Bored kids, cold weather. Exhausted parents.
What you need are better craft supplies, right? The kind you see in those amazing photos on Pinterest. Where, oh my god! Look how cute! Right? Right?
Little problem. We don’t keep those kind of craft supplies on hand. And they require a lot of planning and clean up.
How about a better story instead?
I told my boys they were going to make a treasure map. I had no idea what I was talking about or even what would happen. But they’ve watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse enough to know how a story evolves: There’s a starting point, Mickey meets people along the way, and there’s an end point where the treasure is.
We keep paper, stickers, scissors, and staplers in a craft box, so I knew I had those on hand. I made an example for them and then let them go to town.
They had a blast and made up their own story about the characters going to find the treasure chest. I improvised with what I had on hand and unleashed their creativity. And as this article in Parent’s magazine points out, children who learn to be creative are happier and more resilient.
What you need for this craft project your child:
- Three pieces of colored construction paper
- Glue stick
Here is how you do it:
- Ask child to pick out a piece of colored construction paper to serve as the map
- Cut out a treasure chest or ask child to cut it out
- Cut out boxes to be stopping points along the way (think Candy Land)
- Ask child to put a sticker at the starting point
- Ask child to glue boxes and treasure chest on the paper
- Ask child to draw a line from the starting point through the boxes to the treasure chest
- Ask child to add stickers (friends and/or decorations) along the way
- Cut out a key
- Staple hiding place for key in one corner
- Ask child to hide the key in the hiding place
- Ask child which of the friends has the key (Does he have it? No. How about her?)
It’s surprising how my boys loved playing the game of who had the key over and over. I guess, the best treasure chest isn’t an amazing set of craft supplies, it’s your child’s own creativity.