My kids collect things. Weird things — buttons, bottle caps, broken jewelry, fabric cut from old clothes and, most recently, my old breast pump (to play mad scientist of course). I’m always a bit torn about whether to encourage these collections. But ultimately, I want to nurture the creative, resourceful ideas that develop from these treasures. The following photos are of “treasure art” made from buttons. Read More
As Anne mentioned last week, we are splitting up Wednesdays among us to expand on local outings with some family fun at home. I volunteered for crafts. It took me having kids to re-connect with my “crafty” side. I love looking at Pinterest crafts; but I’m not big into directions or rules when it comes to creativity. Much of what I make isn’t pin-worthy. Kids have so much capacity for imagination, that they don’t really care about aesthetics. Which is good, because, although I could have made this upcycled TV into a beautiful puppet theatre, I settled for good enough.
Today’s craft isn’t super pretty. However, in the year since we made it, it has continually been one of my kids’ favorite toys — for all of them from toddler to preteen. They do puppet shows, news shows, plays; sometimes they turn it into a store. As an adult, I find it really tempting to make things other adults would appreciate, but when I step back, I realize the less I do to a project, the more my kids can engage in open-ended free play.
So, here is my story of how we made a big, ugly television into a big, ugly puppet theater (that my kids LOVE). And, at the end, I’m going to include a puppet show that we recently put together when we were playing around.
Follow up note: We kept this puppet theater for a couple years before its capacity for encouraging creative play became outweighed by its inconvenient size – not bad for a free toy.