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I absolutely love doing crafts with my kids! Bring on the Sharpies, the glue, the glitter! The more the merrier. What is one more mess in my quiet, uneventful life?
^^^ That’s exactly the mom I used to be.
Before I had kids. ^^^
Now? My entire house looks like an elaborate craft project…created by a class full of kindergarteners hyped up on red dye and espresso. So yeah, I’m not really keen on craft projects unless they are easy to prep and easy to clean up.
My teen girls, of course, love crafting just like I did when I was their age. I try to accommodate them as much as I can. We have plenty of colored pencils, pens, markers and other supplies. One thing the girls have really gotten into lately is Smash Books.
Smash books are kind of like scrapbooks in that you save memories but they are so much more than just pictures and captions! Lists of things you love, places you have visited, books you want to read… You might add movie tickets or photos. You can have your friends sign it…there are really no rules when it comes to smash books.
All it requires is a book (these can be regular notebooks, old books…anything, really), some markers or pens and glue or tape.
Unlike scrapbooking, there is very little prep with making a smash book. I gave my girls their books with a few basic supplies and they were off! It always helps to add in chocolate and coffee or tea (to get the creative juices flowing).
Raising teen girls is not always the easiest thing in the world. I work hard to make our children feel loved and understood during these years. We have our Teen Only bin to encourage our kids to bring their friends over. I have a special box I keep stocked for my girls during their periods. I try but make no mistake, I fail… sometimes frequently. I put too much pressure on our teens (or not enough). I make a careless comment that hurts. But when I fail I apologize do my best to move on.
I look for opportunities to connect with our teens. Even if that connecting means CRAFTING.
And then there are days that are impossible due to the infamous Aunt Flo. I do my best to be understanding on these days…I swear I do. I point my girls toward their special box. I throw some Advil® Menstrual Pain at them since its is the number one doctor recommended brand for menstrual pain (it relieves menstrual cramps, back pain, and headaches when used as directed). I suggest they grab their smash book or a journal and spend some time alone. And then when the medicine kicks in and they are feeling better we hang out together. (Baking is another great cure for menstrual cramps…hello CHOCOLATE!)
Advil® Menstrual Pain can be found in the pain reliever aisle of Walmart.
Another fun way to express your creativity is Blackout Poetry. Kalina loves doing this and is the one who introduced it to me! You simply grab an old book and a marker and black out words to create poems. I’m not really into poetry, but even I find this fun! Kalina loves writing poems and has even had a few published on Spillwords!
Here is one of her blackout poems:
he was visited by
one of the nightmares
after the war
destruction. Yet it was difficult
because he had become
evil. There was no escape
as he passed
Seriously, how fun is that?
(and it’s practically mess-free!)
Have you ever tried a smash book or blackout poetry? Have you tried Advil® Menstrual Pain? Which would you prefer? Menstrual cramps or crafting with a couple of six-year-olds while they sip red kool-aid?