When I was younger, I was a crafting fiend. Elmer’s Glue, construction paper and markers were all I needed to while the hours away, relishing quiet time with my own creative genius. All those master pieces I created? Well, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, as they say. The point is, I grew up in an era that was pre-cell phone, pre-Game Boy, even pre- Atari (the horrors!!). Yet, I somehow managed to have fun without electronics.
Earlier this week, my two homeschooled kiddos, who are eight and ten years old, literally followed me all over the house because they were bored. Mama laid down the “No-More-TV-Today” rule and before I knew it, I had two extra shadows following me all day. My daughter moped as if I had grounded her. My son plopped on the furniture and writhed, as if in pain. It was certainly Good Times to be had by all.
This was an eye-opener for me. I’ve had these mini-revelations before, but here it was again slapping me in the face: my kids have no skills outside of what they can do with electronics. As long as we never run out of electricity and batteries, there is nothing to worry about, right? Not so fast. Studies show that spending too much time on computers and electronics is not good for adults, and is detrimental to the developing brain of a child.
So after she has stripped away the computer, TV, gaming systems and cell phones, what is a mama to do? REVIVE THE ART OF CRAFTING!!!
Before you step away from your computer and put your phone down (we have to lead by example, parents!), google fun arts and crafts you can do with your kids. Don’t know where to start? I found this particular book that lists tons of crafts to learn: basket weaving, soap-making, knitting…the list seemed endless. Take a stroll through any arts and crafts section of your local library or book store and you’ll be inspired to try something new.
Okay, okay…I can admit it: computers are not evil all the time. The wonderful thing about YouTube is that those experienced teachers you didn’t have as a kid are now at your disposal for free. I have completed countless knitting and crochet projects through the help of those kind enough to post free lessons online.
Before I get back to my knitting project, I have one more argument for crafting: it adds beauty to the world and encourages a lifelong skill that can be taught to others. Looking at beautiful works of art online is one thing, but creating beautiful works of art is something else entirely.
So, turn off the TV, step away from the gaming consoles, and only answer your phone when it rings. As you quill a few pictures or whittle a whistle with your kiddos, revel in their creative genius, and love their master works of art.
CJ Heath is a mama of four humans and two furry babies. She has retained her love of crafting over the decades and is beyond happy when her humans decide they want to learn a craft, too. At this moment, CJ is wondering why you’re reading her bio– she wants you to go craft something with your kids!!