Erica Domicic, founder of PS- I Made This, has released a children’s book called PS- We Made This, to inspire families to get creative with items they might be throwing away.
If you walk into Erica Domesek’s bathroom, you’ll likely find a huge basket with ready-made toilet paper rolls in it. Once the basket is filled, the Los Angeles-based mom grabs cardboard tubes and starts working on one of the many crafts with her almost 4-year-old son. “Everyone knows in my house not to throw them away,” she says.
Issuing these kinds of directives is not unusual for a devious mother, who is the founder of a lifestyle brand Note: I made this. She grew up making art and helped create some of her happiest childhood memories – whether it was sewing with her aunt or making dioramas for a school project.
So, naturally, she wanted to give her son the same opportunity to fall in love with creativity through arts and crafts. But she felt there was a shortage of children’s books of this kind to help guide him. Any books you find appear to be dated or target only one age group. But by following what she referred to as “Big P” (aka the pandemic) and a long time in front of the screen, she became inspired to launch Note: We made this (Available October 25), a children’s book that offers creative and fun projects at home that kids can do with their parents (or on their own!).
The book contains over 85 simple “ready-to-use” letters, recipes, and ideas for kids of all ages, all using things families have at home. The first chapter, for example, shows projects using cardboard boxes – a great idea for families who get a lot of deliveries. Other projects feature cereal boxes, paper plates, lollipop sticks, and of course those toilet paper rolls. These things can be turned into different projects, including brick oven pizza, karaoke machine, ice cream truck, and binoculars. “It brings new life to the things you already have at home,” she says. And for food-loving families like Domesek’s, recipes like butterfly cake and aquarium cake may become favorites.
But the book, intended for any kind of caregiver, also draws attention to the benefits of arts and crafts in general. Exploit Domesek Laurel’s hairShe is a mother with a PhD. In Childhood Development and Play, who explains how each project in the book can help children grow. “It’s the best way, in my opinion, to creatively incorporate healthy development and make it fun,” Domicic says. “From projects to toys, let them use their imaginations, and there really are plenty of takeaways.” That’s right: besides developing creativity, Arts and crafts are also found To help children build fine motor skills, critical thinking, math and language. Plus, Research has shown Art can help relieve stress. “It’s not about what the project is,” Domicic adds. “This is what you can do for a child.”
Of course, finding time to physically sit down with your kids to work on these crafts together isn’t always easy. Domesek has learned that it pays to mark that time on your calendar to really make the time for creative bonding happen. “Sometimes you have to block it and you have to literally say, ‘This is our project time,’” she says. “For someone like me, on their phone a lot, I also need to give those mental reminders to be present. So I make these appointments and say, “Okay, this is our appointment.”
Her greatest hope is that the book will give creative families a chance to enjoy making projects together, while offering a kind hand to others who may be concerned about arts and crafts. “I feel like this is my gift that I try to take advantage of to inspire people because I truly believe that families need reasons to connect, put on screen and learn. It also helps children thrive.” “It’s a bit like my recipe for all these things combined.”
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