Monday, February 27, 2012

The CRAP your Kids do @ School

Some of the funny, unexpected things that can come out of a toddler's mouth can become some of the most memorable experiences of childhood for his or her parents.  Consider these teachable moments and enjoy them as lasting memory or future tale you can use to embarrass your child with  later in life.  The other night, my daughter looked at me and said "Daddy am I going to school tomorrow?"  I replied that she was (our twin 3 year olds go to preschool two days per week) upon which my daughter gleefully yelled out "Great, I really want to make some CRAP tomorrow!"

At first I was taken back thinking she was talking about our efforts at potty training and not relating to why she was excited to take a crap at school when she was giving us such a hard time using the potty at home.  Than the light bulb went off in my head ... CRAFTS!!!  Our children have an excellent preschool teacher who really inspires the class to do crafts while at school and that is  one of my daughter's favorite activities at school, along with dancing to songs by the Merry MusicMaker during circle time.  I asked her if she was excited to do "crafts" at school and my daughter smiled at me and giggled "Daddy that's what I just said."
Craft Time for young kids is more than just a fun activity, or crap they do to keep them busy, spending quality time doing arts & crafts projects can also teach children important life skills.  Working on crafts can promote creativity and instill a sense of accomplishment with your toddler.  Additionally, devoting time to arts & crafts also presents opportunities to develop these other skills:
+ Fine Motor Skills:  coloring & pasting may seem simple, but you have to learn somewhere the proper way to hold and use things.  Hand eye coordination is important and can be worked on through crafts.  Working on crafts can also improve muscle development necessary for everything from eating with utensils, to writing, to playing sports.  While it may seem basic, working on crafts can have a subtle but important impact on developing some very necessary motor skills.
+ Self Expression:   crafts can helps children develop their imagination and learn to express themselves ; two very important traits for all future entrepreneurs to develop.  Creative thinking and being able to communicate are essential skills at any age and for any career.  You can never be too young to start fostering these abilities. 
+Confidence:  crafts demonstrate to a child that they can create something on their own and that mistakes aren't the end of the world, but rather a way to learn a lesson on doing something better the next time around.  Confidence is essential to being successful in life and spending time working on crafts is an excellent way to start cultivating this important trait.
For us parents that don't want to completely rely on teachers to inspire and work with our kids on crafts, Crayola has a nice website with craft ideas & templates (CLICK HERE).  Kaboose is another good site with craft suggestions for parents (CLICK HERE). is another good site for useful craft related information for children (CLICK HERE).  My twins' new favorite show, MIKE THE KNIGHT, also has a neat craft page for the kids (CLICK HERE).  Doing arts & crafts with your kids can be a great family bonding activity at home and for us guys it's macho to help your kids learn and improve themselves to  be their very best so we shouldn't feel intimidated to get our hands dirty with the glue and markers helping out!
So the next day, I dropped my son and daughter off at preschool.  As we were walking to the classroom, my daughter became very vocal and excited yelling out "Daddy, we're going to make a lot of CRAP now...lots and lots of CRAP!!!" At first I became a little flustered.  What if the teacher heard her?  I didn't want the teacher's feelings hurt because she puts a lot of effort into these craft projects.  What if the other parents heard? I didn't want them to think my daughter was foul mouthed.  Finally, I laughed to myself. This was funny and it is important not to take life too seriously.  So I smiled, didn't make too big of a deal out of it, and reinforced with my daughter the right word too say.  "Wow that's great dear that you are so excited about doing crafts.  Crafts are really fun aren't they?" I said pronouncing the word properly.  "Sure, I love CRAFTS" she said back to me as we got to the door and gave me a hug goodbye.
When I got home from work that evening, my daughter was sitting at the kitchen table coloring some drawings.  She looked up at me with her big bright eyes and a huge smile holding up some crafts she had made for me at school that morning.  "Look Daddy at all the CRAP I made for you today at school!" she exclaimed.  OK, I still have some work to do!!!

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