There was a time when I thought it was a good idea to expose kids to art. But I’ve had an epiphany and I see now that art is the devil’s work.
So hear me now and listen to me later. You should not - under any circumstances - let your kids participate in art making activities. The time to act is now.
If you give your kids the opportunity to make arts and crafts, they might start having creative thoughts. The floodgates will open and before you know it, your child could have innovative ideas. Innovation is the gateway to originality and really, nobody wants that.
They could become problem solvers while strengthening critical thinking skills. PROBLEM SOLVERS? The last thing you need is a child running around with inventive solutions like, “Maybe if you turn the coffee maker on, it will work for you mom."
Shit. No thank you.
They will learn how to make decisions ON THEIR OWN. Decisive kids? Are you kidding me? One day your child is choosing which color to paint the sky in the storybook she’s illustrating and the next, she’s off inventing her own fun instead of dragging her feet across the floor complaining about having nothing to do as she whines, “Maaaawwwwm, I’m sooooo bored, what can I doooooooooo?” Pffffft.
They may acquire visual-spatial skills. Great. No more will you need to say, “It’s RIGHT THERE” when your kid asks you where the green monster truck dinosaur blaster is. They’ll be able to see what’s right in front of their noses. And, they’ll stop walking into walls too. The next thing you know, they won’t be running into traffic every time you both go to the post office. Jeez, they might even be able to drive a car more easily in the future. Good lord.
They will develop a healthy sense of self-esteem. A kid who feels good about him or herself is a kid who will spread all kinds of joy and will probably grow up to be a confident, well-adjusted adult. Honestly, if I wanted a Little Miss Sunshine in my house, I’d have saved myself the swollen ankles and hemorrhoids and just gone out and bought a doll.
But that’s not all....
If your kids participate in art, drama, or dance, you will probably see a marked improvement in their academic performance. I think we both know that you DO NOT want your kids doing anything that will help them understand their schoolwork more clearly. What you want is homework battles. That is the end of this discussion.
They will become more culturally aware and they will probably adapt to and respect other people’s ways of thinking as they discover that it's okay if their friends have different points of view. Compassionate, open-minded kids? You do not need to take on that burden.
They will learn to express their feelings in a positive way and channel their frustrations onto canvas and paper instead of one another. This - I'm sure you’ll agree - will result in utter and complete pandemonium.
They could build useful language skills and they might begin using descriptive words and phrases at dinnertime so instead of, “Food." Okay", you'll hear, “That was a delightfully scrumptious meal you prepared, Mother darling.” Yeah, no thanks.
They will feel content as they dance for joy, skip instead of walking, sing while playing, smile, talk to imaginary friends and decorate every damn surface in your house. It’s enough to make you sick to your stomach.
If we don’t do something to stop the impact art is having on our kids, they will become decisive, feel proud about their accomplishments, ooze empathy and benevolence, and by god they will feel good about themselves. Ugh. They might even learn how to successfully navigate the world as they grow up.
As adults - instead of just following directions and maintaining the status quo - they’ll undoubtedly find new ways to approach tricky issues and they might even come up with improvements to existing ideas. Holy shit.
Creativity will run rampant if we don’t put an end to this crap. NOW. So don’t think twice, just go ahead and snatch the paintbrush out of your kid’s hand before he has a chance to use it. Distract your daughter and dump her crayons before she can count to three. And - for the love of all that is good - toss the glitter right out the window. Except for maybe the silver jar. Because, glitter.
And remember, if you aren’t with me, you’re against me.
You know what you need to do.
You’ve just created something spectacular. Maybe it’s a delicious cheddar soufflé, or perhaps a lovely drawing of the African violet that finally bloomed in your kitchen. Or maybe you wrote a clever rhyme about your neighbour’s Bichon Frise.
Now visualize this...
After sharing your creation with your partner, your child, or your neighbour, he or she says, "Great job!" and promptly shoves it into a drawer. Or worse, sneaks it into the recycle bin.
Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Okay, now think about what you’ve been doing with all the paintings and drawings your kids have been producing at the kitchen table or carting home from school because - let's face it - if you've got kids, you've got piles of kids' artwork.
