In the field of child development, there is a persistent theory that children who are not exposed to opportunities for creative expression during their early years will never achieve their fullest potential as they reach adulthood.
This belief has inspired many parents and educators to instill creativity at a young age in hopes of fostering an artist or artisan later in life. While the idea seems simple enough, it is far more complicated to actually implement this theory in both the home and classroom.
Children are often given blank canvases or boxes of crayons but are never shown how to use them properly. In this article, we will discuss different ways to engage your children in craft activities.
The following guide will help you expand your child’s understanding of art without having to lock themselves away in a studio somewhere.
Expose Them To Materials
The first step toward getting kids involved with creative activities is exposing them to materials that they can use independently. For example, many craft-based activities require premade supplies such as beads, buttons, pipe cleaners, etc. If children are not familiar with the different types of materials that you have in your home, they will be less inclined to use them.
You can start by purchasing a craft kit for your child such as a kit for making cards. These kits often come with detailed instructions and step-by-step illustrations so that even young children can follow along. With a card-making kit, they will be able to make a card on their own!
At first, your child’s craft time should be supervised, but they will learn what to do on their own time. After completing several art projects together, try allowing them to complete one without any supervision.
The more independent they become during their creative sessions, the more confident they will feel when working on their projects later down the line.
When choosing supplies for your child’s box, it is important to keep safety in mind. For example, beads are often made of glass, and glow-in-the-dark toys are usually created with small bulbs that run on batteries. You should avoid using these materials so that you can ensure your child’s safety at all times.
Here are some safe alternatives:
- Use recycled items such as paper towel rolls to create playhouses or teepees for children’s toy kitchens or dolls
- Use materials that have been used before to create new things, such as macaroni noodles or pasta shapes glued onto a piece of construction paper. This allows them to see the value in something they may have otherwise considered trash!
If children can use these materials without assistance, they will be more likely to get involved. You can purchase these supplies individually or in bulk; the cost is up to you! Just make sure that the kids can use them on their own.
Teach Them To Use The Tools Correctly
Keep in mind that this may take time since children must first become accustomed to holding, squeezing, and tearing the materials before they begin crafting. For example, let’s say your child wants to make a poster for their favorite television show.
With crayons and paper at their disposal, start by showing your child how to hold a crayon in their hand and how to slowly guide it across the paper. As they get better at this, try teaching them about color mixing to produce a variety of shades. Once your child can create a basic outline, it’s time for the next step!
Show the Vast Options for Materials
The third step toward getting kids involved in creative activities is by showing your child how to use different materials for various effects.
For example, if you give an eight-year-old a paintbrush and watercolors, he may be inclined to create a clean painting similar to what one might find hanging in a museum. To avoid falling into this trap, purchase random craft supplies such as glitter glue or puffballs.
You can even take advantage of items in your recycling bin! By being given the freedom to experiment, children are encouraged to think outside the box by creating unique works of art.
Give Them Complete Control over Their Work
If your child needs inspiration, start by visiting your local craft store or museum, where you can find several ideas that may spark their imagination. Make sure that you lend all the necessary support that they need while simultaneously giving them space to develop their style and purpose for each creation.
Remember, no one can be an artist until they believe themselves capable of doing so! Instead of pushing your child into a corner and forcing them to create, allow them the time they need to develop their artistic expression.
Display Their Work
The final step toward getting kids involved with creative activities is by allowing your child to exhibit their work. If you are able, bring their pieces into your home or classroom so that others may view them. By doing so, not only will your child become more confident in their abilities, but everyone else around them will benefit from seeing what they have created.
There is nothing special about any of these steps since children must learn through trial and error. Creativity can mean different things for each person; it’s simply a matter of giving kids the freedom to explore their surroundings and express themselves in whatever way that they see fit!
Remember to stay patient and establish guidelines so that your child knows what is expected of them. Just remember that kids learn best when they have fun.