Here are over 10 tips for crafting with kids that encourage exploration while understanding the importance of learning through play.
In my years of studying child psychology and development, I learned just how important hands-on, multi-sensory learning is for kids. Particularly for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Exploring the world and involving the senses creates lasting relationships with the material and information acquired.
Kids crafts often get a bad rap. In my opinion, this can be because the focus is on the end result, rather than the process. Crafting can be a wonderful way for children to engage with materials and information while creating a physical product. That doesn’t mean that the finished product should be the focus of the lesson.
Here are over 10 tips for crafting with kids that encourage learning and exploration.
Tips for Crafting with Kids
Crafting with kids can be a wonderful way to encourage creativity, develop fine motor skills, and spend quality time together. Here are some tips to make crafting with kids a fun and successful experience:
- Choose Age-Appropriate Projects: Select craft projects that are suitable for your child’s age and skill level. Younger kids may enjoy simpler projects with minimal steps, while older children can handle more complex crafts.
2. Prepare Materials in Advance: Gather all the necessary materials and tools before starting the craft. This includes supplies like glue, scissors, markers, paper, and any specific items needed for the chosen project. Having everything ready reduces frustration and keeps kids engaged.
3. Use Child-Safe Materials: Ensure that the crafting materials you use are safe for children. Check for non-toxic labels on art supplies, and avoid small items that could be choking hazards for younger kids. This will allow for more open-ended creativity while staying safe.
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4. Supervise, but Encourage Independence: Depending on the child’s age, you may need to provide more or less guidance. Younger children may require more assistance, while older kids can take on more responsibility. Encourage them to make choices and solve problems on their own.
5. Mess Management: Crafting can get messy, so protect your workspace with a tablecloth or disposable table cover. Keep wet wipes or a washbasin nearby for quick cleanups, and dress kids in old clothes or aprons to minimize staining. Having a system will make this a more pleasant experience for all.
Related: Messy Play Ideas for 1 Year Olds
6. Embrace Creativity: Allow children to express themselves freely in their crafts. Encourage them to choose colors, shapes, and designs that appeal to them. There’s no right or wrong way to be creative. Plus, finding out that blue plus yellow makes green is exciting every time!
7. Praise Effort, Not Perfection: Focus on the process of creating rather than the end result. Praise your child’s efforts and creativity, regardless of the final outcome. This fosters self-confidence and a love for art. Additionally, children will learn to celebrate their individuality.
Related: Marbled Hearts: Process Art for Kids
8. Teach Patience and Persistence: Crafting can be a great opportunity to teach patience and persistence. If a project doesn’t turn out as expected, encourage your child to try again or find a way to adapt it. Developing grit will be incredibly beneficial as your child grows.
9. Make It Educational through Fun: Incorporate learning into crafts by discussing colors, shapes, numbers, or themes related to the project. For example, when making animal crafts, talk about the animals’ habitats and behaviors. This is the beauty of crafts as a way to bring lesson content full circle.
10. Display and Celebrate Their Work: After completing a craft, display your child’s creations around the house or share them with family and friends. This validates their efforts and provides a sense of accomplishment.
11. Clean Up Together: Teach responsibility by involving your child in the cleanup process. Have them help organize and put away crafting supplies, reinforcing the importance of tidying up after activities.
12. Have Fun: Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the creative process together. Crafting should be a joyful and bonding experience for both you and your child. My daughter and I love to sit and craft together, it can be a great outlet for talking things out too!
Related: 16 Fall Crafts for 3 Year Olds
Crafting with kids can be a fantastic way to nurture their creativity and spend quality time together. It’s also an opportunity for them to develop essential skills while having a lot of fun. So, keep crafting and exploring through play with your children! Enjoy 🙂
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