It's always the same. We organize, we plan, we see the cutest video of someone creating beautiful works of crafts that look so easy and the kids are perfectly following directions. You think OMG, I can do this one with the kids. Look, how easy it is, and how happy the kids are doing the craft with no adult supervision and the end results are miraculous!
Well I'm here to testify that every single craft I have planned no matter how simple or complicated it always, and, I mean ALWAYS turns out disastrous!
Your children will do as instructed I'm not saying this could never happen but it will be a rare experience. You'll discuss with the kids what you plan on doing to create this wonderful craft you've decided on and they are very enthusiastic. I repeat; VERY ENTHUSIASTIC! They get very energetic, their eyes get bright with anticipation and you know you've decided upon the correct craft to do together. You feel great about your decision and as you organize your materials, set the instructions out so you can read them easily the kids have started without you. The paint is opened and the only sheet of paper you have left in your craft bin has been walked on and wrinkled. You look on with and think Oh no, I needed that paper and it can't be wrinkled...man! You start to think how to save the craft and become innovative like substituting poster board for the paper you were going to use. You also can't get mad because the kids look so proud of themselves.
You are going to remain calm and collected you're going to try and for the most part you will be successful but when you turn your back to answer a call (that seemed important at the time) the kids ran into the bathroom to use the finger paint as a bathtub wash OR used it to cover your leather sofa thinking it would be prettier if it weren't white!
Don't feel guilty if you lose it when crafting with kids because it will definitely be messy, chaotic, and very very trying! I mean, you just want to make a flower with coffee filters for heaven's sake why does it have to be so hard?! Didn't you check the age appropriateness for your little ones and the craft was supposed to be in their age range!
It will turn out perfectly and as pictured. Forget it! This expectation alone will set you up for failure. When you step back after the craft is completed and the kids are covered in all the liquid, glitter, glue etc you used to create your masterpiece you will be looking at an unrecognizable something. The great thing is; they think what they created is the best think EVER! They can't wait to share it with the other adults in their lives. They are so proud. You're just tired and never want to do another craft again....not until they are 21!
Try to remember the sense of accomplishment your children feel when they see what they have created. Try to remember this as you take the next hour cleaning up the mess created with this 5 minute craft that you were hoping would last at least a half-hour. Remember you are giving them the gift of feeling free to create, and that they are amazing at what they did. They feel amazing, they want to create again because YOU CREATED A SAFE HAVEN for them to create that is free of judging and that they are perfect in your eyes. They will have plenty of opportunity later in life to feel embarrassed or unsuccessful with the things they create but you, as a parent, have created a loving space for them to thrive, and that is the important part of crafting with your children. So reach for the crepe paper and do some paper mache....