The kids don’t do much art and craft, thanks to their not-so-artsy mother that is me. I know they love to, and want to paint, draw, craft, and make a mess without needing to hear much nagging and screaming from their mother who has some obsessive compulsion to keep everything clean.
So I introduced them to their Art Buddy, whom the affectionately call QX jie jie. She comes occasionally to do art with them, while I hide in a corner and bite my tongue, and refrain from taking out the broom and mop to clean up the mess they are making while they are at it.
Last week, the kids had a CraftPlay date with QX jie jie . The folks at CraftPlay kindly sent over their Out of the Box Castle so the kids can have some painting and decorating fun. It was supposed to be a project with their new BFFs from kindergarten, but the other kids haven’t been feeling too well, so we thought we’d just go ahead on our own.
The package came together with packets of paintbrushes and roller sponges, and the kids couldn’t wait to start working on the castle made of recycled box materials. I decided that they should each take individual pieces of the castle tower, walls and gates to paint, instead of assembling the castle first, and paint away they did, with the help of QX jie jie.
And of course, at four and two half (and the baby at 14 months), you wouldn’t expect these kids to stay focused painting nor expect that they decorate the castle with funky designs and patterns. They were up clowning about after five minutes of serious painting, and started rolling paint on each other’s legs, toes and hair. That is the fun of art and craft to them.
When the paint dried up, I tried to assemble the castle but to my dismay, it was not as easy as I thought. We probably used the wrong type of paint and some parts of the cardboard were too wet when the paint went on initially, that the corners were torn even when the paint dried.
I spent a good hour trying to put the pieces together but the “tongues” that I inserted into the different slots kept coming out. I got desperate after getting nowhere near to assembling it after half an hour, I started taping the folded parts so they don’t come off. The kids only hung around to watch for a grand total of 7 minutes, and then got very impatient and kept singing me the same refrain,“Why the castle still not ok, huh?
So after one trying hour of putting it together, I gave up and told them, “Nah, this is the castle. It’s supposed to look pretty and all, but well, Mama just can’t assemble it without getting frustrated.” Now you know why art and craft is my least favourite subject in school. I’m totally NOT good at this at all!
Still, the kids were happy and started to find uses for this piece of artwork they’ve created – they started throwing their baby brother’s balls into the castle towers like those Uncle Ringo games they play at pasar malam. And then they went on to spend an evening with the cardboard castle, perfecting their aiming and laughing away.
Thank you, CraftPlay, for those few hours of fun. Though it wasn’t too much fun for me putting everything together (ok, it’s me and my fat fingers!), my kids had a good time painting and playing!
Here’s a giveaway, so you can have some painting fun too!
I’m sure you can do a better job than me assembling the castle – how idiot-proof is that, right? – so here’s a chance to win an Out of the Castle (more castle types here) worth $17 for some hours of crafting and painting fun. Simply LIKE CraftPlay’s Facebook Page and leave me a comment with your name and email address. It’s that simple! Giveaway ends 1 May 2013.
UPDATE: Congrats, Chuyan! You won the Out of the Box Castle! Happy painting and crafting! A big thank you to all who took part!