When I was really young I remember a particular Christmas morning that was totally a game changer.
My Uncles and Grandparents had pooled together and bought us an Art Trunk. It was a huge trunk filled with everything you could imagine to make and do crafts with. My sisters were excited about it, but everyone in the house knew that I was off the wall stoked.
The other thing that we also got that holiday were two sets of books, encyclopedias and child craft books. Back before the internet was the way of finding out about something – we had family desk references. Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Eye Witness Books and Various other series on the Sciences etc. were often found on the shelves of a family home. One of the books in the childcraft series (#11 to be exact) was all about crafting. “Make and Do” It was like my little treasure map. I spent hours looking and replicating the crafts and concepts found inside of this book. Tin Can Stilts, Tiddlywinks with Buttons and Egg Cartons, Volcanos inside of Pop Bottles – you name it.
Today we have all sorts of ways to get inspired. Pinterest is a super highway of inspiration and ideas. Then there comes in a whole new sickness of being over inspired and under motivated to act on inspiration. I encourage people who suffer from this to make a new pin board of all of the recipes and crafts, DIYs and other neato things you’ve been pinning; that you’ve actually done.
Back to the art trunk – what goes into an art trunk you may ask? Well for kids a few simple staples can spell a long long time of self entertainment, sensory exploration and artistic encouragement. In our trunk we got that Christmas we had things like:
-Popsicle Sticks – Pipe Cleaners – Glue (sticks and bottle) -Foam Brushes – Tempura Paints – Pom Poms – Felt – Googly Eyes – Beads – Yarn – Markers and Crayons
I had endless good times, without the need for a TV. (I do admit to junking up on my sony boombox and mix tapes)
This art trunk is something I recreated for my son in a new way. It’s a 3 drawer organizer with everything I listed above and a few new things like – Craft Sissors – Stickable Foam Sheets – Stickers – Toilet Paper Tubes and Egg Cartons
Sometimes on rainy days or just ancy days in general – we’ll try to tie an art project into the day. Its not all that hard to dream up too.
Say its spring time – make flowers, grass and clouds out of construction paper and build a scene! My child is young so he requires adult assistance but he is fine tuning those motor skills and other memory and recognition skills by these projects. The older kids find a nice little world to escape to also inside the art trunk. Man, I’m so glad that I thought about this today and felt the need to reflect on how important this little box was too me and my artistic development.
Now if only I could get my hands on a set of encyclopedias.