As a family, we are a fairly crafty lot! We sew, knit, paint, crochet, build things, garden and more. Arts and crafts have always been an essential part of our homeschool program. Not only do they help stimulate creativity but they also develop fine motor skills and self confidence. I am writing this blog post from IKEA today. This store has been the source of many supplies for our various projects over the years – from organizational tools to inexpensive felts. Today I would like to talk about two table-top-saving items we have used repeatedly over the years – the serving tray and placemats.
Most of our “school work” takes place at our kitchen table – a 150 year old dining room set. This priceless antique has been in our family for many years. Our house does not have a separate dining room and as such, we made the decision years ago to use the table and have it refinished once the kids where grown rather than have it sit in storage. We love this table! It expands out to accommodate large numbers of people or condenses down to comfortably serve a smaller number. We have spent many hours seated at this table – shared meals, laughter and a lot of teachable moments. We have also painted on it, cut out patterns, played computer games, rolled out cookies and so much more. When the kids where small, we made good use of several colourful trays like the ones pictured above. Trays you can get for less than $5.00 at IKEA! Everyone had a tray and a craft mat. The trays were used to hold beads or small parts. The edges helped contain the pieces and made it less frustrating for little hands and tired eyes (mine!) Plastic placemats made clean up of paints and play dough a snap. The kids could use cookie cutters, scissors and other sharp items without us worrying that they would gouge the furniture. Simple things such as inexpensive colourful trays and plastic placemats can make your home kid-friendly and easier to clean!