Making Craft Cool(ish)

In an endeavour to remove the IOS devices from my teenagers’ sweaty palms I decided that half term, and mid-GCSE, was a good time to reintroduce them to the pleasures of crafting, or we could call it ‘making’, or ‘being creative’, whatever, it just seemed important to remind them of how much they used to enjoy making things. Over the years we have finger painted, modelled with play dough, plasticine and clay, coloured, drawn, knitted, sewn and baked. We’ve made friendship bracelets, Barbie clothes, cushion covers, loom band jewellery, beaded jewellery and we’ve even thrown the odd pot or two. Making stuff is definitely not new to them.

However, in the last couple of years school work and extra curricular activities seem to have taken increasingly large amounts of time, and what little is left over has been consumed by social media and Netflix with more creative activities having been entirely abandoned. This week though, I was determined to find something that would persuade them to put down their gadgets and enjoy the rewards of producing something non digital. I am, it should be noted, a great advocate of digital life but I do believe that moderation is the key (do as I say, not as I do!) and that the benefits of creativity are great.

An extensive Google search, well a couple of minutes at least, provided some excellent suggestions of crafts that might appeal to my teenage daughters. Consultation confirmed that some of the projects I had found would be up for consideration if I was to provide the wherewithal which I willingly did.

I am happy to report that a minimal amount of creativity did indeed take place in over the week, and that washi tape is worth the small investment! Daughter number 2 was genuinely ‘in flow’ with regards to creating bookmarks, and we will not be searching for a bookmark in our house for some time to come. I’m also hopeful that appealing hangers will result in fewer clothes on the floor!

When it comes to making stuff though it seems that baking is the preferred activity, brownies being a current favourite. Daughter number 1 reports that she enjoys baking partially because she gets caught up in the moment and “doesn’t get suckered into anything else”, secondary rationale was that she enjoys licking the bowl — don’t judge me!

I try to lead by example by always having some project or other on the go, and the girls know that I will always be happy to support them in having a go at anything that appeals to them. I hope that a creative childhood of crafting, music and theatre amongst other things will encourage them to enjoy all these activities in the future and reap the many proven rewards of doing so.

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