There is one thing I firmly believe about children's craft time: if you provide them with good quality materials, they will produce a good quality craft.
Once in awhile, I buy those silly foamie craft kits, but I try to keep our crafts a little more worthwhile. That usually means sharing my own craft supplies, and sometimes spending a little bit more at the craft store, but it's usually worth it, too.
Today's craft is a good example: wooden birdhouses, acrylic paint, silk leaves and flowers, and a hot glue gun.
They painted the birdhouses in fall colors of their choosing.
Then I taught them a new painting technique - splatter painting with old toothbrushes for an "antique" look.
We tacked on a bit of Spanish moss along the bottom, then I let them dig through my supply of leftover leaves and flowers. They pointed to where they wanted them, I did the hot gluing.
The result is pretty great, I think - especially for a three and seven year old!
My intent is to teach them now that there is no 'right' or 'wrong' when it comes to crafting. So many adults I know are afraid of doing something wrong, so they never create anything at all. I loved watching my oldest hold a flower this way and that, deciding where she thought it looked the best. These will be great decorations to keep setting out year after year.
And while they were working on their painting, I entertained myself by creating a new wreath for the front door:
I certainly don't claim to be a floral designer, but I enjoyed the opportunity to play with flowers, it's something I very rarely do.
A couple quick notes on cost: The birdhouses were clearanced and cost $2 and $3. All the other supplies I already had on hand. I'm pretty sure foamie kits cost more than that!
I was looking at wreaths in Hobby Lobby, and most were priced $50 or more. At $4 for the blank grapevine wreath, $12 for the flowers and stems, and some ribbon from my stash, I'm much happier with that price!