Christmas is coming and because I want Davis to know from a young age the season is about giving and not just about getting, I’ve decided that every year we would make things to give to our family and friends as gifts from her. I’ve been collecting drawings and paintings for a couple of months now but for our main gift this year is snowmen decorations.
First, we made the men from homemade playdough. In my mind making the play-dough together with this recipe I found online (totally the same as what Mom used to make) would be lots of fun. I used the traditional recipe. Davis was fine with it until it got a little too sticky on her hand. After that she proceeded to freak out until I cleaned her hands. So if your toddler or kid isn’t into messy hands I wouldn’t recommend doing this part together – although it’s quite fun to see their little mini-breakdowns.
Next we made the snowmen. Showing her how to roll the playdough into balls, I became Proud Mommy, happy to be doing something good, something creative with my child. Better than TV yelled my inner voice, full of excitement. One snowman was done, two snowmen… and then the toddler decided it would be more fun to smash them than make them and I became Frantic Mommy trying to save the snowmen from destruction. On came My Little Pony and Frantic Mommy rushed to finish the snowmen. No matter, I told myself, they are still from her… she helped. Lining them up on a cookie tray to dry I left them, reassuring myself the painting would be much more fun.
It took a few days to dry them out completely. I tried speeding up drying time by putting them in the oven at a low heat – 200 – but after a while some of them started to slouch so I stopped. Needless to say some of them look better than others….
Painting time came and I was super stoked. Davis too. I built her up for it all day from when I dropped her off at the babysitter’s to when we got home. “Eat some supper and then we’ll paint the snowmen,” was my bribe that night. It worked.
Dressed in her painting frock we got to town with the painting. So much better than the snowman construction phase, Proud Mommy inside me boomed. She boomed even more when Davis, in the middle of painting snowman number three proclaimed, “We are awesome at this painting.” That was when I encountered my first broken snowman and went to find glue.
Big mistake on my part. “What are you doing, Mommy?” asks 2-year old Davis.
“Finding glue, sweetie,” I say, “Keep painting honey we have to get our Christmas presents made.”
Back to the table I go. It took me maybe five minutes but that was four minutes too long for toddler attention span. Having lost complete interest in painting the snowmen, Davis decided she was done. Then got mad at me (not really mad but the pretend I’m-mad-at-you thing kids do), took her little arm chair and hid behind the corner reading books while Mommy scurried to finish painting Davis’ homemade Christmas presents. I’d be lying if I said I hated it. In fact, I found it quite relaxing.
The snowmen are now done and I learned a valuable lesson. Toddlers might not be the best for crafts like this. It would be an awesome craft for a kid a bit older or if you had more than one kid doing it together. Although not sure how much fun it would be with two toddlers. Trying to save the snowmen from being crushed with two toddler terrors might be just too much for any parent to handle.
It was, however, worth every minute of time together and I would try it again in a heartbeat.