Arts and crafts projects can keep kids busy on rainy days, during car trips and while you’re making dinner and can also serve as a family-time activity. Whether you’re making collages or painting a picture of your last vacation, arts and crafts projects can engage children and encourage them to use their imaginations.
Benefits of Art Projects
Arts and crafts activities are more than just a way to occupy your child’s curious mind. Children who engage in art activities reap many rewards that can help them develop creatively, emotionally and intellectually. According to the New York Center for Arts Education, children learn to think with an open mind, develop multiple points of view, show their emotions without words, express creativity, improve problem-solving skills and develop an appreciation for other cultures. Art has also been long celebrated as a way to help kids boost their self-esteem and self-confidence.
Consider Creating a Bin for Art Supplies
Many arts and crafts activities use similar supplies, so you can purchase a storage bin to hold basic supplies for your kids’ projects. Supplies such as pipe cleaners, construction paper, paintbrushes, paint, glue, crayons, colored pencils, markers, child-safety scissors, rulers, stencils, pompoms, craft sticks, old newspapers and magazines–as well as glitter, clay and stickers–can be included.
Set aside 30 minutes to an hour a day for arts and crafts activities with your kids. The activity can be as simple as coloring a picture or making a thank-you card for a friend or as complex as creating a decorative tissue box holder or dream catcher.
Arts and Crafts Project Ideas
There are a variety of arts and crafts projects to suit children of different ages and interests. Kids can create instruments using beans, rice and empty storage containers; they can use paint to create self-portraits and hand prints or for finger-painting; and they can use clay to craft decorative bowls.
Use old magazines and newspapers to help your child create a collage. Pick a topic such as emotions or favorite things, and have your child cut out pictures to glue on poster board. If it’s time for a family reunion or family gathering, get reprints of family photographs and let your child create a family collage.
Although arts and crafts activities are generally safe your kids, there are safety precautions that can help you protect your child while he’s being creative. Teaching your child not to consume art supplies and ensuring that your arts and crafts area is well-ventilated, especially if children are using paint, are essential to maintain a safe environment.
Supplies such as scissors pose a safety hazard, so make sure that you have child-safety scissors. Teach your child the proper way to cut and hold scissors and the safest way to transport them from their play bin to the arts and crafts table. Monitor usage to avoid injuries. Paper cuts are inevitable; when your child gets one rinse his hand with water, pat it dry with a clean towel and then place a bandage on it to protect it and keep it away from germs.
- craft a card! image by Shirley Hirst from Fotolia.com