Hobbies

Craft project cleaning made easy

12:44 PM

Summer is starting to get on my nerves. Like it predictably does every year at around the same time. Summer vacations just make it that much worse.
Because, you know, kids aren't affected by seasons the way we grown ups are (lucky them).

I mentioned previously the the best way to keep kids entertained indoor is to just give them a craft project to do. Or just hand them the paint and let them go nut. The problem, is that it inevitably ends up with a big mess, that we poor parents have to clean. And cleaning after a craft project sucks. I hate doing it, I hate the paints gets pretty much everywhere it should not, and how long it takes to get the living room and dinning table back to normal.
Nod and clap your hands three times if you have been there. Good, we'll call that the secret handshake to get into the secret group of pissed off, drained out parents (we can't admit it publicly, because publicly, parenthood is the most awesome, supremely rewarding and always full of joy experience that every soul on this planet should be grateful about).

If you've been like me, craft projects meant a crap load of setting up, taping old newspaper sheets together, then taping said sheet to the table so the ceiling fan doesn't blow it away. Only to have your kids loose interest in the craft project after 5 minutes (when it took you 20 to tape the paper and set the paint on your improvised mat). 5 minutes of painting that messed the whole room, with paint having gone through the damned 5 layers of paper, the glass of water spilled all over (and absorbed into the wood of the table). A kid looked like it fall into rainbow pool (or possibly just Rainbow Brite's world). And if you gave them glue, the paper might be permanently fused to said table and your kid to the paper.
If you are less crazy and masochistic than I am, you probably stirred clear of craft projects all together after the first mess.

Fortunately, the fact that I am a bit crazy (and a glutton for punishment) means I found a way to same humanity from kiddie craft project daunting clean up. This is my secret trick this year (I would have found it sooner if 4 Summers in Mumbai didn't kill all my brain cells) :



Don't look at Ishita painting egg cartons, this is not the solution. And no it is not the pain that changed either. The trick is the relatively ugly plastic table cloth that seem to have come straight from the 80's. Yes dears and dearest! A PLASTIC table cloth! A plastic table cloth I keep just for craft project and was bought not for it's dashing colours and design but for its ability to stop my table from soaking up paint, water and glue.

It takes second to wipe out clean if you really care about that. Though seriously, just let the paint dry on it and fold away...less work and more sanity and vital energy spared. If the cover is littered with paper cuttings, glitter and stuff that comes of, just lift the corners, make a nice little budled and go shake it off over the dustbin. It is that easy!

What was a bit less easy, was finding a place to buy the silly thing. I was sure I would score in Big Bazzar, D Mart or even the small shops in the market near my place. Turns out it was a big fail, I could. Of find it anywhere local, and I was. It even picky about colours and texture, the only thing I wanted was something plastic. It was Amazon that came to my rescue, I ordered this one because it was cheapest available (sorry to disappoint you, it was not the colours...aww)

Now crafting is easy, takes no time to clean and I get to keep Ishita entertained longer. WIN!

9 comments

  1. Anonymous4:30 AM

    She looks so obedient and neat in the photo, like she would never let a drop of paint fly! It's a great idea to use a plastic table cloth as a cover. It's also great to foster her creativity, as you do. I remember weaving pot holders and hooking rugs when I was a kid, but I was older than Ishita, probably 10-12 years old. I also used to pick a weed called Queen Anne's lace and dye the bunches of flowers different colors in food coloring. A good opportunity for a mess! I remember playing dolls for hours and even dressing up the cats and kittens. Those were the days!
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My cat and dog aren't spared, ishita plays dress up with them too. The cat is a bit less happy than the dig to oblige. My dog developped a thing for purses over the years. And will happily walk around showing her new look, even look sad when we remove them from around her neck :-)

      Ishita has started doing rainbow looms bracelet this year, the simple fishtail pattern ones. I find that thing super fun so while she makes simple ones I tackle complicated patterns while watching tutorials on YouTube :-) It reminds me of when I was a kid knotting friendship bracelets we called Brazilian bracelet in French.

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  2. Plastic table cloth was the rescue and used as bed mattress protection for a fraction of the cost of actual bed mattress leak proof protectors as I potty trained my toddler son overnight . One tablecloth can easily cover the top area of a double bed or the entire single bed and I use it to protect the mattress. The bed spread goes over the table cloth and absorbant rubber sheets are placed over the bed spread and my son sleeps over that. We have had multiple accidents always the bed spread and rubber sheet would be soaked and replaced but the mattress has been well protected

    ReplyDelete
  3. Plastic table cloth was the rescue and used as bed mattress protection for a fraction of the cost of actual bed mattress leak proof protectors as I potty trained my toddler son overnight . One tablecloth can easily cover the top area of a double bed or the entire single bed and I use it to protect the mattress. The bed spread goes over the table cloth and absorbant rubber sheets are placed over the bed spread and my son sleeps over that. We have had multiple accidents always the bed spread and rubber sheet would be soaked and replaced but the mattress has been well protected

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ishita has a plastic covered mattress and it has been a great help. My parents used a plastic table cloth when I was little if I remember well.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous9:38 AM

    My son actually gets a bit tired between his school work and speech therapy classes. His idea of recreation is to bring all the pots and pans from the kitchen and play with them. He plays drum with a pot and is quiet good at it. His education and speech therapy is already keeping him occupied for a longer period. He has to deal with the learning problems which are typical of his age and also deal with his disability, it is a lot hard for him at his age. A few years ago when he was small we sent him to a summer camp in a different school and ended up getting sick. This years we are putting him in summer camp of music and computers. He has a knack for music so why not. This will stimulate his feeling for speech.

    Apple

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Music is a great way to develop pattern recognizing skills so I'd say it can help develop linguistic skills too since talking involve forming sounds and pattern. Kids need to be engaged in activities they love to build confidence. Ishita learns through movement, gymnastics was the perfect thing for her, and she absolutely loves it.

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  5. Ishita is getting so big & look at all that gorgeous hair!
    We have 'dedicated' art t-shirts as well as tablecloths at our house.
    We can't seem to do any 'art' project requiring paint or glue without getting it all over ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just this week she managed to get acrylic paint in her hair, I still haven't been able to remove it all. I may need to use some nail polish remover

      Delete

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