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- Crafts & Handiwork
Ideal crafts for children
Where to begin
Fortunately with the technological age of the internet, you and your child can access thousands of craft sites, and engage on online communities that support young artists, and give ideas on wonderful things to make and do.
This said, it can be quite overwhelming to know where to begin. Here are a few ways to start crafting with your child.
- Consider the age of your child, and what they can physically manage
- Think about what craft supplies you have at home...lets face it, we don't all have an endless budget for such things.
- Mess factor- do you need to plan ahead and cover tables/floor etc?
- What inspires your child? this would be a good place to begin. Do they like super heros, unicorns, cars, fairies?
- Have you got an area in your home that you can use for the activity? This could be a patio area outside, a kitchen table, or just sitting on the sofa together.
- Use sites like www.craftgawker.com for fantastic craft ideas and tutorials.
Sites I regularly use
- whip up — handcraft in a hectic world
handcraft in a hectic world
- Mini eco
A craft blog which contains lots of DIY tutorials and templates
- The Artful Parent
Children's Art, Seasonal Crafts & Family Fun
family bits of peace, love and craftiness
- Smile And Wave
Vintage, home decor, and big messes.
- Knitting Crochet Sewing Crafts Patterns and Ideas! - the purl bee
- smART Class: Rainbow, Unicorn, Art Party
Crafting with toddlers
Generally toddlers prefer censorial activities such as painting, stamping, and playing with a range of materials from play-dough to water play. Think BIG when you are thinking of crafts for toddlers, and allow a lot of space. Don't be afraid of mess, if you are well organised and protect arty areas, this will reduce the stress, and make for a fun experience.
Don't be gender specific
As a former Nursery assistant, I can't tell you how many times I have heard parents say things like 'well he is a boy, and boys don't like art' or 'well crafts are better suited to girls' Don't be sucked into thinking that your son may not enjoy making a rag doll, or that your daughter wouldn't like to make a wooden boat. Allow your children to explore. All craft activities have value, and can assist greatly with captivating the imagination, encouraging self confidence, fine motor skills, and most importantly it speaks to the soul- Never underestimate the importance of art in your child's life
Don't Cheat, and Don't Force
I have worked with children in and out of educational environments, and it never ceases to amaze me how many parents expect perfection from their children's art work. I have seen countless pictures that have clearly been assisted by a parent or nursery teacher, to make the art piece appear more structured, or so it looks like it is 'supposed to look'. I have seen children being forced to sit down and make say an Easter card for their parents, and most of the sticking and writing has been done by the assistant. This has absolutley no value, and becomes a negative experience.
Don't force an activity on your child
A philosophy from the Waldorf Steiner schools, is that the teacher will sit at the table and begin a craft activity first, they quietly become engrossed in the craft omitting this peace and joy in what they are doing. Children who are curious, will join in with the activity, at which point the teacher will explain all that needs to be explained and will support the child to engage in the set activity,
Generally speaking, if you are an artistic person, and make things around your children; the chance are that your children will become naturally inquisitive about what you are doing, and will want to have a go. It is important that you set a good example of how joyful crafting can be to your child,
Items to stock and save for projects
It is a really good idea to have a cupboard, box or storage area dedicated to arts and crafts, then you can just delve in and find what you need, when you need it. Here are a few items that we save up regularly in our home.
- Toilet rolls
- glass bottles and lids
- a few juice/milk sized cartons
- selection of sticky tapes and masking tape
- pva glue, modge podge
- good selection of primary colour paints. Tempera, watercolour, and poster.
- string, yarn and twine
- carboard boxes and plastic lids
- craft scissors and craft knife ( adults only)
- Cartridge paper
- regular poster paper
- buttons, cotton reels
- Paint Brushes
- Roller sponges
- Butterfly clips
- White/blue tac
- stencils, and punches
- selection of fabrics
- natural materials such as shells and pine cone for printing
- coloured card stock
- sequins and glitter
Currently working on these projects below
- Molly Moo – a mums blog devoted to children's crafts & activities, all things handmade
Wonderful cardboard and paper mache pirate ship
- horses « ann wood
100 galloping cardboard horses