To fill in the time for the boys, I have bought a lot of craft kits over the past few months ready for the holidays.
I find kits are better for them as they have a starting point, instructions to follow and a finished article. When I just buy craft materials, M has no interest at all, as he never knows what to make, and if you give him ideas, he looks at you as if you have grown a second head, as he can’t imagine what the finished article will look like. D on the other hand, with random materials works on the theory of the more you use, the better, and there has to be enough glue to stick the whole world together. So, kits it is. M can see what it is he is expecting to see when he has finished, and D, while he uses his creative talents to use different colours than those suggested, is reined in a little. It’s a win situation for everyone.
The kits I have, range from modelling clay to make dinosaur fridge magnets, colouring in bookmarks, draw and colour your own badges, and sand art. I have a very full box, but then I was expecting the bad weather of the last few summers! Instead, with the weather being so good, the boys are wilting, and while spending time in and out to the trampoline, and general garden play, they are hiding indoors when it is getting too warm (it is sad to say these temps are the hottest either boy has experienced in their lives). Because of the niggliness the heat has created, the box came out a lot sooner than anticipated. So far they have coloured in guitar-shaped cardboard cut outs, which have been strung on ribbon, and they have been performing their very loud compositions! Old person has a new pen pot thanks to D’s sticking and shaping talents. We have a row of sandcastle windmills in the front garden which look really cheerful, thanks to the boys trying to out do each other as to who could make the most, and the best. D has made a native American style twirling drum, which is very impressive. M made himself a bracelet yesterday with his name on it, and has been proudly wearing it since.
The highlight today though was making table coasters. The shapes were pre-cut but the boys had to weave the ribbons to create the pattern. After a few false starts, M was happily in the zone of which colour went under which strand, and made the fish in no time. D was getting rather frustrated but with some help managed to complete the turtle. The others were made in pretty quick succession after that. They are very impressive and now have pride of place on the coffee table. It almost seems wrong to put the cups on them, but if they don’t get used the boys will not be happy. D has suggested Hubby takes one to work for his desk! The biggest problem with something like this that has a colour progression is that two colour blind boys need a lot of help to ensure similar shades are separated to begin with.
This might be a more expensive way of buying craft things, but it works for the boys. It gives them focus. D in particular loves to rummage through the box to see what delights he might find. I tend to restock the box during sales and from the bargain shops to keep the price to a minimum, but the boys sitting quietly for an hour or more concentrating on a task is a priceless experience and one worth spending a little more to achieve.