Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

No more Copycat Crafts

Faigie Kobre

Art isn’t just a fun school activity for children. Its primary goal is to teach foundational skills. But if your kids are just doing the “cookie-cutter” crafts that are pervasive in schools, they may be missing out on crucial development and the chance to discover their own creativity.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Shuli, your seventh child, comes home from preschool carrying a paper plate with a gray lump on it, and a brown ladder pointing upward. “It’s the stones Yaakov slept on, and the ladder from his dream,” she proudly tells you. Ah, right, you think, parshas Vayetzei is coming. You’ve seen this project before.Leah brought home the same exact ladder last year; Moshe the year before; and Avi two years before that. As a matter of fact, you’ve seen the same ladder seven times — and all from different schools. In your basement, you have a collection of school projects, all nearly identical. A pile of menorahs, each one a replica of the next. Seven Pesach pillows that are so beautiful, it’s clear the teacher did most of the work herself. (When you said something to the teacher, she replied, “But your son did so much! Look how he colored the matzah brown, and pasted the fabric Kiddush cup exactly where I told him to.”) There are also seven matching flower projects for Shavuos — the same type of flower, the same range of colors. What’s wrong with this picture? Is the problem that these “creative” projects require very little of your child’s actual creativity? Or that, as is the case with some of the more elaborate crafts, your child did next to nothing? What about the fact that, despite how incredibly different your children are, they come home with artwork that is exactly alike?

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"