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Cleaning tips for crafting with kids

Mom and Daughter CraftingFrom paper¬†m√Ęch√© to play dough, crafting is a great bonding exercise for parents and children. Age-appropriate arts and crafts projects also give¬†kids to the chance to¬†unleash¬†their creative energies in a constructive way.

As much as we love crafting, the clean-up afterward can definitely be a chore.  Fortunately, there are ways you can prepare your work space to make cleaning up easier and deal with any accidents that may occur.

Cover up!

Protect any areas that will get messy during craft time Рthis includes the workspace, any cleaning/drying stations and yourself.

Cover tables with a vinyl table cloth or shower curtain. These can be easily washed. (Avoid using newspapers, which can allow liquids and glue to soak through).  Wear a canvas apron to protect your clothing. For some crafts, it may be advisable to wear rubber or latex gloves.

Keep cleaning products handy

The best way to limit the spread of messes is to keep cleaning products¬†close to¬†your work surface.¬† For painting projects, keep a tub of water nearby,¬†placing paint brushes, sponges, stencils, and other items in there as soon as you’re done using them.

Consider keeping a container of baby wipes or disinfectant towels near your craft area. These are handy for quick clean ups.

Be prepared for stains and spills

-Use a lint roller with disposable adhesive panels for all sorts of tiny objects, like glitter.

-To remove ink pen stains from clothing or walls, try using hair spray. You can also try blotting the area with rubbing alcohol.

-To remove glue stains on fabrics, wash article in warm, soapy water. To remove stuck-on glue from hard surfaces, try dabbing on a little vegetable oil, let sit for a few minutes and rub off gently.

-Acrylic or tempura paint stains should be cleaned while¬†they’re still wet. To remove paint from clothes and carpets, dab the fabric with¬†a damp cloth to soak up as much paint as possible. If¬†the stain persists, dab with rubbing alcohol.¬†For paint on walls and hard floors, wash the surface with warm, soapy water.

-For crayon stains on fabrics, try spraying a little bit of WD40 (a spray lubricant) onto the spot and dab clean with rag, then wash the area with liquid dishwashing soap and water.

Get the kids involved

Clean up is an important part of crafting, and¬†kids should lend a hand. Assign your child chores appropriate to their age level, such as putting away supplies, cleaning the work station or throwing out any garbage. When all is said and down, don’t forget to display your child’s masterpiece somewhere everyone can see it!  

Some Back-to-School Organizing Tips

‚ÄúIt’s the most wonderful time of the year…‚ÄĚ Staples Business Depot’s¬†iconic 1996 commercial, featuring an exuberant dad back-to-school¬†shopping¬†with his not-so-enthusiastic kids, captures the feeling of relief felt by many parents at the end of summer. However,¬†the daily school routine¬†comes with its own organizational challenges for both¬†adults and children. So before you start singing from the rooftops, take some time to prepare a back-to-school plan that will make everyone happy to be hitting the books this fall. Start a back-to-school routine Routine is important for school-aged children.¬†Two weeks before school starts, re-introduce¬†kids¬†to a¬†typical school day schedule.¬†Younger children in particular will benefit from earlier bedtimes, while teenagers¬†should be gradually woken up closer to the hour they’ll need to rise when school begins. Make sure you leave enough time for things like breakfast, bathroom time and the trip to the bus stop. As the week progresses, you can make adjustments to ensure everyone has plenty of time to get ready. Create a centralized school calendar Keeping track of parent-teacher meetings, band rehearsals and hockey practices can seem like an impossible task. Take some of the stress out of after-school scheduling by¬†creating a one-stop calendar for events and deadlines. The calendar¬†should be prominent, easy to¬†use and utilize a format that everyone is comfortable with.¬†(A large dry-erase board or a 12-month paper calendar works serves as an excellent visual reminder for younger children, while¬†older kids may benefit from email or text-based reminders). Make the calendar part of your daily routine:¬†Get in the habit of adding events to the¬†calendar as soon as you hear about them (older children can help with posting duties). Talk to your kids about upcoming events so they won’t forget. Organize your back-to-school shopping Involve your kids in¬†back-to-school shopping¬†by having them help you prepare a shopping¬†list before you hit the mall. This (hopefully) will prevent in-store arguments and tantrums. Most schools will¬†provide¬†you with¬†a list of required back-to-school supplies, which¬†can serve as a starting point for back-to-school shopping. With clothing, clear out some space in your kids’¬†wardrobe before going on a spending spree. Go through each item in¬†your child’s¬†closet,¬†setting aside anything¬†your child has outgrown (older children can help with this).¬†Discard or donate anything your child will no longer wear. Don’t go overboard buying stuff you think your child might need. Instead, wait until the first week of school to purchase any items you may have left off the list. Gather your documents Now is the time to start looking for vaccination records, birth certificates, doctors notes and other documents your child might require for school. Make photocopies of these documents before you send them off to school. Check your school’s website to make sure you have everything necessary to start the year off right!