Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Quick and (relatively!) mess-free crafting ideas for back to school

Image by ArtsyBee

It's back to school time. Depending on the age of your child, this can mean one of two things. For the new starter, they are excited and bubbling with a new experience. There might be a few tears and some nerves, but the overwhelming feeling is one of being a grown up now, and they can't wait! For those past their first year, they're going through the most intense version of the Sunday night blues imaginable. The countdown to half-term begins the moment they set foot back on school property.

When school picks up, the household switches its rhythm. You have less time together, and that can make it difficult to indulge in the same activities that summer allows. Crafting is such a wonderful thing for kids to do, but it's so often reserved just for the holidays. Not only do you have to find the time, but also a working parent often struggles with the idea of purposely created mess. Somehow, kids are less keen on the clean up than they are on the crafting.

One way to join together this joyous activity with the new school year is to craft things that are suitable for school and homework. Not only can the items then be useful, but they can continue the feeling that there is a little bit of summer left to wring out!

There're many things you can craft with a school slant. The ones below are not particularly time intensive, so they're perfect for those early weeks when everyone is still adjusting. They also won't create too much mess....

Customise a pencil case and bag

Remember the horror of turning up on the first day of school, dreading someone else would match your supplies? It's the childhood version of going to a party and seeing someone wearing your same dress. If you buy cheap, functional, plain stationery, however, it doesn't need to stay that way. A bag of gemstones and glue dots from Glue Guns Direct becomes a great activity and produces something truly unique.

A planner

If you're more tech-inclined, then put those skills to use to make a planner. This can be for homework, or just a schedule as you try to fit in playdates and other activities. Print it out and stick it on the fridge. Of course, you can do an analogue version of this too, if you're more old-fashioned. Go wild with the crayons, and stick a few leftover gem stones on there too.

Folder or exercise book cover

Rarely do the above items come in the most interesting or inspiring colours. Use craft paper to create a new cover in a pattern with a bit more life to it. You can either fold something that can be removed, or treat the plain surface as a base for a collage. Stickers are the easiest option, but require the least skill and aren't quite the same challenge.

As the weather begins to close in, spending an evening on the above tasks ties everything together and gives you all something to do. Try and sustain the crafting right through the school year! 

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