Our kids love craft. Something about it taps into their little fidgety fingers and burgeoning minds. We often spend a rainy Saturday or Sunday afternoon tinkering with one project or another.
But we don’t do this as much as we would like. For one this it’s messy and takes a while to set up and get going, then there’s the cleaning up afterward. And we often run out of ideas and get over familiar with our boxes of construction materials, feathers and glitter. Finding the inspiration for new ideas can be really hard work.
It was with some excitement then that I noticed a new shop open up near us. Make Art looks like a cafe from the outside. But within is an Aladdin’s cave of locally made art and craft materials. Mask kits, blank boxes, painting projects and bead creations – all bagged up with instructions and ready to go.
But the really clever bit is that you can pick an activity and do it right there in the store at your table as you enjoy a coffee and flapjack.
Last weekend I took the family down to give it a go. While our youngest took an unexpected (but very welcome) nap in the buggy, I sipped a
Coffee and watched my other half and oldest two (3 and 5) slowly produce artistic creations.
My daughter chose to do pottery painting, and was talked through the painting of her bisque-ware mug by our host. She was soon away and could easily make sense of the clear instructions and well-labeled paints, brushes and water.
My son decided upon some decoupage – sticking to him. This is where you decorate objects with a range of beautiful patterned tissues in a variety of stylish designs. He picked an item from the shelf and soon set about making it his own.
As their creations took shape a hush descended on our table. The smell of good coffee combined with glue, paints and glaze to create a wonderfully sweet aroma. In and around the various tables flitted the hosts – making sure we had what we needed to feed both our stomachs and our creative juices.
By the end of the session each of them had something to show for their efforts, as we slowly made our way back home talking about the things we’d done.