Does the word "crafting" make you want to bury your head in a pile of pompoms? Will the thought of arts-and-crafts set you off in a glitter-filled frenzy? Well, before you take off screaming from the sight of a hot glue gun, here's what the "crafting" in Crafting Kind Kids really means.
But first let's define what crafting is. The old school dictionary definition of CRAFTING is this: "to make or produce with care, where the imagination and hand of the maker are evident". For us in this modern day context, crafting can simply mean to take an idea and turn it into something tangible and beautiful.
So, then, what does "crafting" have to do with kids volunteering? Here are 5 reasons there's more to Crafting Kind Kids than mere paper, scissors and glue.
5 Ways Crafting Kind Kids is More Than Just Paper, Scissors and Glue
We're crafting kind humans. Just like learning a language or training for a 5K, volunteering is a skill that must be developed and practiced. No different than expanding your brain or firing up your muscles, crafting kind little humans is something that must be honed each and every day. Getting out and giving back through fun, simple and age-appropriate service projects is an easy way to craft a kind(er) kid.
There's a brush for you in our volunteering multipack. Are some of the crafting kind family volunteer opportunities craft-related? Yes, because kids are awesomely creative and imaginative... and because kids are more skilled than our adult-drawn stick figures! Also, many of our non-profit partners have crafty needs that kids can easily do, like beading donor thank you bracelets or painting holiday ornaments that they can then give out to their clients in need.
However, there's more to Crafting (Kind Kids) than stickers and crayons. There are monthly litter cleanups at a local park as well as learning how to make "diaper burritos" with the Diaper Bank or putting together gardening kits for underserved schools. Whatever your family's volunteer preference, there is always something to choose from in our multipack of crafty paintbrushes!
"Do whatever good you can in whatever way works for you." ~ Doing Good Together
Craftivism is the new self-care. As important as pizza and movie nights are to a family's decompressing after a long week, so too is getting up early on a weekend morning to serve a community need. Whether that's decorating a pet food donation box or preparing soil for a community garden's worm bin, the easiest way to combat the stresses of the world (kid or adult-sized) is to get out and give back in a meaningful, screen-free, intentional way.
There's kindness in crafting. When kids and families come together in a unified way to serve a common need, the kindness is palpable. Kids and families, who've never met one another because they live in different corners of our community, become friendly by the end of a 90-minute volunteering project. Whether it's two families working together to clean a park or a group of 20 kids and families spread throughout a room to craft holiday decor for a local shelter, there is always friendly chit chat, sharing of supplies and kids jumping in to help a fellow Kid Volunteer complete a project. Crafting truly is the ultimate expression of kindness.
Storytelling is an art and craft. When families walk away from a volunteer project, they leave with a story to tell. Maybe it's a story about the people they volunteered alongside or a story about driving to a side of town they've never been before. It could be a story about the volunteer project itself or a story about how the benefiting organization will now be able to help more people. There is always a give-back story to craft and curious questions to answer.
Which brings us back to where we started - crafting kind humans. Crafting kindness is more than just paper, scissors and glue; it's a skill that is developed and applied through the practice of getting out and giving back. It's about taking an idea (e.g. help homebound seniors feel less lonely) and turning it into something tangible and beautiful (e.g. handmade cards for seniors and their caregivers).