Saturday, August 09, 2008

a good craft

Now here's a craft Rachel has made that we'll be using for years to come. It's a new pencil holder for the house.

I wish crafts at the library were half this interesting and useful. Most crafts there, or in other programs, are unimaginative things like "Glue stuff to this cheap piece of plastic and add some wire ties. Now you have a butterfly to leave lying around the floor until it's been stepped on so many times that your father finally throws it away, except you see it in the wastebasket two days later and throw a fit."

Doing the craft was a snap. I took clothespins apart, showed Rachel how to glue them onto an empty Morton salt canister, and then watched her do it.

This wasn't a very complicated craft -- as noted, it involves dismantling clothespins and gluing them to a Morton salt canister -- but this is something no one is throwing out. Tomorrow morning, when the glue is all dried, Rachel is going to load our pens and pencils into it, and we'll have a nice, convenient place to keep them all, instead of leaving them lying on the countertop. My brother made one of these more than 30 years ago, and my parents still have it on the island cupboard in their kitchen.

When did crayons and glue become the way to do crafts anyway? Wouldn't it be better if kids either made things that actually were useful, or at least learned the beginnings of a skill (such as braiding or knitting) that one day could lead them to produce useful things?

Show me the advantage in following the directions in a kit of self-adhesive precut shapes to make a cheap snowman that'll fall apart by Christmas. 'Cause I can't see one.

Copyright © 2008 by David Learn. Used with permission.

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