I love all the cutesy, thematic activities, crafts, and plans that an afternoon Pinterest session can afford. But how can a working mama really make it happen without ending up with a closet full of good intentions (i.e. unused craft supplies) and a house full of confused kiddos?
Here’s what I do to tackle a month of holiday crafts and activities:
Use tools you’re already good with.
For me, this looked like creating a quick Microsoft Office document where I could briefly plot out our month. I wanted to, if at all possible, have a consistent evening where we would do the planned activity.
Do you already have a spreadsheet or low-tech (e.g. paper) calendar that’s working great for your family? How could you utilize it to introduce some seasonal creativity?
Use things you already have.
I’m gonna be honest—I love my boys, and I love crafting with them—but if I’m gonna go blow some money at Hobby Lobby, I want it to be on the fabulous new silver and gold line of holiday decor they have, not on kiddo crafting supplies.
Here are four things I decided on for our family:
Make a thankful tree.
Learn a new Thanksgiving song.
Give something away and creating cards/notes to go with it.
Make macaroni turkeys for Thanksgiving place cards/gifts.
We already had the construction paper and tape for the tree, we didn’t need anything for a song, and please, there is always pasta at our house.
That means I can use the little bit of time I’ve set aside for these activities to actually engage with my kiddos rather than facing down running to the store after work with two hangry little people while 30+ weeks pregnant. Which leads me to my final tip…
Make holiday crafts work for YOUR season in life.
For me, this kind of fun isn’t guilt-driven. I really like this kind of stuff!
And for my kids, it isn’t obligatory. They really like this kind of stuff too!
But I also like stuff like being able to eat at the dining room table.
And since we’re in a teeny tiny townhome, the dining room table is our crafting table.
So these projects have to be quick, contained, and able to be distributed or hung up.
And I really can’t manage more than one thing a week.
I really want to!
But I just can’t right now.
I’ve got two jobs, a hubby in grad school, and this whole growing a human gig going on.
So consider your constraints—time of day, day of the week, length of the activity—and try to find that sweet spot that keeps you sane and looking forward to the next month’s theme!
What are your best tips for easy, quick, thematic kids activities?