Moms help parents get crafty |

Moms help parents get crafty

Alexandria Gonzalez , The Park Record
Amy McGarr, left, and Anna Francis, owners of Crafty Fun Mom, pack up Christmas gift packs to display at the Salt Lake Family Christmas Gift Show at the South Towne Exposition Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 14. Christopher Reeves/Park Record.

In the back of Park City Chiropractic is a room filled with construction paper, popsicle sticks, wire pipe cleaners, paintbrushes and scissors. Anna Francis stood in the room packing up gift-sized boxes adorned with snowmen and reindeer and filled with craft supplies and instructions for activities.

Francis, a reading intervention specialist at Parley’s Park Elementary School, is the co-owner of Crafty Fun Mom. Her partner, Amy McGarr, is a third grade teacher at the school. They worked together as kindergarten teachers two years ago, and Francis said McGarr was constantly giving her ideas for crafts and activities for her to complete with her young daughter.

In June, Francis and McGarr launched, a website where parents can sign up for monthly educational craft kits filled with activities.

"We have a monthly craft kid for kids three- to eight-years old, and it’s designed by a kindergarten teacher to have 20 kid-friendly activities for each month," Francis said. "Some of them are sewing activities for dexterity; others are math games, just pre-kindergarten crafts for kids."

Once they are signed up, parents can visit the website for a daily activity or will receive an email with instructions. All of the supplies needed are in the box they receive at the beginning of the month.

For Christmas, Francis and McGarr are putting together small gift packs that come with about five activities with all of the instructions included in the box. McGarr said the purpose of the Christmas gift pack is so that parents can take some time off from wrapping presents and readying their homes for the holidays to spend quality time with their children.

"We do all of the planning, all of the buying, so parents just have to have fun," McGarr said. "It’s about making people’s lives easier, because people’s lives are so hectic, especially during the holidays."

Francis’ husband also hand-makes "corrals," small, wooden holders with spaces for glass containers to place pencils, paintbrushes and other supplies in as well as a small slot at the bottom to slide papers in. They also offer "activity boards," which are wooden frames with metal backings to display children’s completed activities with magnets.

There are annual subscriptions available on the website as well as single-month purchases. Francis said a lot of grandparents have been ordering subscriptions online as gifts for their children and grandchildren to work on together.

Francis and McGarr were packing up the Christmas gift packs to travel to Salt Lake City that night and display them at the Salt Lake Family Christmas Gift Show at the South Towne Exposition Center. They will also be at the Park Silly Holiday Bazaar at the Yarrow Hotel on Dec. 14 and 15.

"We started this business because we both have small children, and we have experience being both teachers and parents," McGarr said.

McGarr graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in education and then a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Northern Colorado and has a five-year-old daughter, while Francis graduated from Dixie College and has a son in seventh grade and a daughter in second grade.

"We keep it simple and give the parents one thing to pull out at a time to spend just a little bit of time each day doing fun things with your kids," Francis said.

Crafty Fun Mom

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