Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Keep the Fun in Arts and Crafts for Kids

By Carol M. Edwards

Kids love arts and crafts projects until they are no longer fun. What could possibly turn a joyful, creative session sour? Unfortunately, it is adults. Unlike adults, children are less likely to conform to rules, feel the need to organize the process, work in linear courses or "do things" like an adult may choose to do them. In a child's world, a horse can be purple, it is okay that paint is messy and anything they make is a work of art. If you can get on board with this then you and your child will have positive arts and crafts experiences. To assist in the process, use the following guidelines.

Lose the rigid boundaries. Some adults have a difficult time relinquishing control over the process and set constraints that stifle a child's creative process. Learn to let go.

Let them make a mess. A drop of glue, splash of paint, or spilled piece of glitter can send some people over the edge. Plan for the mess. Place plastic on the table and floors and old clothes on the kids. Go with the flow.

Respect the child's pace. Some kids slap on paint with wild abandon, while others putter and work diligently. Respect their technique.

Positive comments only. You can dislike a child's artwork but you don't have to say that out loud or lie. Negative comments are destructive to a child's self-esteem and creative process. Keep them to yourself. Instead you could say something like, "I really like how you used that color" or "I love the shape." A simple "nice" could suffice.

Let the child do it. Kids learn through doing. No matter how clumsy or uncoordinated their efforts are, they are mastering the skill through their struggle. If you have to assist the child, try a hand-over-hand approach.

Understand kids can have very short attention spans. Developmentally, attention span increases with age and is individual to each child. Let the child decide when their creation is finished. Forcing a child to continue when they are ready to quit creates a power struggle.

Join in and make your own crafts. Creating with your child is a great way to spend time together. Don't worry about your lack of ability. Just have fun.

Ask the child what they like about their creation. It is important that children learn to recognize their strengths and accept who they are. Children who are self-critical tend to be negative and less happy.

Interact and talk during craft time. While this is not the time to get into heavy conversation, you can ask questions about what the child is creating and how they will proceed. Follow the lead of the child.

If asked for suggestions, turn it back to the child. Because kids look to adults for approval, they may ask adults to make decisions for them. Answering these questions indicates to the child that their choices are not important or correct. Here is a list of possible questions a child may ask and possible answers:

Q: "What should I make?"

A: "I am wondering the same thing. What were you thinking of making?" "When you look at all of this craft stuff, what do you want to pick up the most?"

Q: "What color should I use?"

A: "What color would you choose if I asked you the same question?" "Which color is your favorite?"

"Close your eyes and pick a color."

Q: "Which one do you like better?"

A: "Tell me which one you like better." "I am not sure. What do you think?"

Arts and crafts should be relaxing and enjoyable for kids as well as adults. Forgoing rigid boundaries and letting the creativity and imagination of the child guide the process will create memorable moments for both children and adults.

Carol M. Edwards is the creator of the popular website Kids Crafty Creations, a resource for easy and inexpensive kids crafts projects, games and activities. In addition, you will find various articles on the importance of arts and crafts and play for child development. Visit at http://www.kidscraftycreations.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Carol_M._Edwards


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to Make Amazing Crafts with Kids

By Mary Amos

Arts & crafts with kids!

There are countless reasons why it is a great idea to do arts and crafts with your kids. For one, working on arts & crafts helps to hone children's creativity. Arts and crafts can also help promote teamwork and sharing, as well as offering the perfect opportunity to bond and find new common interests. Arts and crafts also allow kids to openly express themselves, even at very young ages. Nonetheless, despite all these positives, the best reason for getting your kids involved in arts and crafts is that it is fun! If you are panicking that you will not know how to guide your child through their first craft, there is no need to worry; there are plenty of arts and crafts ideas for all ages from pre-schoolers up through teenage artists.

Best practices for doing arts & crafts with kids

1. Don't ask "What is it?" when you are befuddled as to the identity of your kid's final creation. Just ask your kid to tell you more about their art or craft, and let them explain how they see their creation.

2. There will be a mess. There is nothing you can do about it. As soon as you make that realization, the whole experience will be far more enjoyable. Indeed, sometimes it is even important to make a mess. Take that knowledge to plan ahead. Get a large clear workspace for your kids, and give them the opportunity to be creative without having to worry about getting paint on your new Persian rug

2. Making arts and crafts is supposed to be about using your imagination. For this reason, try not to show your kids a completed craft as an example. Instead, let your kids learn to interpret the instructions as they wish in order to truly be creative. This will also give your kids a good lesson on the best ways to follow and adapt instructions.

