The other day I went into the kids playroom while they were at school and it dawned on me that the way I spend time with my kids has drastically changed over the last two years. Two years ago, both started their journey in full day school which meant them spending more time out of the house than in it. Gone were the days where every waking moment was spent trying to “pass the time” with the kids. As I rummaged through the jumble of toys, I began to reminisce when the kids were babies. In those days, I remember looking at the clock and wondering how it was only 9 AM when it felt like I had already been up for 12 hours. The toys and trinkets were my saving grace, and just what the kids needed to keep busy. While those days were amazing, it didn’t require much more from me other than supervised self-play.
As I filled bags with toys that the kids no longer play with, I couldn’t fight the bittersweet feeling of having both kids gone all day. On one end I was thrilled to have a little bit more time for myself, but on the other end, I was sad that our time together was reduced to just a few hours before bedtime. With after school clubs and sports I’m finding that the time I spend with the kids is engrossed in “the grind.” It has become so much more important to make those short windows of time together meaningful in some way.
My daughter, who is seven years old, loves to craft and do projects. What I learned was that she not only has a genuine interest in doing it, but relishes in the face to face time she gets with just me when working on a project. Juggling time between making meals, picking up, going to activities, doing homework and dropping off….things get busy! I try not to be hard on myself, but I too crave those moments… alone with each child, one-on-one.
My husband and I are big travelers and especially love to travel with the kids. It’s an opportunity to break from the grind and make time to do things together as a family. We’ve had travel plans scheduled for the Thanksgiving holiday for some time. Knowing we would have some down time, I wanted to do some fun crafty projects with my daughter, so I poked around the internet for some meaningful projects for us to do together.
I stumbled across Teal FireFly, whose DIY crafting kits have everything you need to make creative, embellished cards from start to finish. And they are not overwhelming or messy. The kit contained cards/envelopes, direction cards for 4 designs, tags, glue dots, embellishments (rhinestones, glitter confetti) and a glitter glue pen. These kits come in a small box, so are easy pack and do while at the airport. Like most parents with little ones, we always give ourselves some extra time in case the kids walk at a snail’s pace or Chicago traffic does what it does best….take forever!
While sitting in the lounge I pulled out one of the cupcake card set and my daughter’s eyes lit up! She was excited to have a box of goodies with instructions toward a useful finished product! I loved the simplified, full color direction cards, as the illustrations made it easy enough for Carina to follow on her own. We made fun cupcake cards from the Celebration kit that we plan to distribute with gifts during the holiday season. She, and I, loved the one-on-one and even shared the goodies for some quality father-son time for my husband and son. It was such a great alternative to screen time as we had a chance to chat and be creative together! These cards will make a thoughtful touch to holiday gifts that can seem so impersonal sometimes. I know that family members and friends will appreciate the extra effort!
Founder, Laxmi Shah, breaks it down best, “When you make a card by hand, you pour your heart into it!! I have found that there’s immeasurable pleasure in that for both kids and adults alike.”
So even though one chapter of endless hours in a day are over, I am grateful for companies like Teal Firefly for making products that we can do ourselves while spending quality time together. Bye Bye supervised self-play….Hello creative togetherness!
Right now Teal Firefly is offering 10% off the entire store in honor of the shopping season!! Check them out here: www.tealfirefly.com