Crafts with Kids

  1. Through crafts, families can bind closer together, creating their own rituals and making time for sharing.
  2. Crafting with your child teaches more than how to do a craft. It teaches lessons about living and life skills, plus it gives you a chance to show love and appreciation for who your child is.
  3. If you're working with a younger child, take a moment to walk around the house and point out all the different types of paper and paper products you both can find. Look at this paper as possible crafts material as well. You can talk about such things as shapes, thickness, form texture, color, and other characteristics. Consider a field trip to a large paper store to further expand the child's appreciation of the variety available. If you live in a community where there's a paper mill, arrange a visit for an older child.
  4. Be sure to teach children how to handle scissors. I don't need to point out their dangers, but when approached with good sense and respect, even a young child can use them. Of course, you'll want to use duller, blunt children's scissors when you're working with a very young child, but when a child's motor skills reach a certain level, you can train him or her to safely work with fairly sharp instruments.
  5. Teach your child to be careful when carrying tools. She should always hold the sharp edges or points downward and away from her body. When handing a tool to another person, hand it to him handle first.
  6. If you're woodworking with children of various ages, you may want to let the younger children do some of the finishing work after the piece has been carved, since this is something they can do without getting injured.
  7. Children should be supervised while using an oven. Make sure they understand that surfaces are hot and teach them to use oven mitts to put pans in and take them out. Don't forget to remind them to turn the oven off when they're done.
  8. Making lanyards is a craft that's adaptable to children of most ages and highly portable.
  9. It's a good idea for you and your child to wear plastic gloves when using etching creams. Keep these products out of children's reach when not using them together.
  10. Smaller children (five and under) can help measure and add ingredients and have the stamina to stir ingredients until they're blended (if the ingredients aren't too stiff). Kids in the six- to 10-year-old range tend to like to create their own favorite dishes. Feel out your child's culinary interests and explore kitchen activities that best suit their abilities and enthusiasms.
  11. Working with scents is a great time to broaden your child's vocabulary and talk about how the sense of smell affects our feelings. Buy a varied selection of essential oils and play a game in which you and your child take turns being blindfolded, identifying scents, and describing how they smell and how they make you feel. To broaden the experience, take a field trip to a store that sells herbs, health-food store, herb farm, or botanical garden.
  12. Glue guns are great for wreath making and lots of other crafts, but they get very hot and are not suitable for use by most children. Stick to wiring, which is something even younger children can learn to do effectively.
  13. Knowing how to make simple toys can keep kids busy making them, as well as occupy them for hours once the toys are completed.
  14. Children, with some adult help, can make simple wind instruments, starting with a whistle and working up to flute. One of the best homemade flutes comes from plastic pipe.
  15. Clean and collect a week's worth of items that you'd normally throw away and challenge your children to think of ways you could use the items in crafting.

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