A lot of parents are worried about stifling their child’s creativity when they are learning about the world around them. Nurturing an environment in which they can express themselves is crucial to their development. Some may be encouraged to learn a musical instrument or take up a sport. If you’re looking for something a little closer to home, setting up an arts and crafts room could be the perfect way to get the creative juices flowing. Gently encouraging your children to make things not only gets their brain working. It also teaches them vital hands-on skills that will see them in good stead later in life.
Choose a location – It’s great if you have a spare room going. With a small investment, it could be transformed into a fun place in which your child feels safe. It’s best to consider the room’s surroundings. You want somewhere quiet and without distractions so that they’ll be able to focus on their experiments. Also, consider the possibility of things getting messy. You want to keep everything together, so when the time comes to tidy up it won’t be too much of a challenge. If you don’t have a spare room available, try converting a corner of your child’s bedroom. This will create a safe and familiar place for them to get creative and allows them to feel like they are in control.
Materials – Of course, you’ll need to keep supplies well stocked at all times. But you also need to be careful about protecting your kids. Use your common sense and don’t let small children play with sharp objects. Be vigilant. Stock up on things like safety scissors, coloured paper and fabric, Tecbond glue sticks and a range of pens and pencils. Think about decorative things like glitter and pins. Keep things eco-friendly by using recycled materials. Think of old clothing and curtains as a great way to make use of unwanted textiles. If you have a fabric die cutting machine or any other technology, ensure they are switched off when not in use and any blades are put away securely. Remember never to leave a child unsupervised and help them with the things that might pose a risk of injury. Always keep hazardous materials stored away out of reach.
Get ideas – Once you’re all set up, it’s time to find activities to participate in. There are great examples of crafts on children’s TV shows. Some are dedicated to it entirely. Watching along and following the instructions is a great way to spend time together and helps your child learn observation skills. Visit your local library and stock up on books that are filled with family craft ideas. If you look hard enough, there are even a lot of blogs and websites dedicated to children’s crafts online. You can find specific themes depending on the time of year, and with Halloween right around the corner it’s a great time to get your hands dirty.
Feel free to share your ideas and creations with us below. We’d love to hear from you. Or if you’re struggling for inspiration, here are two fun examples we came up with ourselves to get you started.