Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chalk Talk with Mama Jenn!

Today I'm talking with Mama Jenn! I've always admired Mama Jenn's site--especially all the craft ideas she does with her children. Since we're just starting our Big Summer Fun, I thought she would be the perfect person to ask about craft ideas and tips. Thank you Mama Jenn for chatting with me!  :)

1. Why should we do crafts with kids?
I believe that doing crafts is a fun way for children {and adults} to express a more creative side. Plus, you can often incorporate crafts in a way that helps supplement and encourage learning. I often try to tie our crafts in with whatever subject matter or topic we are learning. Many of our crafts stem from books that we have read.

2. How do you get ideas for the crafts you do with your kids?
Well, the secret is out. It is not that I am super creative, I am just good at duplicating ideas. I do come up with some craft ideas on my own, but the majority of the crafts are things that I have seen elsewhere. Many ideas stem from online searches and craft books.

3. Any tips for planning crafts/doing crafts?

Don't stifle your child's creativity. I have to constantly remind myself of this. I often have a "vision" of what the finished product should look like and when my kids have something else in mind, I have to remind myself to let them use their own creative juices! It is okay if their snowman looks more like penguin. ;-)

4. What must-have craft supplies do you think should be in the craft stash?
Hmmm, great question. We always keep paper, glue, crayons, paint, and markers on hand. However, you can actually use lots of everyday items for crafts. Such items that we save/collect or keep on hand for crafts include plastic bottle tops, paper plates, cotton balls, q-tips, rocks, sticks, leaves, bubble wrap, toilet paper rolls, popcicle sticks, baby food jars, coffee filters, and so much more. Honestly, if I see how something can remotely be used for a craft project, I hold on to it!

5. What is your favorite craft that you have done?

Can I choose two...or three? :-) I really love how my daughter's homemade Easter hat turned out. She made it from a paper plate and paper bowl!

We really enjoyed making our bottle top bugs. The kids had tons of fun playing with these. I still find the little ladybugs, bees, and spiders roaming around our house!

Lastly, the kids and I loved our rollin' race cars. We made these using toilet paper rolls and the best part is that they really do roll!

6. How do you organize your craft supplies?
If I lived in a perfect world, I would have my very own craft room. But, in the meantime, I store our supplies in bins. For small craft items, I love our little ziplock bag storage system. Since I tend to save all kinds of "things" to use for crafts, I also keep a basket as a catch-all for the little miscellaneous items that could possibly be used for a craft.

7. What do you do with the craft projects once they are done?
Most of our crafts that have survived are displayed around our house. Often times my kiddos want to play with their crafts which usually implies a short self-life, but the crafts that I manage to save are displayed. Once I need more space to display newer crafts, the older crafts are stored away in a file cabinet. I have a file for each child that is divided by year. A great suggestion was to take a picture of the child holding their craft. That way you don't necessarily have the pressure to save everything because you have a photo. Plus, having the child hold the craft makes for great memories when looking back at the photos.

8. What's your favorite recipe?
Super sticky cinnamon buns. I know they are not so good FOR me, but they are oh so good TO me!!! Yummy!!!! :-)

Mama JennI am a Christian wife and homeschooling mama of five little ones; one girl and four boys. Our sole princess is 6 years old. All of our boys came in sets of two! My oldest set of twins just turned 5 years old and the youngest set will soon be 3 years old. I love spending time together as a family. The kiddos always keep us laughing! Prior to having children I was a high school math teacher. I have my BA in Math and a Masters degree in Education. In my "spare" time I enjoy scrap-booking, though blogging seems to be taking its place. I currently have four blogs. "Brown Like Me" is a book review blog featuring books with "brown" characters. The Homeschool Resource List is a collection of all the free online resources that I have found for homeschoolers. The Living Math Booklist is a collection of books divided by subject matter that incorporate mathematical concepts. Finally, Mama Jenn is my family/homeschool/craft/everything blog, which features a weekly blog carnival called Kiddos Create where bloggers can link up and share crafts that have been made by, for, or with their kiddo(s) using everyday items. In addition to my own blogs, I am a contributing writer on Totally Tots for the Simply Made and Once Upon a Book features.

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Blogger Cherees said...

Mama Jenn's Crafts are really cute! Thanks for sharing. I am stopping by from Monday Mingle! I hope you have a great week!

June 6, 2010 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Ticia said...

Glad to hear more from Jenn, I love reading her blog.

June 6, 2010 at 11:04 PM  
Blogger Karin Katherine said...

LOVE Mama Jenn! Thanks for featuring her. Great Chalkboard Interview

June 7, 2010 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Mama Jenn said...

Thanks for the interview Maureen! You rock!!!

I can't wait to see what else you have in store for the Big Summer Fun series!!!

June 8, 2010 at 12:55 AM  

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