am so incredibly cussed in that way, even when it comes to sponsored work. But, in fact, I did. And so, as I would hope would be obvious by now, this is a sponsored post.
Kitty has this character she draws called “Cool Bunny”. It’s basically a bunny with buck teeth and sunglasses on and for some reason I find it really funny. I suppose in the same way that all parents find averagely interesting things their kids do massively entertaining and worth sharing endlessly on social media.
Anyway, I thought she could draw Cool Bunny on the back of an old Gap khaki jacket I’ve got. Do Hobbycraft have fabric paint? I rather hoped they wouldn’t (still feeling narrow-eyed and also lazy and hoping I wouldn’t have to do craft). But they do.
OMG they’ve got fabric paint in every colour and every sort – neon ones, glittery ones. They also have fabric glue, patches, stick-on things, iron-on things, ribbons, STUDS *dies*, buttons and anything else you could think of, which Hobbycraft sent me in a box.
The kids couldn’t believe their eyes. Or ears. “WE’RE DOING CRAFT WE’RE DOING CRAFT” they screamed, as if I had offered them 9 million Maltesters and unlimited chips with ketchup and also some full-fat Coca Cola and a puff on a crack pipe.
I’m JOKING, Jesus calm down… I’d never let them have Coca Cola.
We did it properly, for once.
Kitty did a series of “studies” of Cool Bunny on paper to nail down the idea shape of head and teeth and ratio of glasses to bunny before we unleashed it on the material. Sam meanwhile stuck some spongey pink stickers onto some paper and painted about 40 dumbbells in red paint (why? No idea.)
Then Kitty took to the jacket with the paint in a haphazard way and although I was kind of aghast as it was happening, it was like watching a toddler blunder about in the glassware section of a department stores, in fact the results were far better than I expected.
As the individual layers of paint needed to dry before we added something else, or another layer, it became a project that we added to every now and again, over a couple of weeks, rummaging around in our box of tricks to find something else to make cool bunny even cooler.
Now look, you will be the best judge of what kind of craft gets your kids going. Both my kids are really into sticking things onto bits of paper – pom-poms, feathers, sequins, glitter – whereas you might have a kid who prefers actually making something; I had this pottery kit with Kitty a few years ago and she freaking loved it.
If your kids are at the slime age, there is pretty much an entire world of slime here.
Maybe you’ve got one of those really super-sciency boys who loves following a million instructions and wants to make an Apache helicopter?
Or, if you don’t have a clue and are just scratching the days left of the summer holidays off on the wall of your kitchen as you surreptitiously take nips of vodka from a Coconut water carton, Hobbycraft run a genuinely handy blog with loads of ideas and how-to videos (as opposed to one of those slightly bullshit blogs that retail sites often have because they think they ought to, but which don’t really say anything useful or interesting). Have a look here.
Perhaps, like the Corens, you are using this summer to have a bit of a clear-out and a toy re-arrangement spree. I don’t know about you, but my kids’ bedrooms are just an avalanche of tiny bits of crap teetering on top of each other; both their rooms could do with about 10 of these stacking boxes.