One of the joys of having kids is the chance to share your passions with them. That can be a simple matter of a parent buying their child a miniature football kit (to get them "on the right side" early on). It could be playing your favourite music around the house while they're still young in the hopes that they'll become a fan, too. Or it can be something more participatory, like sharing your passion for crafting with them.
It's not something you can do immediately, of course. Before the age of about three or four, skilled crafts is not something they'll be able to truly grasp. But as they get older, and particularly when they're ready to go to school, it can be good for them. As they're learning about colours and shapes, crafting can work for them for a number of reasons.
Reason 1 - It's A Chance For Some Special Bonding Time
When your kids are younger, you'll spend most of your time together anyway. Then, when the time comes for them to start pre-school or school that quality time happens less. You'll miss them, and they'll miss you, so crafting is a chance to sit down with them and hear about what they do at school.
Reason 2 - You Can Make Things For Their Room
From a relatively young age, children always want a way to make their mark on the world. Let's face it, the moment they know how to write their name, they'll write it on anything! (As any mother who has ever had to wipe felt tip pen off their wallpaper will know!). As you get them into crafting, you can start to make things for their room.
Kids are very visual - most rooms will feature posters of their favourite animals, characters and footballers. Not only do these look good, but studies have shown that visual stimulation is important for their growing brain. You can add an extra dimension to this by having them make the items they will ultimately display.
An easy way to introduce them to crafts is to make a wall hanging with them. Ask them what they want on it. Help them by cutting out pictures and by handling the hot glue sticks for a glue gun, so there’s no accidents that could put them off in future. Then give the hanging pride of place above their bed. You could also make a personalised sign for their door.
Reason 3 - It Brings Shy Kids Out Of Their Shells
Crafting isn't just a fun way to spend a few hours; it can really help kids! Studies show that for children who have difficulty in social situations, crafting can help them become more outgoing.
Just by giving them a piece of paper and some crayons you can unleash their creative side. It can then become a conversation starter. Ask them questions like "What are you drawing?" and "Do you like [whatever they have drawn]?". If you show an interest in what they do, it will boost their confidence.
Reason 4 - There Are So Many Ways To Do It
If your kids don't show a passion or a talent for drawing, they may be more interested in sewing or applique. Depending on their age, they might find baking and decorating cakes more interesting than other forms of craft. The important thing is that you give them all the space they need to find their own style - and are there to help when needed.
What crafts do you enjoy with your little ones? In the Bishop household we are a big fan of baking (naturally!), making sticker collages and building models out of Play-Doh.
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