I think working with children is a tough job. Even tougher is finding the supplies and resources (like coffee) to help them. It seems most kids nowadays aren’t being brought up with the same hands-on knowledge I was fortunate to have as a kid. Now, kids in schools are given tablets…because that helps them learn. Unfortunately, that won’t teach them what it’s like to spread the perfect glue bead on a popsicle stick. At this rate, kids are only going to know how to Google the repair man for simple fixes instead of having the confidence of knowing they can do it themselves.
I heard about a movement to give crafting supplies to children in the community through the #Fiskars4Kids Shape Their Future project with Champions for Kids. I thought this would be a good way for me to pick out the things I know a lot of kids in some schools are starting to miss out on. Chelsea had to keep reminding me not to eat the glue sticks (I was having kindergarten flashbacks). I thought it would be a good idea to pick them up a bunch of Fiskars scissors, because I’m sure these kids are bound to grow up slicing things by swiping their finger across a digital screen. How could someone never know the feeling of craft paper? Worse yet, not knowing how to actually stay inside the lines when coloring? Come on, there is no such thing in the real and tangible world as the “paint bucket tool.” You can’t look someone up in the yellow pages to come over and paint your fish picture for you. Oh wait, you kids on’t know what the yellow pages are? Well, it’s like the original Google for businesses in your area. In a book.
It's strange to think that a lot of kids won't know how to look something up or list something alphabetically without the assistance of an ‘auto populate’ doo hicky in the computer.
Anyway, seeing the look on the checker's face was pretty funny. “A kajillion glues, scissors and crayons? Ok.”
We had friends and family shop the sales and their own craft stockpiles (why does any one person need that many markers, really?) and wound up with a huge donation. I got everyone excited about the project by showing them one of my favorite craft projects that we do with Some Boy: felt faces. You just cut up a bunch of felt pieces in different shapes and take turns swapping out the eyes, ears, nose, mouth etc to see how many funny faces you can make. It's like Mr. Potato Head with felt.
Then all I had to do was find a school to give all this old school treasure to. There's one I like near our home called Hannalei Elementary School. The staff there was very nice (I've met them before) and they had plenty of children who I knew would appreciate the craft of the color, cut, glue and glitter routine. At least this, I thought, would give them the ability to give their mom something to tape up to the refrigerator…other than their itablet, which doesn’t tape well.
What's even better, the school just hired a new art teacher and they were really happy to get the supplies to help her out. The principal did, however, sneak herself the Elmer's glitter glue saying, “We might need this…around the office…for signs.” I know she was really just going to make a picture for her mom to tape to the fridge, but that’s okay.
Now, I believe the deed is done. A bunch of kids’ brains will grow and they will know how to effectively use their time. I mean, they’ll HAVE to since knowing how long you have to place a nose on a face before the glue from the glue stick dries is a delicate art.
How do you encourage creativity?