Living A Simple Life-Part 45 (A Child’s Crafty Outlet)

This has been a colorful week.

I visited the new location of the local SCRAP store this past week with friends (who often display their own wonderful creations at Organic Change!),

I had a “wish list” of items in my head, and was pleased to see some of the items available that day! (You never know exactly what crafty treasures will be hiding in that store; as all items sold are donations.) You definitely want to walk in with a good dose of creative inspiration, to look at an “ordinary” item, and think “What could this become?” It was a fun morning!

I went hoping to find some “crafty” things for Gen (among other things!), and was happy to find they still had their big tub of markers. Calvin & I picked through to find all the ones that said “washable,” and brought home a handful for 50 cents. Perfect for the imprecise, exuberant creative endeavors of a toddler learning about writing utensils!

For the past couple months, I’ve had a “craft table” set out for Gen in between the refrigerator and the bathroom (convenient for washing after craft time!), and I love to surprise her with new additions to her supplies, as she uses them. We keep it stocked with paper (usually scraps, plus large pieces of old packing paper/newsprint for large creations), crayons, magazine clippings, pipe cleaners, and now a jar of markers. Occasionally, I’ll provide a special treat of stickers, or help her with some glue. Calvin provided an old T-shirt as a “smock,” for use when needed. Once in awhile, Gen will add a handful of colorful leaves or grass from outside, as well.

We have set the boundary that the markers stay at the “coloring table’ (and cannot be held in hand, uncapped, while wandering through our home!), and she has responded well. She lets us know when she is “all done” and “needs to wash”, to help prevent the occasional little blue fingerprints we’ve found on the furniture and clothing. :) I’m not too worried about her ruining her clothes, etc., though; I love seeing her being creative!

She visits the craft table in frequent intervals throughout the day (usually alternating between reading, snacking, running, and playing with cars/wooden blocks). For more ideas on learning center tables in your home, the book Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay & Sally Clarkson offers an extensive, inspiring list of ideas for the Christian homeschool setting.

I enjoy keeping things simple, by not buying the “latest & greatest” art supply projects or toys, but in providing basic supplies for encouraging creativity. It is thrilling to see these creative endeavors provide an outlet for all of Gen’s passionate energy, as she intensely focuses on placing the multi-colored designs across her pages.

I love seeing her develop her God-given gifts of creativity, as well as appreciating the colors that our Creator God has made. We’ve experienced a new dose of color in our lives, as colorful pages, fingerprints, and crayons are discovered among our home… and it is delightful.

If you would like to put my “Simple Living” button on your blog, feel free to copy & paste the code located on the right side of the page. Let me know if you do, so that I can visit your blog! To read previous “installments” in my “Living a Simple Life” series, click on the “Simple Living” tab at the top of the page. You are welcome to leave comments on any of the posts; I read them all. Let me know if this has inspired a blog post of your own! Each Thursday, I write a new post in this series, so stop by next week!

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