4. Making arts and crafts requires a lot of focus. For this reason, it is best to get your kids to calm down a bit before placing them in front of glue and scissors.

Basic supplies for making arts & crafts with kids

Just like your kitchen pantry, a kid's craft drawer should have a few staples. While you may need something more specific for special crafts, for the most part you will be able to get by with the following list: kid-friendly paint, scissors, crayons, etc. It's also a good idea to keep a drawer stocked with construction paper, beads, glitter, paint brushes, glue sticks, and the ever popular "wiggly eyes."

The education benefit of arts & crafts

Arts and crafts can be used to apply hands-on learning to any subject. Using crafts this way helps kids think more in-depth about the subject of their artwork or craft projects. Virtually any subject matter can be taught using arts & crafts with a little creativity. For instance, if you are learning about world geography, you could have the kids make a tissue paper globe.

Learn about holidays, history, and any other topic your kids should study. Even math can be enriched through arts and crafts. Remember that school isn't the only place kids should be learning; your kids will be much more willing and excited to learn if you make learning fun with interactive arts and crafts projects.

Some ideas for kids' arts & crafts

Kids' arts and crafts can be quick and simple to keep the attention of on-the-go toddlers. They can also be sophisticated and complex for older kids who are up to a challenge. To get an idea of the scope of arts and crafts projects out there, take a trip to your local arts and crafts store or teacher's supply shop. These stores will have pre-designed craft kits, including jewelry art, painting kits, and other craft ideas. Each kit will come with instructions and all of the materials you require.

Another good idea, once you have gained some experience, is to walk arts and craft stores to shop for kids' art ideas. Here are some ideas: try straw painting, where kids can create arts and crafts by blowing paint through a straw onto a poster board or construction paper; or let your kids dip marbles in paint and roll them across the painting surface for a messy (but fun!) painting project. If you are looking for something a bit less messy then try pipe cleaner art. This is a great craft because kids of all ages can join in. Young children can use their imaginations to create simple objects out of pipe cleaners. Older kids may enjoy incorporating other supplies such as beads into pipe cleaner art.

Mary Amos loves arts and crafts and has been creating amazing projects for kids and families for years. See her exciting new ideas at Arts and Crafts with Kids, and be sure to visit Arts and Crafts for more fun projects!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mary_Amos


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stock Up on Dollar Store Arts and Crafts Now

By Bob Hamilton

Dollar store arts and crafts are always in demand. Whether you are looking for a special gift or just a great way to spend a rainy afternoon with the kids, your local dollar store offers just about anything you would need to pass the time away. From poster board to coloring books and crayons, there is a huge assortment of items to keep both you and the kids happy. In this article I present some of the many dollar store arts and crafts items available at your local dollar store.

* Here you will find scrapbooking supplies of every type. What better way to pass the hours than to work with your youngsters on a new scrapbooking project.

* Poster board, drawing tablets, and paper of all types can generally be found. The young artist or painter can spend hours drawing, painting and just doodling.

* For those who prefer you can grab an assortment of coloring books. Pick all your child's favorite cartoons, characters or themes. Your child will be thrilled to display the finished product as page after page is colorfully completed.

* Assemble an assortment of color crayons, colored pencils, pens and paints while at your local dollar store. Don't forget the adhesive tape and other required supplies. You will have an arts and crafts kit to handle almost any project your children can imagine.

* For the child who loves to work with their hands, consider modeling clay. Modeling clay not only provides a completely different activity, but it works as a great way to break up the activities your children have before them.

* Craft kits are another great way to spend the hours of a cold or rainy day. The great news; most include all the materials and they also include directions. Just follow the directions to a craft masterpiece!

* Puzzles are fun for children of all ages. Young and old will spend hours focused on being the one who finds that last puzzle piece and places in its rightful location.

* Photo albums are another way to spend time with your children working at your side. Sort those photos and start placing them in the right albums. Your kids will enjoy reliving some of the moments. They will also enjoy seeing pictures of friends and relatives who they rarely get to see in person.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Whether it is dollar store arts and crafts, board games, playing cards or even toys, a trip to your local dollar store might be the perfect way to start an exciting afternoon or evening with your children.

Are you interested in starting a dollar store? Visit http://www.openingadollarstore.com for more information.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bob_Hamilton