30 DAYS of AWESOME PARENTING
(read about the adventure here)
Tip 21: Good parenting tools: crafty props
I’ve spent years looking for good parenting ‘tools’ but the one I have found to be most effective BY FAR is to use a crafty prop. This is kind of lucky for me as I LOVE crafts! But anyone with two hands, two eyes, and the ability to follow simple instructions (that is just about everybody!) can make really really super simple crafty props that can have an immediate effect on the behaviour of children, and create lasting change. Now, if that isn’t the best reason to become a crafter (of course, there are many others!), I don’t know what is.
A prop magically encourages co-operation. It really works! Something as simple as ‘crowning’ your king and queen ‘helpers’ who are setting the dinner table can be a way to entice, encourage, and reward cooperation…but to the children, it’s simply FUN! Fun with a capital F.
All you need is a felt crown, or at the very least, a finger-knitted headband with a gold cardboard star sewn on the front. You can make a prop in as little as five minutes, or go fancy and take all day… Involve the children in your work for added encouragement but don’t give away your secrets too quickly- let them anticipate what you might just do with this craft! ’Wait and see’ is part of the fun too!
What might you make, I hear you ask?
I always begin with my problem… what difficulty do I need to solve? Once I have that in mind, ideas come pretty quickly. So why not begin there. Find your problem, then come up with a crafty prop to bring a bit of humour, and fun into the situation.
Here are some tutorials you might like to try:
For dinner time help, make Easy Felt Crowns- Prince and Princess (the same style as the picture above)
Do you have difficulty at the supermarket? This can be a challenge for many of us. I’ve found the way to make it through the supermarket circuit without a melt-down is to engage the children in the shopping experience. Make their very own felt-covered notepad for writing (and ticking off) the list of what you need at the supermarket. To personalise it, cut out simple shapes from felt to make their choice of design, and glue or stitch these pieces on to the front. If they can’t yet write, cut out some items from those junk mail catalogues and glue them in. Remember to take a pen with you (a small highlighter is perfect) so they can tick off their items as they go.
If you have plans to work in the garden, encourage co-operation by giving them a magical matchbox seed carrier filled with seeds (flower, or veggies, or small bulbs..). Just cover a small matchbox with a themed decorative picture using felt scraps or embroidery and away you go…
Make some rose or camomile-scented handmade bath bombs to encourage them into the bath. This is fun for everyone!
Find your problem area, and come up with a creative crafty prop solution to help overcome it. Or try one of mine.
As above. Make a crafty prop and see how you go. (I can’t wait to hear your feedback.)
Commit to the task by writing it down here in the comments below or in your 30 days of AWESOME journal.
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