How To Get Your Kids Crafting
Parents, I bet you are overjoyed that home-schooling is over. At last, you don't have to try and teach your children things that you barely remember yourself or fathom out digital learning. However, the kids are still with you and, now that the summer holidays are here, schoolwork is not being set to occupy them. That means you have to come up with ideas by yourself for the next six weeks, right? Wrong! Crafting is the perfect way to keep the kids busy. "What about all the mess? Surely, my kids can't craft much without our help but I need to get on with paperwork/do things around the house/knit whilst watching a box set," I hear you cry (and before you start feeling guilty for feeling this way, remember that taking time out does not make you a bad parent). Well, fear not! Below are a few ways to make crafting fun for the kids without the need for any hard work on your part.
Some children, particularly younger ones, are naturally creative. When I was younger, I fell into this category, which was great as it meant I could keep myself occupied for ages. Having said that, it did also mean that my room was loaded with drawings or other crafts that had little purpose and often ended up on the floor or stuffed in drawers and never seen again. There is an easy way of preventing this: convert crafts into hanging ornaments. I would recommend having glue (which you can buy in Avicraft, the shop left of us) and ribbon (which we sell a wide range of, including ribbons with rainbows, Disney characters or plain colours) on hand at all times, so you can quickly hang up anything that your child makes somewhere in the house or even on the Christmas tree if it is a festive craft. Not only will it be out of the way and less likely to get damaged, but your child will also feel immensely proud. Alternatively, you could frame pictures, or stick magnets onto children's crafts and decorate your fridge or freezer with them.
Another way of avoiding mess around the home is by encouraging kids to make or decorate things that are useful, such as mugs, plates, bowls, bags and plain t-shirts. You can find lots of these online. I particularly recommend the website Baker Ross, which sells lots of plain items to decorate as well as other kits and materials. Decorating things may not seem like a great idea at first because it often involves paint and we all know that paint and small children can be a bad combination. Instead, I recommend paint pens, which create only a little more mess than normal felt tips. Below is a mug I decorated when I was younger.
Giving the Kids Freedom
,One of the main reasons why I love craft so much is because of the freedom that comes with it; you can make pretty much anything if you put your mind to it. Why should this be any different for children? Of course, it is important to keep them safe, so it might be a good idea to set rules on scissors and sharpeners for younger children. However, it is so important that you do not stop your child from being creative and even a little chaotic from time to time as it can help them to be more focused and organised when they need to be and ultimately, lets them be themselves, which is important at all ages.
A safe and fun way of letting kids be creative is collage. With collage, there is very little setup and you probably will not need to buy anything new - all you need are some old magazines/books, paper to stick things onto, scissors and a glue stick. You can also use felt tips, stickers, pieces of fabric, buttons, spare yarn or anything other craft materials that your child wishes to use. With collage, kids can be as neat or as wild as they like and you can also adapt it for the child's needs by cutting pictures out for them the night before or getting scissors that are less sharp or spring assisted. As a child, I used to spend hours making collages, though collage can also be enjoyable for adults too. Below is one I started recently. It looks a bit bare at the moment but I plan on adding a few picture of things I have knitted over the years.
Keeping Kids Interested
Most of these tips so far have been aimed at children who have a natural creative flair. However, some children do not and that's okay! Whilst I was imaginative as a child, I was very literal too and loved structure (and, to be fair, that has not changed). Below are a few suggestions to give you child next time they ask what they should do:
A Final Piece of Advice
All children are different, so keep trying with craft until you find what works for them. If these tips don't help or you need something more specific, you can find instructions for lots of crafts online (both in written form or as videos). At the same time, don't feel pressured to be productive every day - all that matters right now is that you and your child are safe and happy, whether that means getting creative or relaxing in front of the TV! Just keep enjoying yourself - you've got this!
My name is Sharon the Sheep, the owner of Avicraft Wool Shop in Bromley Kent..