At crayola.com, you'll find lots of great craft ideas for kids this summer. Party Pinwheels! Big Bright Bugs! And who can resist a Brilliant Butterfly Kite?
Me. Although I'd like to be a crafty mom, it's not in the handmade cards for me. Rotting apple puppet heads aside, I've had many disasters in this department, both while employed as a middle school drama teacher and while sitting at home being a mom. Kids cried. In both cases.
A mom's-hands-off approach works best, I'm finding. Children come up with their own craft ideas, creating one-of-a-kind items such as bookmarks decorated with hair they've chopped from one spot above their left ear. Two days before the start of second grade. As one example.
Or they invent new, necessary enterprises, such as The Honest Paint Company.
Unhappy with paint colors called such things as "Marine Reef" and "Smoldering Coals," the boys and I decided to tell it like it is. With a slogan declaring "the other stores lie!" The Honest Paint Co. turned "Tawny Bluff" into "Bathtub Ring"; "Fireside" into "Dad's Softball Injury"; and "Fruit Punch" into plain old "Pink."
Special credit to Simon, age 9, for renaming "Toasty Fireplace" as "BBQ Chicken," and to Theo, age 6, for calling a certain shade of fuchsia "Your Gums."
Impatient for the official launch of The Honest Paint Co., Theo began his own crafty business on the side, selling paper airplanes and boats.
In the five minutes between setting up his stand and a rainstorm, he turned a profit.
Nothing says summer like a driveway sale. Simon thinks we should add a few more products, such as lemonade, but that seems so ordinary. Plus, I'm not sure how well it will sell next to the bookmarks.