If you’re like most people, it probably ends up in boxes like this (maybe after a brief stint on the fridge door).
It’s incredibly important that kids see their art on display as it creates inspiration and shows them just how important their ideas and expressions really are. And while it could be argued that de-cluttering and recycling paperwork can be good for the soul, tossing your youngster's art (before giving it the attention it deserves) can actually do a lot of damage. What might seem like a small gesture - displaying your child's creative efforts - is actually a huge confidence builder.
Trust me; I know what you’re thinking: "there is no possible way to keep up with the production." It's true! Most moms and dads I know all say the same thing; “I would display my kid’s art more often, if I only had the space!”
But, what do you do when your walls are already full, you've got more windows than wall space and your fridge is covered?
Here's the thing. I’m an artist, living with my artist husband, folk-artist mother and 6 year-old daughter. Together we run an art studio where ideas and art are always in the making. We are always pinning up works in progress along with kid creations and - believe me – our walls are FULL, FULL, FULL! We have no space left!
This is why I was so excited to find out about Elmer’s Freestyle products.
The Elmer's Freestyle Smart Clips and Hooks are designed to empower people to find ingenious solutions. They helped me to find space I never knew I had.
Like all the Elmer’s Freestyle products, they are reusable (yes!), repositionable (necessary), and do not cause damage or leave any sticky residue (bonus!). Best of all, they work on a variety of smooth household surfaces, which - until now - were unavailable for hanging kids art in the following places:
Let's face it, we've all taped pieces of paper on bedroom doors, only to discover that the paint peels off when you remove the tape. Well guess what? Elmer's Freestyle products WILL NOT take the finish off your painted or stained wooden doors.
Applying the clips is super easy - you just peel off the protective sheet and stick. No tools required! And it's no big deal if you need to reposition a clip because you didn't get it straight the first time. You just lift it off and try again.
I made a pop up gallery display on the bathroom door.
But I didn't stop there. I went into the bathroom and found two more surfaces for displaying colourful creations.
The fact that these clips are re-usable makes creating impromptu art displays a breeze. My daughter was over the moon when she saw her art showing up in unusual places around the house and it was she who suggested we take our bare kitchen cupboards from drab to fab.
Before - blah.
After - tada!
And since we were already in the kitchen, we tested out another surface.
The Elmer's Freestyle Stationary Clips are perfect for displaying drawings on doors, cupboards and - as it turns out - tile backsplashes, but since we have a lot of windows in our house I thought I would see how well they performed on glass.
As you probably know, taping anything to windows (especially in cold weather) usually results in the tape (and paper) falling off within an hour or so. But not so with these products.
While the clips were perfect for our purposes, I also found that the hooks worked really well for showing off my daughter's creations. The great thing about them? They are able to support up to 10 pounds. Amazing.
I found the clear hooks ideal for hanging some lovely pieces on the window in my daughter's room. As an added touch, I taped a sweet orange ribbon to the back of the larger painting.
Then I tried the Contemporary Hooks - two at a time - on our sliding glass door. I hung a string between the hooks and used clothespins to display even more artwork. If you had a wide window, you could create a good-sized display.
The clips and hooks are terrific for displaying completed work but there are also some additional products available for those who want to express themselves, on the fly such as the Stick 'Em Squares and Circles. These product provide a blank canvas for everyone in the house to use. I placed a bunch on our cupboard doors and waited to see what would happen. Sure enough, all the spaces became filled with miniature drawings made by the magnetic dry erase markers that come with the stylish notes.
I live surrounded by art and I really didn't think I could squeeze any more into my home. Thanks to Elmer’s Freestyle I discovered I can, and no one is happier about it than the littlest one in the house.
Having your kids' work on display does wonders for their self-esteem. Try it. You’ll see!
Say no to nails and so long to screws. Think outside the box and turn your unused messy areas into inspired spaces with creative ways to use Elmer’s® FreestyleTM repositionable products.
Check out our "Here's Inspiration to Finally Clean Up Your Clutter" page to get more smart ideas that will inspire you to get yourself organized, beautify your own small spaces, and more!
Find them at Home Outfitters, select Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstores and at Walmart and Staples.
