Crafty learning

Child working on colourful art project
Early years 2-5 years

Kids love to build and make things that express their creativity and imaginary worlds. Crafting helps little ones to develop their fine motor skills and teaches them how to be resourceful.

What you need

With paper or cardboard, a bit of sticky tape or glue, scissors (for kids), some paint or crayons and you have all you need for some crafty fun for your little one! Anything you have around the house that is colourful (like ribbons and wrapping paper) or objects of different shapes and sizes (like leaves or cotton balls) can be used for craft projects. Pop all the things you can gather together into a box, and you’ve got yourself a craft box you can pull out whenever your little one gets the urge to be creative!

Recycling for craft materials

Before you put anything in the bin, consider if it can be used in a craft project. A cardboard egg carton could become a dragon, a shoebox can transform into a garage for toy cars and an empty milk carton can be recycled into a bird feeder. Cereal boxes and other cardboard packaging, plastic containers (cleaned first!), old newspapers and magazines can all be used as materials for your little one’s creative projects. When you are making things from discarded items, talk to your child about the value of recycling – how all resources are precious and take energy to make, so it’s important to try and use them again if you can.

How to do it

Craft is fun, but it can get bit messy! To help contain the mess, you can try putting down newspaper (or a plastic sheet) on the surface where you little one will be working and on the ground beneath them. Before you let your child loose on the glue or paint, encourage them to put on a smock or some old clothes so they can get as messy as they like without you having to worry!

Even the littlest kids enjoy using their imagination to make something and express themselves. Lots of kids have fun just experimenting with the colours, patterns and shapes they can make when you put craft materials in front of them. They don’t need a particular ‘project’ to work on, just playing with the paint or boxes is enough! It might not look like a work of art to you, but giving your child the freedom to express themselves and have fun is great for their creativity and praising them for their effort is great for their confidence.

If your child likes a bit more instruction before they start making things, you can encourage them to try and make an animal, vehicle, house (or anything that they are interested in) with the craft materials at hand.

Where to get craft ideas

The internet is a fabulous source of craft inspiration. Put words like ‘craft for kids’ into any search engine and you will find an abundance of pages of craft suggestions. Lots of good instructional videos are available online to show you and your child how to make some easy and fun projects.

Craft afternoons

Not keen on the idea of doing craft at home? You’re not alone! Craft afternoons are often held at public spaces like libraries, museums, galleries and shopping centres for children, particularly during school holidays. They’re a great excursion for your little one, can help develop their social skills – and someone else cleans up the mess afterwards!

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