Here in the mid-Atlantic, summer has definitely made its presence known, and many of us are spending much of our day around the pool. While the kids are splashing, we moms are sweltering and exchanging ideas on other ways to fill their time.
One of the most common things I hear is "I wish I were a crafty mom," meaning I don't do arts and crafts. Well Mom, with a few easy steps, you can be crafty ... in all senses of the word!
Buy a bound book. Spiral-bound books work great, because the pages "fold back" out of the way. The key is that it looks nothing like a school notebook. Get one for you, one for each child. Look for books with pre-printed lines or blank pages. Pick your books based on your child's preferences, as well as your own. Some kids like drawing, some like writing, some can draw on pages with lines, others can't see past them.
Pull out the boxes of crayons, markers, pencils, pens, watercolors ... whatever drawing or writing tools you've got lying around. We just "refreshed" our stash with all of the stuff that came back from school.
Put everything into a basket or plastic tub. Grab one big enough to hold the notebooks and the tools so that it is always accessible. Keeping the stash where kids pass it regularly and see it may be just enough to get them to pick it up regularly.
Sit down together and go to it. There are no rules for the books, except that the contents can't in any way resemble schoolwork (e.g., no practicing letters or math). Kids can jot down their stories and poems, doodle, scribble, and/or create incredible art. You can do the same ... or just generate the grocery list.
That's where the true craftiness comes in ... kids are using their imagination and you are showing them the way just by writing or drawing. Modeling literacy is an easy way to encourage reading and writing. And the bonus? You earn your crafty mom badge and you have a personalized book to remember this summer, all without glue, scissors, or sticky fingers!
So, how would you fill your book?
Shelf of Notebooks from P.W.'s "stationary" photostream on Flickr.com
Drawer of crayons by Taylor Schlades on Morguefile.com
Father and child drawing together by Lori L. Dunbar, Copyright Marzipan, Inc. Used with Permission.