You might be asking yourself: Why should I craft with my kids? Shouldn’t I be encouraging more productive activities? How can I do crafts if I’m not creative? Art for kids can be intimidating, but we are here to help.
Crafts: What are the benefits?
Crafting and art is a gateway to endless fun in developing not only creative skills but also helping children strengthen their fine motor, math, and science skills while also learning to express themselves in more than ways than just verbally. By only letting your child count out a piece of cotton you are developing their math and logic skills, by allowing them to experiment with materials such as paint, glue, various types of paper you are allowing them to delve deep into science.
The simple act of letting a child hold and use a crayon, paintbrush, and pencil enable their hands to strengthen so they can be better equipped to write their name or unbutton and button their shirts. Every little part of a craft project helps their brains grow and develop.
The best part? You don’t have to be creative to come up with projects for your kids! The internet is a project idea hub for anyone just starting, all the way up to the professionals, and most ideas can be altered to fit best what you want!
Some websites allow parents to look up simple kid-friendly crafts they can perform with their child. The Art for Kids website keeps things simple by allowing parents to look up ideas for their kids based off either category, such as drawing, painting, origami, sculpting, cutouts and based off the holidays or seasons.
If you aren’t quite sure what you and your child want to do, you can search by age to find projects that best fit your child from age which is broken up as: under 5, 5 to 8, and 8+.
Everyone Can Be Crafty
Anyone willing to take the time to practice, and have fun has the ability to be crafty and creative. Creativity comes in endless forms meaning anyone can have the skills to express themselves. Teaching your child how to be crafty not only will allow you to bond with them, but it also opens doors that may never have opened for them had you not taken the time.
The simple act of drawing a picture together can let a child express their feelings when words were just never enough, it allows them to create gifts that are from the heart for their friends and families, and when crafts are needed for school they already have a leg up on the rest of their classmates making it significantly more manageable.
Crafting increases confidence and self-esteem by experiencing pride in creating something all their own. While crafting helps small children learn math, science, and fine-motor skills, that doesn’t mean that older kids can’t benefit from crafting just as much.
As kids get older, they need a way to express themselves just as much as their younger counterparts. Older children can still benefit from the confidence boost, the rise in self-esteem, as well as learning to be more culturally aware by working on projects that may be more common in other areas of the world.
Crafting also has been shown to improve academics in older children and encourage inventiveness when they are encouraged to express themselves and take risks with their crafts and artwork. Art can teach kids that risks can bring about reward, which allows them to be braver with their everyday lives.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Crafting can be as expensive or as cheap as you are willing to make it. Things that people generally see as trash (such as paper towel rolls, jars, egg cartons, popsicle sticks, and milk cartons) can be made into great projects for children and adults alike.
For example with a little work a milk carton can be made into a birdhouse, a toilet paper roll can be a pair of play binoculars and jars can be turned into candle holders with a little paint. Even a simple mixture of flour, water, and salt can be used as a weak paper glue in a pinch or to make an oven bake clay just by adding oil to the mix.
Most craft projects for children rely heavily on things that can be found around the house easily, and the things that can’t usually be found in the home can be found at places such as Dollar Tree or Walmart inexpensively. What can be made with things you find in your home is only limited by your imaginations or what you can find on the internet, with crafts the saying ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ really does ring true.
Ideas for Crafts!
As mentioned before a mixture of flour, water, salt, and oil can be used to make an oven-baked clay that you and your child can turn into pretty much anything. The clay recipe is as follows:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- ¾ cup to 1 cup of water
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Mix all the ingredients until you have a ball of dough. Use your fingers, popsicle sticks, and cookie cutters to make any shape you want then place in the oven at 250* f for about one hour. The time will vary depending on how thick your piece of art is.
This project is great for making homemade ornaments, forever memorialize your child’s handprint, make small knick-knacks for holiday gifts.
Broken Crayons? Perfect! Peel the crayons of all the paper and use a hot glue gun to glue them to the top of a piece of construction paper in any color pattern you and your child like. Use a blow dryer on low heat and start melting the crayons to create a rainbow rain effect on the paper. If you want to get creative, use painters tape to make patterns on the paper that can be peeled off after the crayon has dried.
Letting your kids experiment with art is not only good for them, it can give you a much needed break. You will have 20 minutes, maybe even an hour with entertained kids! Plus, they aren’t plopped down in front of a screen. Have some fun with your kids and experiment with art today!