“Our Neighborhood Craft Day,” Ensign, June 2006, 70
Is your home the gathering place for neighborhood children? Mine seems to be, and I encourage it. You see, I periodically invite children over for a “make day.” It all started years ago when school-age children in our neighborhood began visiting me and my two toddlers at home. Because their mothers worked full-time, they had little to do during the afternoon, so I began entertaining them one day a week with my “treasure box” of unfinished crafts.
When those projects were completed, we made other inexpensive crafts, such as papier-mâché items, sewn snakes, pipe-cleaner pencil toppers, and play-dough sculptures. I also helped the children learn to cook simple treats. We enjoyed making doughnuts, suckers, and baked goodies. They even helped me to make a spaghetti dinner for their parents. As our “make day” became increasingly popular on the street, the children took turns bringing snacks to share.
We moved after two years, and “make day” ended for a while. As my children grew, life got busier, but the fun memories of our initial neighborhood activities have prompted me to reinstate it for my own children and their friends from time to time, whenever I can manage it. For me, the main reward is making my home a fun place to be. I also enjoy providing our neighborhood children with a good experience in a Latter-day Saint home, and I hope I’m contributing to happy childhood memories.
I think any neighborhood would enjoy having a “make day” mom. To start your own neighborhood “make day,” you might see if other stay-at-home mothers would like to help. It’s also a good idea to notify parents of your plans, obtain written permission for their child to participate, and exchange contact information. The rewards of friendship and happy memories are worth the time and effort.
Marianne Olson, California