Recently I read a blog post about how preschool crafts are a waste of time – basically the point was that we focus too much on the end product and not enough on the creative process. Isaac has always loved drawing and painting, and as he has grown we have started spending more time making things out of egg boxes and toilet roll holders (usually during his sister’s naptime). But after reading this post my over-analysing cogs started to whirr – should I spend less time ‘creating’ things with Isaac and just let him play with paints? (I’m going to digress slightly for a minute from fire-breathing dragons here, if you want to find out how to make it just skip a few paragraphs).
I should say, this was during one of those weeks, where I was questioning everything I was doing and felt totally overwhelmed. As a second time mum I’m getting better at trusting my instincts and not listening too much to the ‘noise’ that seems to come from every direction. But I’m a worrier by nature and we all have our moments. And so it was in one such moment I found myself over-thinking the simply activity of painting toilet roll holders with my toddler. (Yes, that bad a week – it ranged from blaming myself for Flora’s night-waking to blaming myself for Isaac’s asthma and pretty much everything in between).
Ok, so we might spend time sticking and assembling but Isaac does also have lots of opportunity to mess around with paints and play doh. And yes, sometimes I guide him through a process so that he has dinosaur feet to wear or a toilet roll castle to play with, but isn’t it also teaching him about recycling and reusing materials? And if the child enjoys it and you have fun together, then surely that is all that matters. Of course I still Google all the time and borrow books from friends, and ask people for advice… but sometimes I just need shut out the ‘noise’ and not over-complicate life. It’s a toilet roll at the end of the day – a bit of paint and a bit of fun.
So, if you’re still interested in making a fire-breathing dragon (!), I saw this craft idea by One Little Project, shared on Facebook by Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons: http://onelittleproject.com/paper-roll-dragon-craft/.
It is such a simple craft and Isaac loved it. All you really need is a toilet roll holder and some tissue paper. The original poster covered their toilet roll holder in green paper, we painted ours as Isaac enjoys painting (his hands mainly). We didn’t have any green pom poms so he just painted the blue ones we have. We pinched some googly eyes from a snake we made a while back and we rolled up green tissue paper to make the nostrils. We glued the tissue paper to the inside of the tube (not to the bottom) and then when it’s all dry Isaac gave it a big blow to see the effect of the dragon ‘breathing fire’. One of my favourite crafts, and so simple to make. Have fun!