Sunday, June 2, 2013

Looking for something to do in June? This book can help. I think.

Now that I have your attention (or possibly frightened you away forever), I can tell you that "What Shall I Do This Month" by Margaret Hutchings1 was published in 1965 by Taplinger Publishing Co. It's a month-by-month list of inexpensive project ideas for children.

In her chapter about June, Hutchings offers four craft suggestions and begins with this one:
"Patterns and pictures made of flowers do not sound very exciting but I am sure you would enjoy making them."
Way to enthusiastically pitch the idea to dubious readers!

In addition to that art project, the author suggests the following activities for June:
  • Press Butterflies From Paint
  • Make Some Pot Pourri
  • Turn Picnic Litter Into A Frog2

Maybe she was being a bit sneaky and was actually offering craft ideas that were so godawful boring that kids would flee to the outdoors and get some fresh air. Which is never a bad idea.

As for the Egg Thing that's featured on the cover and will haunt you dreams alongside Sid Haig, it's one of the featured projects for April. Hutchings writes:

"Do you have Boiled Eggs for for breakfast on Easter Sunday? If so, try drawing faces on them before they are cooked.

Ask Mummy if you may practise on some eggs that she is going to use for cooking, so that you are quite used to doing them when Easter comes.

Of course, I don't know who will be at your house for breakfast for Easter3 but I have given you an idea for Grandpa, a big sister and a baby brother. Don't try to make the eggs look exactly like the people who are to eat them4 but draw the things which you notice most of all. For example Grandpa's spectacles and bald head..."

Finally, Hutchings caps the book with a December project that seems right up the alley of fledgling psychopaths.

1. Hutchings was also the author of:
  • "Modeling in Hessian"
  • "Big Book of Stuffed Toy and Doll Making"
  • "Teddy Bears and How to Make Them"
  • "Toys From the Tales of Beatrix Potter"
  • "Making and Using Finger Puppets"
  • "Making Old Testament Toys"
  • "Making New Testament Toys"
  • "Sculpting in Burlap"
2. You just need to scrounge up trouser buttons, an empty match box, wooden ice cream spoons and felt. You know, your standard picnic litter.
3. Because that would be creepy.
4. That would also be creepy.

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