Last year I realized as a relatively new mom that I needed an arts and crafts box. I must have gotten that idea from Pinterest. Yes, it definitely was Pinterest. It was the pretty pictures of all the wonderful educational crafts I could make my son. All the pretty pictures. They were sirens calling me.
I ran to the store and bought a few cheap crafty essentials: felt, construction paper, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, glue. It was a meager beginning but it was a start.
I wanted to make an educational felt quiet book for my son to take with us for an upcoming road trip to North Carolina. Life got in the way and it never got made. The crafty essentials stayed in a bag.
Fast forward to last week: I was cleaning out the hall closet and realized I had a whole plastic bin to spare. I could finally finish my crafts box. I felt some regret that I never started the educational book for ZJ. We have a few more road trips coming up soon, but I wasn’t going to delude myself into thinking I would finish it now, either.
It was time to box up my supplies and find a resting place for it in the basement.
In the process of filling my new crafts box, something happened. ZJ found the bits and pieces meant for the inside.
First, it was the googly eyes. I have to admit even I like googly eyes. ZJ spent hours playing with the larger ones. He was so excited about these cartoonish body parts that he brought them everywhere, repeating the word “eyes.” Eyes.
Shortly after, he found the rest of the box and immediately started to play with the rectangular pieces of felt, fresh from the pack. He would arrange them by colors in perfect order. Move them. Rearrange them. Throw them in the air. And smile.
We had trouble getting him into the bath that night because he was so happy playing with simple pieces of felt.
I never had to glue, cut, sew or manipulate pieces of fabric to make him happy. All I had to do is provide him with a blank canvas. Or, simply give him access to my crafts box.
Sometimes I feel bad that I don’t have time to make these super wonderful educational tools, or monogrammed pillows, or adorable organizing cubbies, that I see on Pinterest or on blog posts.
I’d like to, and I would if I had the time.
The lesson I learned this week is that all I have to do is give my son the tools. That’s all I need to give. He’ll take care of the rest.