I’ve been on the receiving end of many an “oh you’re such a good mom… you do SOOO much with him!” This is usually followed by examples of things that make the person in question somehow less than. “My kid is watching moana again.” “I let daycare handle that shit. I don’t have your patience.” And so on and so on. The implication is that my kid never watches tv and lives in an oasis of patience and homeschooling divinity. Let me set you straight. Today we made this craft. It was lovely. We also got play dough lodged in our ear on purpose. Dumped milk on my bed intentionally. Tried to climb in the oven. Chucked all our trains at our door and had a meltdown the size of Texas at the library. I raised my voice. Many times. He cried. I cried. He’s now watching Lion Guard while I write this and I have #noshame. We may craft, but this is by no means a bastion of calm, screen free parenting. Don’t get it twisted.
Now, onto the craft. I’ve seen a few of these on Pinterest (otherwise known as my home away from home) and felt like Mateo would enjoy the texture of the project and could master the folding. As with many a craft, envisioning the end result was the tricky part for him. Getting him to visualize that the folded paper would become a flower (and therefore motivate him to participate) took a bit of explanation. Once he caught on, he enjoyed figuring out how to properly fold over the strips of paper to make the petals and was very pleased w the end result.
- I generally use card stock paper for crafts like this. It just holds up better.
- Skip fretting about whether strips are the same size. This is supposed to be fun. No one gives a damn if your petals are uneven in size or ripped a little. Your little one certainly won’t care. We aren’t trying for the best crafts in Connecticut. We are trying to enjoy our time together.
- For the stem, I used hot glue once he glued the pipe cleaner to the paper with Elmers. I do this for a lot of crafts. Once he is finished, I’ll peel it off and replace the Elmer’s with hot glue. It simply prevents me from having to glue and re-glue pieces back on every hour.
- I glued all the strips around the center of the flower before we started– to give him an idea of what we were doing. Older kids could probably glue the strips around the circle AND fold over.
- Speaking of glue, I’ve taken to letting him apply glue with a paintbrush. This is easier for him and it reduces the chance of him squirting glue all over the place or sticking the nozzle up his nose (which is strangely appealing to him).
Now, here’s how to make it happen
- Blue, yellow and red card stock paper (any other thick paper will work)
- Elmer’s glue
- Hot glue
- One dark green and one light green pipe cleaner.
- To prep: cut 8 thin strips of yellow card stock paper, cut a small circle for the center, collect one dark green and one light green pipe cleaner. Draw a circle near the top of your page. Leave room for the petals. Glue the strips around the circle. Fold light green pipe cleaner into petals.
- Show your little one how to fold over the paper without pressing it down to create the 3D or “fluffy” petal. This took a few lessons for M to grasp but he really enjoyed trying to get it just right.
- After all the petals are glued, use the red card stock paper circle to make the center of the flower. Glue in place.
- Ask your little one to apply glue to the dark green pipe cleaner and adhere to the paper. Don’t expect it to stick all that well.
- Let dry- use hot glue to adhere the stem at this point.
- Hang and enjoy
Also, originally my plan was to use this a chance to teach M about the parts of a flower and what each does. Given our day (and the fact that I was operating on 3 hours of sleep), I skipped the education today. He didn’t seem to care 🙂