Spend time bonding with your child by creating arts and crafts projects with her. Crafting will help your children grow creatively and will boost their self-esteem, especially when they see others using the things they have made. Not all the arts and craft projects you and your child make need to be useful. Have fun simply coloring or making paper cut-outs on a rainy or snowy day.
Stock Up on Craft Supplies
Set aside an area in a child’s bedroom or play space for crafts. Give him a small work desk or table. Keep the table to clear so that it is ready for him to use at all times. Fill a storage unit or chest of drawers with basic crafting supplies, such as paper, markers, non-toxic paints and glue, tape and various crafting knick-knicks such as Popsicle sticks, pom-poms and felt. Keep an old shower curtain nearby to use a drop cloth.
Simple Arts and Crafts
Crafts projects do not have to be time-consuming and elaborate. Give your child a blank sketch pad or a new coloring book and have him draw and color pictures. Cover the work area with a drop cloth or newspaper and let the child make figures and shapes with clay. You can use an oven-bake clay or modeling clay, such as Play-Doh. Other simple craft projects include making collages by cutting pictures from old magazines, finger painting and watercolors.
A child will enjoy making crafts she can wear, such as necklaces, hats and shirts. She can also give wearable crafts to friends and family members as holiday and birthday presents. You can purchase kits to tie-dye T-shirts or to adorn clothing with sparkling gems and sequins. Decorate inexpensive, solid color T-shirts and baseball caps with puff paint. If the child is older, you can teach her how to embroider or cross stitch and adorn clothing with her needlework.
Make Useful Objects
You and your child can make items to use around the house or to give as gifts to relatives. Cut up empty paper towel rolls and cover them with fabric or felt to make napkin rings. Jazz up plain napkins or tablecloths with fabric paint, needlework or bead work. Buy a plain wooden birdhouse, paint it and hang it on a tree in the yard. You can also paint small terra cotta plant pots and plant either herbs or flowers in them.
Teach Children About the World
Use craft time to teach children about other cultures and history. Make different kinds of puppets with your child, such as shadow puppets from Java or marionettes from Italy, and put on a puppet show. If you have time, try to find and make a different craft project from around the world each week. Teach children about history by depicting important historical scenes in dioramas using shoe boxes, paper cut-outs and clay.
- craft a card! image by Shirley Hirst from Fotolia.com