crafting with kids
Crafting creates a perfect opportunity for parents and kids
to have fun together. However, many of us can attest to the fact that
when things go bad the results can be disastrous (and v messy!). Here
are some tips to help keep your crafting sessions, and little
craftsters, from turning to the dark side.
You tell your two year old that it's time to do some craft. "OK", you
announce, "we're going to stick pictures of animals onto this piece of
cardboard and make a poster." Your excited child begins to jump up and
down with glee and waits while you search for some
magazines cut out some suitable pictures. Within three minutes the
situation begins to deteriorate rapidly. Your cutting has become
frantic and maniacal and you child is seconds away from rampaging
through the house with a glue stick. Sound familiar?
It's boring and practical but like the boy scouts say: be
prepared. Use nap time or quiet time or night time to get yourself
ready. Work our what you're going to do, make sure you have what you
need and then set things up so that they're ready to go. Your little
one will probably want to get straight into it as soon as the activity
Don't start a craft activity unless you are going to be present,
physically and mentally, to see it through to the end.
When you're busy
it can be very tempting to use craft as a way to keep your child
occupied while you do something else. It's worth keeping in mind that
young kids need help with even the simplest of craft projects, so if
you have something important that you need to do you might want to
consider an alternative distraction.
Try not to be
too outcome oriented
Every time we attend kids craft sessions at our local library I am
amazed at the sea of parents busily colouring-in for their children,
whisking away the scissors so that they can make sure the lines are cut
straight or simply not letting their child participate in the crafting
As a parent it can be hard to let go of the idea of 'doing it right'
but when you're crafting with very young children it it worthwhile
remembering that it's the doing, not the outcome, that
By all means, get involved. Crafting with your kids is fun and
rewarding. Just resist the temptation to do the work for them. Instead,
give your child the oppotunity to learn from their mistakes.
plenty of praise and support
Make sure that your little one gets praise and encouragement for
completing an activity, even if it looks pretty dreadful. Compliment
your little one on the things that they did well and make sure that you
give them the chance to show their work to friends and family.
Consider setting up a craft shelf in your home where your child can
exhibit the 'latest works' from their growing 'collection'.
When you're crafting with your kids, don't feel compelled to follow
instructions to the letter. Allow yourself to be creative and if a
different idea strikes, let yourself go there. If may not work but by
the same token it just might turn out to be the most brilliant idea
you've ever had.
Remember that fun is what it's all about. Not doing it right, or doing
it independently, creatively, quickly, neatly or even getting it done
at all! Whenever I find myself taking things a bit too seriously I find
that it helps to deliberately make a big goofy mistake and having a
good chuckle about it with the kids.
Good luck and happy crafting!
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