You Only Have 10 Years of Magic ::: Hug Tins
This was such an easy project, but one that is working out really well for our household. The idea is simple. Give more love and attention. The problem with the life of moms is that love is abundant, but attention is often hard to garner. This simple little craft helps moms and kids tap into each other's needs for attention and gives kids a way to "act out" instead of misbehaving to get what they need. The first time I saw a concept like this was on Ashley Ann's blog Under the Sycamore (her version HERE). I decided to make my own tokens and set up our system a little differently. Ready to begin?
After you have rounded up your supplies, the fun begins! Basically, you will want to identify simple actions that show love to your children. Things you do all the time like giving a hug, saying I love you or dancing it out to Miranda Lambert (What? You don't do that?). Either write in the action with your letter punching tool or use an icon. i.e. the heart below stands for a hug.
The supplies for my tokens are a little "fancy", but you could certainly make similar little tokens with basic watercolors and colored pencils. I decided to use these pretty pearlescent paints for a pretty finish. You will also need some sort of little container and round wood cutouts. These are VERY cheap and your little containers could easily be recyclables like a used tuna can, washed and edges sanded.
The final supply you MUST have is this letter punching set. It will set you back $16 or so, but I use this supply ALL the time. (See my clay plant labels and baking soda ornaments!) Well worth paying for this supply that might possibly outlast YOU and be passed on to the grandkids.
- Round Circles - Assorted Sizes
- Metal Tins or small containers
- Watercolor Pencils
- Watercolor Paints
- Metal Punching Set
- Metallic Sharpie Marker (optional)
To make these little tokens, you start with the watercolor pencil.
Simply draw a shape and loosely color it in.
Then take a brush with a tiny bit of water and blend the color.
Then, take your brush, dip it in your watercolor paints and draw an outline around the heart,
leaving a border of bare wood. This works best with more paint than water on the brush.
To finish, pull the color out towards the edges, making sure not to touch the bare wood border you made.
This particular step works best with a little more water than paint on your brush.
For the tokens with words, the same technique of using a well watered brush
and pulling the paint out towards the edges while leaving the letters bare makes for a pretty effect.
Here is the process from start to finish:
The words look best when no paint gets down in the grooves (in my opinion).
However, some look really great with a darker color down in the grooves and a lighter color on top.
Blending a couple different colors makes a pretty, understated token.
There are three of each token. Each week, we turn all the tokens over and play a game like memoryy to find three that match. Once we find three, the boys grab them and throw them into their tin. Once everybody has one of each, we cap them and put them aside. The boys can use any token any time it is appropriate (i.e. silly minute or dancing crazy during naptime will not work) and once they use that particular token, it goes in a separate tin until the end of the week. By the end of the week, everybody has put their tokens in our extra, fourth tin and we start all over again.
Our tokens include:
- A heart - hug
- A book - for reading
- A "good for one dance" token
- Silly Minute (They can go wild WITH me for a minute)
- One Game with Mommy
- Storytime Token (not a book, a story from me)
Very simple. Very rewarding. DO IT.
To finish off the tins, I simply wrote the name of each boy on top with a copper Sharpie marker and colored in the edge of the rim in copper to match. You could mod podge paper around the tins, paint them or leave them as-is. This project would also work with a leftover glass pasta jar and scraps of paper. Make it work friends. Make it work.