Doing arts and crafts with children is a great thing, it really is. From rainy afternoon painting sessions, to summer afternoons spent making insect sculptures out of old plant pots and other pieces of scrap – your child is able to express himself, learn, communicate, have quality time with you and have fun all while you get to enjoy spending time with them as well.
If you’re thinking about planning a craft session with your little ones, these X great tips should help you:
- It Will Create Mess
No matter how many aprons you get, paper you put down or rules and regulations you put in place, it will still get messy. Arts and crafts should be messy when you’re a child – without that it’s a bit boring really! So the first thing you need to do, before you do anything else, is recognized that it will create a mess. What you can do to stop anything getting permanently damaged, is:
- Make sure the kids are in old clothes that can be messed up or thrown away
- Make sure the surfaces are covered in paper or plastic
- Use art and craft supplies that are washable
Then just relax and get into it, the mess is part of the fun!
- The Results Will Differ
When explaining the project to the kids, try to avoid saying how their craft should look at the end. This will hinder creative expression and put pressure on the child for no good reason. Consider avoiding showing the children an example of what they should be making, or showing lots of different version of what they are trying to make so their imagination isn’t limited. Try to give quite a broad brief, and if they do something a bit creative like give the insect 3 legs, paint the lion blue or draw stars under the sea, ask them about it and praise their ideas, which are way more important than what they are actually creating.
- Try To Do Crafts That Are Age-Relevant
If you try to do crafts that are simply too advanced for your child. If you choose a craft too advanced for the child, they may become frustrated and have a drop in confidence because they are unable to do the crafts. It may be that some complicated projects can be shared between you and the child, who may be able to do parts of the craft but not all of it.
- Avoid Being Controlling
Try to avoid controlling what your children are doing, this will stifle their creativity. Try to do your own crafts while they do theirs, encouraging them as you go.
- Do Your Crafts In A Special Area Or Allocate Time To The Crafts
If you plan to do the crafts on the family table which is used for other things, make sure you use it at a certain time when it isn’t needed for other activities like eating dinner. Alternatively, do the crafts in another area where they can be left and then tended to again if needs be.
- Don’t Be Precious
It will be difficult to let go of anything your child creates, but if you don’t, you will quickly find you have a lot of space taken up with their creations. Crafting is all about the making with your children, not necessarily in what has been created, so don’t be afraid to let go of old crafts regularly.
- Get Everything You Need Before Starting
Breaking constantly to go and get different items you need will break your child’s enthusiasm and concentration on the task, so be sure to have everything you need at hand when you start crafting.
- Don’t Make Them Craft
Crafting is a creative activity and some kids just don’t want to do it. Some kids might like it every now and then, some kids won’t ever like doing it. Some things in life you do have to make your children do, others, you have to let them decide and crafting is definitely one of those things.
- Stay Present
If you are running errands around the house while your kids craft, they won’t feel like you are engaging with them and giving them attention. This quality time with you is greatly valued by them, so be sure to put aside all your personal tasks and enjoy this special crafting time.