The kids are back at school, the house is quiet and I am feeling nostalgic. I should be studying but right now tidying the closet is a better option. The discovery of a box of homemade cards brings back memories of hours spent crafting with the kids.
Crafting is a great way of spending quality time with your kids and provides opportunities for developing a child’s communication, language, social and fine motors skills. It allows them to be creative and imaginative and who knows, may inspire them to be the next Van Gogh or Banksy!
And yes it’s tempting to add something to their art to make it “look better” but resist the temptation. Let them know that their work is valued and that they are creative. Work alongside them, model ways of doing things and celebrate each others creations.
If you need a reason to craft, try making birthday and occasion cards for family, friends and teachers. I encouraged, no made, my kids do this, just as I had to do as a child. My daughter is now 16, still makes cards for our family.
The cards are personalized and I know treasured. My Gran’ scrapbooked all the cards my children ever made for her and I have inherited this piece of family history. For me, the best gift I ever received in my teaching career, was a framed portrait. It was of me as their class teacher, complete in my flowery skirt and Doc Martens.
Some kids may experience tactile sensory issues working with some materials (for my son it’s cotton wool and for me it’s clay) but let them know that it’s okay. Continue to provide opportunities to access the trigger materials but don’t make them use them. If tactile sensory issues become a concern then seek professional advice.
Creativity is messy so be prepared!
Wear aprons and cover surfaces with newspaper or wipeable plastic cloth to minimize the mess and expect your kids to help tidy up. After all, tidying up is a life skill everyone needs to learn.
Anyone can craft, you don’t have to know what you want to make and crafting doesn’t have to be expensive. Recycle and reuse gift wrap and paper, cards, cardboard tubes and boxes, which are all great resources. Add a little glue or paint and let your imagination go.
Have fun and build memories with your kids!