Every once in a while, I lose my mind. And then I buy glitter.
I never know what will trigger the purchase. Sometimes it’s hearing an old Cyndi Lauper song at the grocery store while I’m picking up string cheese. Other times it’s the inconceivable absence of coffee cream in a friend’s refrigerator. Mostly, it’s amnesia, brought on by lack of sleep. And Pinterest.
The thing about glitter is this: it’s attractive. Really freaking attractive. It looks so tempting, sitting on the shelf, wedged between stacks of fun foam and fusible beads. It’s the darling of the dollar store. All the other craft supplies - even the googly eyes - want to be it, or be near it because, IT’S GLITTER. Whether it’s gold or silver or red or blue or green, glitter is what makes that little voice inside your head start singing the words, “I see your true colours shining through.”
Yes, it’s dark and it’s disturbing, but whenever you see glitter, you want to take it home and craft the hell out of it.
Don’t deny it. I know you’ve been there. Because I’ve been there too.
“And that’s why I love you.”
So you buy glitter. All the glitter. Because let’s face it, three bottles only cost $1.00, and even though somewhere in the deep recesses of your memory you have a faint recollection of a horrifying glitter explosion, you don’t remember it being all that bad. Sure you found tiny bits of shiny metal in your salad dressing, your bra, and in between your toddler’s toes for months after the fact, but to be fair, you hadn’t prepared your workspace properly. This time, things will be different because this time you will plan ahead. You will put out a bowl of warm soapy water and you will keep the vacuum nearby. In fact, you will do whatever it takes to make this happen.
You arrive home with your purchase sitting next to you on the front seat. You know full well that the path you are on is sketchy and it’s wrong but dammit you’ve haven’t felt this alive since you blasted a hairdryer across all of your kid’s crayons in an effort to make a melted wax masterpiece that would have turned out perfectly if only you had an industrial heat gun at your disposal. And so, you run into your house - giddy with anticipation - as you reveal the details of your plan to your family members.
It’s not your fault. It’s your cerebrum - where glitter memories go to die - the neuron-packed part of your brain which controls reasoning, and harbours improper thoughts like: Yes, you can pull off the boyfriend jeans look and of course you should definitely quit your day job and start a hemp cloth tote bag business on Etsy.
“So don’t be afraid, to let them show…”
When it comes time to craft, it’s possible you might forget what to do, what with being completely and totally dazzle-drunk. So to help you through, I’ve prepared a brief tutorial that will work regardless of which unsuspecting item you choose to make fabulous.
Step 1) Grab the glue as you regret making your child part of your glitter plan.
Step 2) Repeat the words, “not yet, not yet, not yet,” as your 6 year-old incessantly asks if she can open ALL the glitter jars RIGHT NOW.
Step 3) Begin to question your own sanity.
Step 4) Hastily throw a paper plate down on your kitchen counter. Refer to step 3.
Step 5) Realize there is no turning back.
Step 6) Encourage your kid to cover something - anything - with glue. Natural things are good because nothing complements nature like a crapload of sparkle.
Step 7) Open the glitter jars and take a deep breath. On second thought, don’t. Because, lungs.
Step 8) Watch as your child begins to sprinkle glitter all over the glue, and beyond. Repent. Repent. Repent.
Step 9) Let go of your worries because you are having some seriously freaky fun.
Step 10) When you begin to come out of your glitter-induced haze, look around for the non-existent warm soapy water and vacuum. Curse the air and your forgetful mind. Then, lure your entire family outside before you set the house on fire because this is the ONLY way to clean up glitter.
Trust me, I'm an artist. Plus, the fire will be beautiful.
“Like a rainbow.”
Glitter Heart Rocks
Paint a heart shape on a rock using glue and an old paintbrush. Sprinkle on the glitter, shake off the excess and let it dry.
Paint glue on anything - rocks, leaves, seashells, etc. Shake on the glitter and enjoy the dazzle.
And finally, here is the answer to the question, "Who coined the phrase 'glitter is the herpes of craft supplies'"?
"The thing about glitter is, if you get it on you, be prepared to have it on you forever, because glitter is the herpes of craft supplies."