Some parents are skilled crafters. Others are doing well to cut paper in a reasonably straight line. No matter which group you fall into, crafting with your kids can be beneficial for all involved.
In honor of National Crafting Month, here are some positive outcomes that come out of crafting with your kids. I have scattered some projects we have made throughout the post, click on the photos to go to the project description.
Crafting is a great way to learn basic skills.
Almost any type of craft promotes hand-eye coordination. Kids can also learn to use scissors, measure and do many other things they will eventually do in everyday life. Older kids might enjoy learning practical life skills like sewing, knitting and word working that were almost last but are making a resurgence lately
Crafting builds creativity.
Our minds need a creative outlet. Crafting provides the opportunity for kids to use their imaginations. It helps them learn to solve problems, and it could lay the groundwork for a lifetime of interest in art. For parents, getting creative can help reduce stress and promote using the brain in ways that we don’t always use in our daily routines.
Crafting teaches the importance of following directions.
This seems like a very basic skill, but we all know adults who can’t seem to follow directions. My husband the College Math Instructor complains about this daily. When kids craft, they learn the consequences of not following directions when their projects do not turn out as expected. Some projects, like model building, require a specific series of steps and not following directions can lead to disaster.
Crafting is a confidence booster.
Parents who craft regularly know the feeling of accomplishment when a project is complete. Multiply this feeling by ten, and you have a pretty good idea of how your child feels when he makes something. Stand outside any preschool or kindergarten class at pick up and you will probably hear “Look what I made!” While older kids may not show off their same way, they still want us parents to be proud of their artistic accomplishments.
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Crafting is a great way to wind down.
It’s wonderful for kids to be active, but there are times when they need to calm down. Crafting engages kids’ minds, giving them something to focus on and a good reason to sit still for a while. Snow days (or smog and fire days here in California) when the kids can’t go outside and are bouncing off the walls and you are feeling stir crazy yourself is a great opportunity to unwind with some crafting time.
Crafting together provides a chance to talk.
You would be amazed at the conversations you can have with your child when your mind and hands are focused on crafting. When I was teaching I often learned the most about what my students were thinking and feeling when we were crafting. And most of the time it required little prompting on my part.
Crafting together teaches teamwork.
This will help them develop skills needed to resolve disputes peacefully and effectively. It will also help them discover their strengths and teach them that doing their best will make the entire project turn out better. And parents can always use some teamwork lessons too.
Crafting creates treasured family memories.
The finished product will serve as a reminder of the fun you had making it together. Yes, I am the mom that regularly displays our creations. Every month I bring out different crafts we have made in the past, and while my son may not always remember making them, I do.
Crafting as a family provides opportunities for us to interact with our children. It is also a valuable learning experience for them and us. Don’t worry if you aren’t the world’s greatest crafter. Simply being willing to try anyway is a lesson to your kids in itself.