Top 10 Kids Crafting Tips
By: Stacey Gibbon
September 13, 2013
Hi everyone! My name is Stacey and I blog over at Glued To My Crafts. I've always been known as the crafty girl. Even in middle school, I would go all out with glitter and neon print letters on school projects. I like to think I was "born" to be crafty. So when my son came along nearly three years ago, I didn't want to give up the crafty side of me. Yes, I'm a mom and he's a boy but that doesn't mean I have to trade in my glue gun for race cars & mud. Instead I wanted to include him in the crafting process. Not just so I could get my crafting fix, but give him an artsy side too.
So that is how and why toddler friendly craft posts appear on my blog. Instead of just doing the stuff with my son, I hope to share the projects and inspire other mothers to do the same. You don't have to be a crafty person or spend a lot to get crafty with your child. If you have some imagination you are good to go. Plus with kids - they really don't care what the end result looks like. They will love the fact that you sat down and did the craft project with them in the first place.
Now if all that didn't motivate you or you are still on the fence about crafting with your child - here are 10 tips I have for crafting with children.
1. Keep all your craft projects simple. If there are too many steps, young children tend to lose interest if the task at hand is too complicated or long. Plus it will keep you sane too.
2. Have a designated area for craft time. We primarily do our crafts on the kitchen table. Because of the surface and area, I can easily clean up afterwards. This allows me to focus on the craft we are working on, rather on cleaning up or getting frustrated with my child because he gets messy. Having a designated area also sets the tone. If your child feels pressure from you because they can't get paint on the table, they probably won't cooperate. I also suggest to keep cleaning supplies or baby wipes in arms reach in your craft area.
3. Don't go overboard on the supplies. Like I mentioned you don't have to spend a ton to craft with your child. You also don't need the latest and greatest stuff. The only two things I really put my money into is good quality non-toxic paint and glue. The other supplies I either find from recycling stuff or making my own. Dollar stores are also good for supplies like paper plates, cups and lunch sacks. Plus with Pinterest you can look up how to make your own glitter, watercolors and playdough. Just making those items for future use, can be a fun craft project to do together.
4. Have your children wear appropriate clothes. This will save you heartache when they get their favorite shirt covered in paint. During the summer, my son and I did most of his crafts in just a diaper. Then when he got messy, I threw him in the bath later.
5. Finger paints are always fun. There are no rules to it and your child can let their imagination run wide. By far, that is my favorite activity to set up.
6. Don't have time limits. But when your child is done, they are done. Don't push or they will remember that next time. I have a very stubborn child so I know first hand when enough is enough. As your parent, you will too.
7. Try not to be a helicopter mom. Trust me, I struggle with this especially since I try to capture so many pictures for the blog. You just have to let them have fun and let them do it their way. If you control the situation too much, they lose interest real quick.
8. Participate! As a parent you don't have to sit back & just watch. Grab a crayon or paint brush and let that creativity go wild. If your child sees you enjoying yourself, they will too.
9. Praise your child and display their work proudly. Make them feel good for what they just did. This will encourage future participation, as well make them strive to do even better next time.
10. Most importantly - just have fun. If it's not fun, what is the point? There will be times that the craft won't go according to plan or what you had in mind. That's ok. It's the fact that you are trying and making memories together that matters. There are no right or wrong ways when it comes to crafting. If you and your child are happy - so be it.
I hope these ten tips help you when it comes to crafting with your child. You can check out my blog for tons of kid friendly crafts. All of which, I promise, aren't complicated and really easy to do. Hope to see you there!
Be sure to visit Glued To My Crafts for more projects and to learn more about Stacey Gibbon.