With a second lockdown looming, many of us are worrying about how we can keep our little ones occupied during the upcoming months. Without school, many kids get bored and can start misbehaving as a result, or may begin to feel a little down. They’ll be missing their friends. They’ll have hours of their day freed up and they’ll be looking for something to do. Now, the good news is that there are plenty of options when it comes to entertaining your little ones during these difficult times. Sure, a little TV here and there may be fine, but you don’t want to leave them staring at a screen for days on end. One area you might want to focus on that many little ones enjoy is arts and crafts. Put simply, arts and crafts are any creative activity that involves making something with your own two hands. Drawing, painting, woodwork, sewing, knitting, gluing, papercutting, the list goes on. Here’s some more information that will help you to find the best arts and crafts projects for your little ones to work on!
Why Arts and Crafts?
With a whole world of indoor activities out there, you may be wondering why we’re promoting arts and crafts in particular. Well, we do advise that you give your kids a range of activities to engage with that will develop different skill sets and keep their mind constantly stimulated and occupied. Arts and crafts can be just one of these activities. You’ll be pleased to know that they come hand in hand with a host of benefits for your little ones!
- Creativity – kids tend to learn many skills that are logical. Spelling, mathematics, reading… the list goes on. It’s good to make sure that you encourage their creative side on top of this! Arts and crafts encourages your child to be creative, coming up with different visual stimuli, textures, shapes and more.
- Textures, shapes and colours – if your little ones are quite young, they can greatly benefit from the opportunities that arts and crafts give them to identify new textures, shapes and colours.
- Specialism – if your child is a little older, they may want to look into colour theory, the history of art or a specific craft and more specialist areas, helping them to develop specialist interests and skillsets.
- Fun – when it comes down to it, arts and crafts can be good, plain fun. Lockdown can be pretty boring for kids, and if getting glitter, clay or glue guns for crafting out will help to lift their spirits, it’s more than worth the effort.
Of course, every child isn’t going to like the same types of arts and crafts. So, it may take a little trial and error to find something that they truly enjoy. Now, you will know your child’s interests better than anyone else, so you’ll have a pretty good starting point to work from. But it’s always worth simply asking and communicating with your little one to see what they might like to give a go! Here are some options that you might want to suggest.
Printmaking can be a whole lot of fun – and the good news is, you don’t really need any specialist material to give it a go with your little ones. Perhaps the most commonly known print making that kids like to engage with is potato printing. This involves you taking a potato and carving a specific shape into it, then your little one dipping it in paint and using it to print the shapes onto a piece of card or paper.
Drawing can be a whole lot of fun too. When children are particularly young, they may prefer simply colouring in using a colouring book. But as they grow older, they may be interested in using different pencils, crayons, pencil crayons and more to create images of their own. If your kid really gets into this, you might want to see if there are any drawing books available for them that can help to increase their skill.
Painting is similar to drawing, but using paints instead. This, of course, can get messy. So you may want to give your kids aprons or coveralls and lay down some protective sheeting where they’re painting to protect carpets. Finger painting, paint with brushes and more will all seem appealing.
If you have clay, plasticine or playdough, your kids may want to try making their own sculptures from these things. Just make sure that they know not to eat the products and to keep a constant eye on them while they’re using them. If they can’t think of something to make, set a theme. Ask them to make the family, a pet, a friend, a favourite animal, a favourite food or anything else.
Many kids love collage. Cut different images from newspapers, magazines or simply shapes from coloured paper or card out and let your kid have fun sticking them down to a piece of card or paper themselves with non toxic PVA glue. They can layer the different pieces to create their own little masterpieces!
Most kids will make friendship bracelets at some point in their life. This involves braided pieces of thread together to make pretty patterned bracelets. This is a little more complex, so suitable for slightly older children. There are plenty of free tutorials available online that they can watch themselves or that you can watch and then teach them from.
These, of course, are just a few suggestions. There are countless other arts and crafts projects that you may want to give your little ones the chance to get involved in. Once they find something that they enjoy, you can find that they’re occupied with their project for days! Not only will it keep them occupied, but it can help to increase their skills too.