An afternoon tidying the closet leads to the re-discovery of a box of cards made by my kids and brings back memories of many hours spent crafting with them.
Crafting is a great way of spending quality time with your kids and provides opportunities for developing:
- Fine motor skills
- using the small muscles in the hands and fingers to e.g. cut with scissors, use pencils
- Communication and language skills
- e.g. following instructions, listening skills, developing vocabulary
- Social skills
- e.g. sharing and turn-taking, waiting, helping to tidy up
- self-expression, exploration and problem-solving
And who knows, it may even inspire them to be the next Van Gogh or Banksy!
Try to resist the temptation to make their art "better". Let them know that their work is valued and that they are creative. Crafting provides your kid with opportunities for self-expression, exploring different materials and problem-solving.
Your child will be more likely to develop intrinsic motivation if you help them to focus on the processes and experiences of crafting rather than the finished product.
- Work alongside your kids, model ways of doing things.
- Celebrate each others creations.
- Talk about their work with them; "Tell me about what your picture." "Why did you use this colour?" "I really like that bit, how did you do it?"
Some kids, and adults, may experience tactile sensory issues working with some materials (my son hates touching cotton wool and I dislike the feel of clay) but let them know that it is okay. Continue to provide opportunities to access the trigger materials but do not make them use them. If tactile sensory issues become a concern, then seek professional advice.
Creativity is messy so be prepared!
- Wear aprons and cover surfaces with newspaper or reusable plastic cloths to minimize the mess
- Expect your kids to help tidy up.Tidying up is a life skill that everyone needs to learn.
Anyone can craft, you do not have to know what you want to make. It does not have to be expensive. Recycle and reuse gift wrap and paper, cards, cardboard tubes and boxes. Add a little glue or paint and let your imagination go.
If you need a reason to craft, encourage your kids to make personalized birthday and occasion cards for family, friends and teachers. These cards will be treasured!
Have fun crafting and build memories with your kids!