Last spring I hosted some creative classes in my home for my seven year old daughter and her friends. I taught them how to sew, paint, craft, and bake. It was a lot of fun, and was my motivation to teach some important skills to my daughter. I feel strongly that learning and practicing some form of cultural art is necessary for all of us~(musical instruments, dance, gardening, photography, carpentry, etc.) There are many ways to be creative~even if you don't think that you are! See this great article! Most little girls love to create, but they don't seem to have the time or support in school or at home anymore (mine included) to be very creative these days. I know from experience that practicing the arts brings much joy and fulfillment, helps with problem solving, improves math, science, and reading scores, increases self esteem, and provides a much needed relief from this crazy, busy world. I am afraid that some of the arts including basic sewing skills will soon become obsolete.
I am not a fantastic seamstress, nor do I love to sew, but I can sew a straight line, and it has helped me out a lot over the years as I have tried to create a home on a budget. Sewing, along with home decorating, and painting provides me with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. It can also be so therapeutic in a fast paced, frenzied world. The steady rhythm of the sewing machine humming along, the sound and movement of the paint brush, and the proud smell of cookies baking in the oven.~something that you made~all by yourself bring joy and satisfaction.~ Even sitting down to play the piano now and then. I want my daughter to benefit by learning these skills as much as I have.
I bought my daughter this pre printed doll pattern at Walmart this fall for her birthday, and it sat in the corner for a few months. I finally pulled it out and designated a Saturday afternoon to spend some quality time with her to practice the sewing skills that she learned last spring. I ended up doing a lot of it, but she was able to sew the straight lines, turn the doll inside out, and stuff it. We had a great time together. It may not be the cutest doll, but we like her. (She has been lovingly named "Lilly Jane")
They also have little aprons (see below) that the girl's can make for themselves and their dolls. (which might be a little easier). If you don't sew, there are teachers out there! I found one here that I am considering sending my daughter to for lessons this summer. If you only sew a little, you can teach your daughter, or SON to sew a bean bag. They love that. Or, teach them to make cookies, build a fort. Anything to get those creative juices flowing! I've thought about picking up a wood burning kit for my boys. I know several men who enjoy working with wood as a hobby. And, if you haven't already, consider buying your kids cameras for birthday/Christmas presents!
I am extremely grateful that I bought my husband a guitar for his birthday a couple years ago. He taught himself to play, and now my son is taking lessons. They go to guitar lessons together and my husband listens in so that he can learn some new things! (two for the price of one!) Anyway, my husband pulls his guitar out most nights after the kids go to bed (sometimes before), and I can see the wonderful impact that learning to play this instrument is having on him and our kids. (He really enjoys it, and I think it is a good way to relieve stress!) I'm glad that he now has something creative to do also.
My simple sewing skills came in handy this month. The girls in our youth group were asked to sew 36 tote bags to stuff with school supplies for those less fortunate. I watched as these girls practiced cutting, ironing, and sewing, and it made me so happy that they are learning and practicing these skills. I know that when they give their bags away, they will feel good knowing that they have created something that will help someone else with their education.