Crafting is not only a great way to encourage creativity, but it is also an activity which the entire family can participate in. Crafts come in all shapes and sizes, but some have more appeal to children within a wide range of ages than others. Here are some tips and tricks to keep the entire family’s creative juices flowing through crafting.
1. Focus on experimenting
When kids of various ages participate in crafts and art projects together feelings of jealousy can sometimes be stirred. Older kids may have had more practice mastering certain skill-sets than younger kids, and some children are innately more artistically inclined than others.
Instead of focusing on the end results of crafts and projects, encourage your kids to enjoy the experimentation and have fun with the act of creation. Try to offer lots of different materials that are safe for children of all ages. By giving kids variety they are less likely to judge one another’s works as “better” or “worse,” and more inclined to recognize and appreciate the fact that each child’s project is simply different!
2. Make crafting a group effort
Instead of having each individual child create their own personal project, why not try a single project that each child can lend their skills to? By engaging in crafts that allow all the children to participate in one way or another, an element of competitiveness is removed from the pastime. This also helps to keep all the kids busy. No one child will finish ahead of the rest if the project requires everyone’s participation!
Let each child choose the element they would like to work on in a group craft. The end result will, in turn, show off everyone’s hard work. If each child’s contribution was important to the final result they will all be able to enjoy the outcome.
3. Help, but not too much
Sometimes it becomes apparent that one kid’s craft is turning into a catastrophe. To prevent the possibility of a melt-down over a less than well put together project, offer a little assistance or guidance. By helping just enough to get the project back on track, but not so much that the craft is no longer the child’s handiwork, you can keep the peace for all parties involved.
4. Select appropriate materials
Art supplies like crayons, chalk, washable markers, non-toxic clays, and construction paper are good examples of materials that work well for children of all ages. While a toddler scribble scrabbles on construction paper, a school age child can draw a picture or create an elaborate collage with these products.
Avoid any project that uses products that are toxic, small parts, or that has a recommended minimum age above any of the participants’. Stick to projects that involve tried and true materials that kids begin playing with at a young age and continue to enjoy for years.
With a little forethought the entire family can enjoy the creative and entertaining act of creating crafts together. Whether it is simply a way to occupy the family on a rainy day, or a weekly creativity boosting routing, crafting is fun for kids of all ages and adults too!