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!