Some kids love crafting. They love using their imagination and creating something out of their thoughts and feelings. It’s enjoyable, and it can be done with all different kinds of materials, and you never quite run out of ideas.
Even when you get a bit of ‘artist’s block’, there’s always something you can do, draw, or make to work it out! All in all, crafting is a great hobby and a super skill to have under your belt.
But if your child shies away from using their creativity, it might worry you a little. You might be concerned about the development of their imagination, or how they feel about expressing themself.
That’s why it’s a good idea to encourage their use of crafts. Not only can it be a lot of fun, but it’s also very healthy for kids to get into. And as their parent, you can bond with them over a love of drawing, painting, sewing, and making.
The world is your crafting station! This is one of the most important things to show a child when it comes to expressing their imagination. You can craft at any time wherever you’re going, including outdoors in the woods, on the train as you travel, down at the beach, and of course, inside your own home.
All you need is a sketchbook, some crayons, or a camera in your bag. These are easy to carry thanks to the small sizes they come in, and you can keep them in your bag so you never forget to pack them.
Go on Regular Museum Walkthroughs
Museums are great places for inspiring the imagination. Take your kids round one on a regular basis, such as twice a month. Not only will this help them to get a love of the world around them, including learning about people who have come before, but it’ll show them just what’s possible when they put their creative mind to it.
Encourage them to ask questions about what they see as you go around, if you don’t know the answer, tell them to go find out and bring the information back to you.
Create Messy Magazine Collages
This is a very easy and very fun way to be creative. Dig out a couple of old magazines, give your kids a pair of scissors, some glue, and some paper or canvas to stick onto, and then let them create a collage out of anything.
Encourage them to cut out people, places, items, foods, and anything they think looks cool and interesting. A good collage always has that mish-mash of colors and textures, even if there’s no theme, so let them make an outlandish landscape if they want!
Demonstrate Your Own Skills
If your kids see you doing it, they’re going to want to try it out too! So dig out the sewing and embroidery machine you’ve got in the attic, or set up your easel and painter’s palette in full view of them and try out an activity.
If they come up to ask what you’re doing, great! You can then set up a little crafting station for them too and take part in it together. If they don’t, you still ‘model’ the behavior for them. It’s important either way; they’ll know being creative is a normal part of family life, and even if they don’t ask what you’re up to today, you can ask them if they want to have a go.
Lend Them a Camera
A small camera they won’t have much chance of breaking, or a disposable camera you’ll be able to get developed later on. Then encourage them to snap as many pictures as they like while you’re out and about.
Kids tend to have a very different view of the world to adults, simply because we’re much taller than they are, so it’ll be interesting for you to go through the photos when you’re home again. You get to see from their perspective, ask about why they wanted to photograph certain scenes, and then print a few out to hang up around the house.
Get in the Kitchen
Cooking and baking are creative pursuits – they just don’t quite feel like them seeing as we have to eat to live! And even for the least imaginative child, getting into the kitchen to make something delicious is going to appeal.
Cakes and cookies, brownies and biscuits, as well as a three course meal they’ve helped prepare – these are all exciting prospects that take a lot of thinking to accomplish. Even if they need a firm guiding hand when helping out, they’ll have a lot of enthusiasm for cleaning the bowl once you’re finished with it!
Ask Them How Crafting Makes Them Feel
If you’ve noticed your child doesn’t really get along with a lot of creative hobbies, or they prefer to be outside or using a video game console instead, ask them why. Get them to speak up about the way they feel about drawing and coloring, or using clay or sewing.
What do they enjoy about it? What do they feel is a bit boring about it? And is there anything you could do to make it more ‘accessible’ for them? They might not understand what that word means, but if you simply ask them how you could make these activities more fun for them, they’ll certainly understand.
Buy Them a Little Sketchbook
We mentioned this earlier, but if your child has a little sketchbook to take with them everywhere, they’re going to really get into the habit of using it. No matter what they draw in it, as long as they’re using it, they’re going to be far more inclined towards creative hobbies. Let them have a little multi-purpose crafting kit as well if they’d like one, filled with everything they could need.
Hang Up Their Work
It’s great to see your work hung up around the house when you’re a kid. Knowing your parents like what you make and are proud enough of it to display it so prominently? That’s incredibly empowering!
And when you see something you’ve made on the wall, you’re going to want to make more, simply because you know people like it, and are supportive of it. No matter what your child has made, even just putting it on the fridge with a few magnets is going to let them know you love the things they create.
See if There are Art Classes in Your Area
Art classes for families are a great way to both learn and have fun. If you want to spend time with your kids doing something creative, why not sign up to one in your area? You should be able to find one not too far from you, as art is one of the easiest creative pursuits known to man.
But if you can’t, you can always run an unofficial one of your own. Let your kids invite a couple friends round and lay out a creative activity to do altogether. Make sure it’s fun, hand out some sweet treats, and let them go wild with the materials you’ve provided.
Your child has a wealth of inner creativity. Plus, when you’re a kid, your imagination is stronger than ever! So make sure they’ve got plenty of outlets to make use of. From taking them round museums and art galleries to simply buying them a sketchbook for their birthday, make art and expression a normal part of their life.