I have to be upfront here: I’m a Crocs hater. That said, I know a ton of kids who adore them, and Monkey Lisa has come up with a product which makes me less negative about plastic shoes. “Cranklz” straps for Crocs shoes. They are very cute, make the shoes look less mass-produced and fit better, so if your kid just has to have Crocs, at least they will be able to run without their shoes flying off!
Are you ready? Today I’m fortunate to be able to announce the newest contributor to Try Handmade: Ciaran Blumenfeld! You may know her as Momfluential or as the creator of Francie Pants, or through Popshopology, but I know her as the new Handmade Baby and Child author. Welcome her and leave a comment to say hi!
“Please Mom, I swear I will walk them every day.”
“They just followed me home.”
“I promise they’ll be no trouble at all.”
I’m a complete sucker when it comes to whimsical stuff like these dogs-for-your-dogs Chihuahua shoes from EmandSprout. They are not technically children’s shoes and the artist states this on her site, which is prudent. There are a lot of small parts on these that might not be safe for babies. But your size 4 wearing tween on the other hand, is a perfect candidate.
Set of wide-eyed friendly monsters to spell out any 6-letter word. Soft, cuddly and endearing, and perfect whether you have 6 kids or no kids. By thewhimsypatch.
Ask my children to clean something and it’s necessary to anchor yourself to the nearest door frame, lest you be blown away by the gale of whining. But put a poster board chart up on the wall with the promise of stickers for tasks finished and they knock each other over to Swiffer the family room.
In fact, I’ve discovered that stickers make manipulating children so much easier. Put a Dora the Explorer sticker on a banana and suddenly it’s super delicious. “Quick eat the brown, mushy part before Swiper swipes it! Swiper no swiping!” Put Barney on the toilet brush and they’re singing about how they love everyone while they clean the crapper.
But it occurred to me the other day that while placing chores like, “Clean your room”, “Use your manners” on a sticker reward chart was all well and good. I was thinking too small. Surely, there are far better things we can train our children up to do? We need to take advantage of this Pavlovian sticker training and create The Subversive Chore Chart.
- Go out and buy yourself a big old sheet of poster board. Everything feels more official to a child if it’s on poster board. Remember when you used to get nervous because the teacher might write your name on the blackboard? Certain items possess magical qualities to children. Chalk, poster board, etc.
- Find some crayons or magic markers that haven’t dried out. Baring that, grab some eyeliner or lip pencil to write with.
- Make a big deal about drawing up the chart. Act as though you don’t want your children to see it. “Whatever you do DON’T come watch me make this chart!”
- Now get yourself some stickers. There are two ways you can go with your adhesives. The sparkly over the top character stickers that burn your eyes. Or, my personal favorite, odd scratch and sniffs. My kids are out of their minds with curiosity as to which smelly sticker I’ll put on their chart next. The scratch and sniff horse stickers perhaps? Because who can resist a horse’s ass that smells like cotton candy? Not my kids. Scratch Santa children. What does he smell like? Credit card debt and peppermint.
- Now have a glass of wine and really think about what you wish your children did or said during the course of the day. Not what you think they are supposed to do – what you wish they would do. Legally. Start filling in the blanks!
If I may suggest a few:
Ask mommy, “Have you lost weight?”
Claim to be fed only organic fruit picked by vegans wearing sandals made out of rope and newspapers while in public.
When daddy asks what you did today do not say “cartoons”.
Brag about mommy’s cooking while at Grandmas house.
Challenge daddy to a floor scrubbing match. “Dad, betcha can’t scrub this floor as fast as I can!”
Fetch cold beverages for grownups.
Talk about how flipp’n awesome your mother is while at play dates.
The list is endless really. Have fun!
If you’ve walked through a Target or office supply store near you lately you know that it is back to school time. The great news for those of you headed back to school, or with kids headed back, is that there are lots of handmade options that will help to set you or your child apart from the pack this fall.
Finding the right three-ring binder can be an ordeal, but take a look at this great option from Crown Bindery. Their binder makes organization a breeze and lets you choose how many pages to put in each section, and how to label them for maximum efficiency!