Crazy for Crafts

Crazy for Crafts Engaging

Educational and enjoyable; it’s no wonder crafting is such big business! Favoured by the very young and the very old, it’s often a wonderfully calming activity that encourages a freedom of expression, developing imagination and fine motor skills. As the field of crafting is hugely diverse there really is something to whet everyone’s appetite from sculpting clay ceramics to painting pottery; from colouring-in pictures with bright felt-tip pens to painting on canvas with oils; from hand-crafting sparkly jewellery to knitting a scarf for granny; from moulding super-smelly bath bombs to deco-patching a picture frame – the choice is plentiful! The benefits of creative activities to children – Aside from being fun and enjoyable there are many benefits to crafting... Creative activities promote good hand to eye coordination, problem solving skills, and allow young imaginations to flourish. Children learn to follow instructions in sequence teaching them the importance of doing things in order. Through craft, a restless child can fully engage their attention on the activity and consequently will be able to re- focus and channel their energies in a constructive way. Creative activities are good at testing patience. Children learn that rushing the activity will not always produce the desired results! Crafting can build confidence when a child can see how they have progressed, creating a sense of accomplishment.

Crazy for...Art

Children are able to freely express their artistic ability through painting. Aside from cultivating the creative thought process they also learn to assess dimensions, scope and size, which tests their analytical thinking skills. Besides, splashing, slopping and sponging acrylics across an empty page is such great fun, although a little messy! It will help to invest in a well stocked art kit complete with paints, brushes, rollers, stamps, glitter, stickers, colourful pens and pencils.

Crazy for... Ceramics

It’s amazing to discover what can be created from what may originally seem like an uninspiring lump of clay. ‘Throwing a pot’ on a potter’s wheel is a fun, noisy and messy activity that is perhaps more challenging than it first appears. Once the basic shape has been moulded, and when the clay has dried a little, children are then able to sculpt and paint the piece of pottery. This is often a wonderfully calming and relaxing time as children become totally absorbed in the decoration of their work and use plenty of creative concentration. Once the work is complete the mini masterpieces are fired, ready for collection - usually a week later.

Crazy for... Baking

It’s good for a child to explore different tastes and ingredients at a young age and an easy way to encourage this is by asking a child to help with simple meal preparations. Cooking and baking can be especially great fun - children just love stirring up the sludgy consistency of a cake mix, and decorating cup cakes with an array of hundreds and thousands, coloured icing and sweet sugar balls. As they grow older, you may wish to introduce more complex recipes and offer more of a supporting role in the kitchen.

Crazy for... Bathroom Goodies

Recently there has been heightened interest in creating hand-made body care products such as bath salts, fragrances and lip balms. Many crafting businesses are diversifying into this area and are offering ‘pamper style parties’ where children are able to get creative with less traditional types of material, and are able to experiment with a variety of scents and colours. Crazy for...Making Jewellery The most beautiful original items of jewellery can be created by children. To encourage this creative process many specialist craft shops sell an enormous variety of beads in different shapes, sizes and colours along with the necklace string on which to feed the beads, so a treasured bespoke keepsake can be created in no time at all. Other DIY jewellery items for children include decorative pins, dangly earrings, rings and friendship bracelets. If you are buying a kit, look for one that is both age and ability appropriate to your child.

Crazy for...

Needlework Sewing, knitting and working with fabric poses a variety of fresh, enjoyable challenges. Older primary school aged children will take pleasure in the fun they can have with fashion - from customising t-shirts, to knitting a scarf, to stitching on buttons and beads to a hat to personalising a favourite bag with decorative items. Plenty of simple sewing kits are available from craft suppliers and cross-stitch patterns offer a good introduction to the basic principles of sewing. A One-Stop Crafting Workshop... Many craft cafes, studios and community centres offer craft based workshops providing variety and saving you the hassle of purchasing a wide range of materials. Take a peek through the Roundabout pages of Primary Times where you will undoubtedly find a number of different crafting activities close to you.

Kirsty Woodgate