Friday, August 31, 2012

Reconnecting: bows & arrows

We just returned from a 3 week trip to Utah.  It was wonderful to be with friends and family, but I must say, it's good to be home.  It was a busy 3 weeks as we attempted to see everyone and do everything that we had missed out on over this past year.  Hiking, swimming, family reunions, Park City, Bear Lake, sailing, games, shopping, biking, visiting, running, eating out, play dates, over nighters, birthdays... we somehow managed to pack it all in!  I don't know if anyone else does this, but by the end I felt like I had reconnected with everyone... except my own kids.  And this became obvious by the end when the kids were behaving worse than I had ever seen them.  Lack of structure, lack of sleep, an overdose of family of friends and an underdose of their own mother left them fighting, talking back, whining and disobeying more than ever.

So a few days ago we all finally reconnected by working on one of my favorite projects I've done with them: making bows and arrows.  I've realized that doing crafts, projects or games with my kids is how I connect with them best.  And these have definitely been lacking over the last few weeks.  It was so nice to finally sit down with the older three and work on something that we were all excited about again.

I found the tutorial for these bows and arrows on the blog You Craft Me Up.  It was surprisingly very simple and we were able to put 4 bows and 8 arrows together in one afternoon.  Even with the breaks I had to take to feed Will, keep him happy and get the kids a snack.  And the best part?  All of the supplies only cost me $16!  That's $4 per bow and 2 arrows.  I made one each for John, Dan and Joe, and then one set for John's friend who is having a birthday party next week.  A pretty sweet deal, if you ask me.

We made one change to the tutorial we followed: I didn't dare let the kids shoot the sticks around with nothing on the end.  Knowing kids, one of the arrows would find itself in someone's eye.  So I taped a piece of the foam to the end.  It could still hurt if it was shot at someone at close range, but at least it won't cause permanent damage.  I would recommend having a rule to not shoot at people, either way.

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On Daniel's bow we taped a piece of PVC pipe to it to rest the arrow on when he shoots.  He was having a hard time aiming the arrow, but this made it very easy.


The kids couldn't wait to show the neighbor kids their new weapons... sometimes I wonder what I would be making if I had a girl... a doll? a skirt?... But I'm pretty happy making bows and arrows for the time being :)
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