I saw this craft all over the internet this month and something about it appealed to me.
The idea is simple enough — use a plastic pop bottle to stamp flowers in paint. The bottom makes the flower and the lid makes the center.
I had the kids bring the paints out to the picnic table, grabbed some pop bottles from the recycling bin, assembled some paper and gathered all of the kids (plus an extra adorable toddler, courtesy of the neighbors).
And… it was a bit of a bust.
We are an art-loving family and crafts tend to go for hours, but this one just didn’t do it.
Annalee made one picture and announced she was going to bicycle to a friend’s house. Jack did two and asked if he could be done. Asked if he could be done!!!! Now THAT’s a first at our house.
Even Victoria only made 2 or 3 before moving on to other activities.
And our neighbor’s tot… she only wanted to watch.
Only Alex spent more than a few minutes on it, and that was because I let him make glorious messes mixing paint colors on his paper plate with the bottom of his bottle.
Some elderly neighbors stopped by to check out our craft and they thought it looked darling. I had thought it looked darling too, but it shows what grown-ups know.
I usually know better, but I was sucked in by those cute little flower prints.
I think the main reasons it was such a dud here were that:
1. There was no real room for personal creativity. It is the classic “Here’s what you do and here’s what you do it with and here’s how it should look” craft.
2. There was little sensory pleasure to it.
Part of the fun of art for little ones is tactile. Sometimes that means literally getting their hands into gloopy, slippery, silky, squishy or otherwise fun stuff. Sometimes it’s sensory in another way though. There is something very satisfying in pounding a golf tee into a block of styrofoam or a leftover Halloween pumpkin. There is an inherent fun factor in squeezing beeswax and clay and homemade playdough and mud balls. There is a fantastic smoosh and thwack when we stamp with sponges and other squishy things…
But pop bottles are hard. They don’t squish or thwack or give or slide or anything really. Even I noticed it as I tried my hand. There was no FUN to it.
Perhaps we’re craft snobs. Maybe we’re spoiled. Maybe we were just particularly scatterbrained and hard to please that day. But it’s a craft I’m checking off my list.
Luckily, there’s still several thousand left on my list to try tomorrow.
Any suggestions? I’m always open to trying several thousand and one!