May 11, 2020
Desperate times call for creative measures.
I wouldn't be telling the truth if I said it's easy to have kids home all day long during COVID-19. In a flash I've added duties of a homeschool teacher and camp counselor to being a mom (not to mention working!).
Desperate times call for creative measures. We've been doing lot of crafting in my house to pass the time. It has also been a nice way to reconnect with the family and friends we miss so dearly. Many of these projects end up being gifts that we drop off on porches or put in the mail.
Here are seven easy crafts that don't require special kits or skills — just a few supplies and a dash of imagination.
This time at home has certainly taught us the power of the handwritten letter. Even though we are apart from so many we love and miss, we realize that we need to find ways to stay connected. These postcards, part of the #NowMoreThanEver campaign, are a fun and simple way for anyone to send a quick note to friends, grandparents and cousins.
And don't tell my boys, but it's also a great way to get them to practice their handwriting! They are easy to print and cut out, and you have to smile at some of the adorable captions like, "I'd go anywhere for you but I can't," or "Consider this a hug." We're trying pick a few recipients each week and send love their way.
As simple as it may sound, my boys, who are 5 and 8, had a blast painting rocks. You can buy rocks or send your kids on a hunt around your backyard to find big rocks that have a relatively flat surface (just remember to wash them well!). From there bring out the paint, glitter glue and whatever else you want to use to paint those rocks.
We then took our rocks and placed them on walking paths and on the porches of our neighbors to bring an extra smile to their day.
Sidewalk chalk has become a big one for us these days. It gives us a chance to share messages like, "Thank You For Keeping Our Healthcare Workers Safe," and "April Distance Brings May Existence," or "Stay Home, Stay Safe." We love seeing what other people write when we go on family walks, too.
Creating puppets is a great way to use up all of those empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls. With a little help from construction paper and other crafty items, like pom-poms and googly eyes, we created animal puppets. Use them to act out your favorite storybook or for any made up creative tale.
If you have extra paper lunch bags lying around, those make great puppets as well. Once we get good at it, we may perform for family and friends via FaceTime.
Friendship bracelets are great because they don't cause any mess and are ongoing projects. If you don't have string or beads at home, you may have to order a supply (but once you have it lasts for a very long time). There are plenty of easy online demos for how to make them, or if your kids are smaller, they can always just string beads. These are another great way to let friends know you're thinking of them.
Admittedly, I'm not very good at making paper airplanes but my boys have certainly had a ton of fun folding, decorating and flying them. With various folds, you can create a variety of different types of planes depending on the skill level. These are fun to float around the backyard and the basement.
Although there are many things we probably will want to forget about this time of social distancing, it's a moment in our shared history — and one that's generating a lot of family memories. We have been working on elements of a time capsule drawing photos of how we're feeling, writing about the memories and tracing our handprints. This is a helpful template to start but feel free to get creative.
At times like these, crafting isn't about the perfect masterpiece but more about spending time together as a family. Writing a postcard (LINK) to a friend, leaving a rock on a front porch or sending a friendship bracelet has really brought joy to our family and the recipients.
It's important to keep supporting each other during this time, making sure that social distance doesn't mean social isolation.
Written by Samantha Lande