Crafting with children is about more than making art projects to hang on the refrigerator. Arts and crafts encourage creative thinking; enhance fine motor coordination (handwriting, cutting patterns, drawing shapes, etc.); improve bilateral coordination (using both hands in tandem); boost self-esteem, and encourage self-discipline.
Arts and crafts are also great for coping with the fear, anxiousness, and behavioral issues that often stem from past abuse or various family issues. Family Law solicitors are there to help guide both parents and children through trying times such as these, and it’s recommended you find a solicitor who can connect you to helpful resources and support rather than trying to do it all yourself.
When crafting with children, it’s important to know from the get go that things will get messy. That’s just a fact. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to make a “pre mess” by covering everything in newspaper, butcher paper, old towels, or old bed sheets. Dollar store tablecloths are perfect as well. Basically, anything you don’t mind getting paint splattered, covered in glue, or bedazzled with glitter.
As far as clothes, make sure everyone involved is wearing something you don’t mind having to wash or, if worse comes to worse, becoming permanently stained. It’s a good rule of thumb to have a designated “crafting outfit” anyway. Not only will you not mind getting it messy, but the more paint splatters and stains it accumulates, the more it becomes a piece of artwork itself!
In addition to a designated craft outfit, a designated craft space is convenient if the craft needs to be set out to dry or isn’t finished in time for another activity. Also having a space dedicated to crafting can become an art project on its own when it comes to designing and decorating it. And crafting isn’t just for indoors; when the weather’s nice it’s extra fun to craft outside as well.
Unfortunately part of crafting is cleaning up. It helps to get your child engaged in keeping their craft area clean by turning clean up time into a game, using rewards for cleanliness, and instilling pride in keeping their area organized. Part of the fun of designing a craft space is in coming up with creative storage and organization options. If you involved the children in this step, they will take ownership of maintaining their art space.
Arts and crafts of course require some basic supplies, but you don’t need the latest or the newest or the fanciest to create fun projects. Crayons, pencils, paint, and paint brushes are must-haves.
Sometimes the more unusual the canvas, the more fun and creative the project is. Rocks, dressers, tables, old wooden chairs, fence boards, branches, chalkboards, pinecones, walls, sidewalks, cardboard, paper bags… anything can become a canvas if you use your imagination.
Leaves, flowers, grasses, magazine cutouts, paper scraps, photos, and whatever else you can scrounge can be used in collages.
Form a craft-swap club with other parents to encourage recycling of unwanted or unused supplies. Even better is when you get those parents and kids together so everyone can share and craft together.
Remember, it’s not about creating something “perfect,” it’s about having fun and learning. Happy crafting!
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