#crapcrafts: 5 things parents should never throw away…

As a stay at home parent, the day can feel a bit like the crystal maze – each hour a challenge to conquer, finding entertainment for the ankle biters which doesn’t leave you feeling like banging on the door screaming ‘LET ME OUT’.

The very suggestion of ‘craft’ might conjure up images of smug Mums of instagram, or possibly bring you out in a cold sweat imagining black ‘washable’ paint all over your scandi inspired dining table. But it doesn’t have to be like this. A pile of junk might just equal happy kids for a little while, which in my book means we just won another crystal.

Here is the MMT guide to invaluable household items, when it comes to a bit of #crapcraft.

  1. Washing gel pots. These handy little containers seem to multiply due to the endless stream of laundry through our home. Way too good to chuck in the bin, these are the perfect containers for a bit of PVA glue or (if you can face it) paint. No need to wash them up if you can’t be arsed later. Voila.image
  2. Birthday cards & gift wrap. I realised pretty quickly that keeping cards as keepsakes was going to leave us up to our necks in bundles of paper by the time the kids are 18. That said, it’s well worth keeping some back as the card texture makes great ‘cutting up’ practice material and the girls love cutting out the cutesy animals, flowers, letters, glittery bits and embellishments. The latter all get added to our jar of sequins – it’s amazing how much sticking material you can generate from one pile of cards! Posh wrapping paper is also FAR too useful to go in the bin…we are still using bits of a super sparkly sheet from about 4 years back….image
  3. Tubes. Kind of obvious, but the simple loo roll tube is the king of all crap craft activities isn’t it? Trumped by a kitchen roll tube, and if you’re really going to town, a wrapping paper tube will elevate you to master #crapcrafter in the eyes of your kids. Just imagine all the sorts of weapons imaginary play props that can be created with that starting point. Light sabers, swords, err, light sabers…image
  4. Cereal boxes. We have been known to get through a cereal box or two in our household thanks to it being one of the major food groups actually eaten by the mouse. They team up well with item #3 to create basically anything known to man child. Flatten them up and slip them down the side of a box of toys, I promise you that you will be glad one day that you kept it back.image
  5. Magazine sticker sheets. Kids magazines…the business idea of the century aren’t they? Lure kids in with a tat toy on the front, charge the sucker of a parent a fiver for the privilege of a ‘treat’ for the kiddos, unwrap toy, discard magazine. The end… Or is it? If, like me, the rest of the magazine ends up in pieces and binned a month later, just be sure to grab out the stickers first. One wet afternoon, you might just be grateful for a drawerful of naff stickers for the kids to create a collage with. Fun factor = 10, stress factor = 0.
  6. Wall lining paper. Ok, this may not be something you’d just happen to be throwing away…but revelation: this stuff is a god send when you have a child who loves drawing but is a bit behind in the ‘ONLY ON THE PAPER’ concept. We now almost permanently have a table length roll of paper out for the kids to go crazy with. It has no edges to miss, it makes a great chuck away table protector when you’re making rockets out of loo rolls & rice crispie boxes, decorating them with cut out bits of birthday cards stuck on with PVA glue too. And the odd Peppa pig sticker, of course.image


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