Most children love to get creative from an early age. Often they start by doing crafts with paper: cutting activities with scissors, messing about with glue, drawing and folding paper into nice shapes (origami). As children get older, they discover more craft supplies and thanks to their endless imagination, anything is possible! Kids use clay or play doh to make the 'tastiest cakes' or they transform an old cardboard box into a rocket to fly to the moon.
Children discover themselves and the world around them by exploring, playing and experimenting, amongst others. Craft activities are not only fun but also very good for a child's development. This applies to both cognitive skills (to think, listen, learn etc.) as well as emotional and physical skills. Arts and crafts stimulate a child's creativity, which in turn is an important problem-solving skill. These skills help practise fine motor skills and give the child self-confidence.
Work, grocery shopping, the school run and bringing the children to sports clubs... We often have a busy life without much time to relax. A great way to spend some quality time together with your child(ren) is crafting. This not only strengthens your bond but also allows you to relax a little. After all, your mind is active all day long. We have forty to sixty thousand thoughts per day, imagine that. By being creative and working with your hands, you switch off that 'mind', so you don't have to think about your shopping list or that looming work deadline.
In short, crafting is healthy! You can read exactly how, below. We have listed five important benefits for you and your kids. And we’ve added easy craft ideas so that even the most inept crafter parent can get started!
Fine motor skills refer to small movements made with the wrists, hands or fingers, that require some concentration. By doing exercises that stimulate these skills, a connection is made between the left and right hemispheres. Developing fine motor skills improves cognitive skills, making it easier for a child to learn, concentrate and remember.
Do you want to help your child develop their fine motor skills? Let them play with clay! Make shapes, animals or cute dolls. Drawing, cutting and pasting, but also finger painting is always good. Maybe you need a more challenging project? Have a go at creating colourful art or objects with fuse beads: make picture frames, coasters, bookmarks or a nice jewellery box. Once finished, these crafty projects make a nice present for grandparents, friends or a teacher. Two birds, one stone!
Stringing beads is also very good for enhancing fine motor skills: smaller children can be given large beads to pick up and string. Finally, lacing cards are ideal. You can make these yourself using paper or wooden boards!
Newborn babies only see the world in contrast: black and white. Only after three months do they gradually start to distinguish colours. Between the ages of 1,5 and 5, toddlers and preschoolers learn to recognise and name colours. There is no need to practise this, as children often learn the colours through play or during everyday activities. That is why arts and crafts are ideal for this! Use sheets of colourful paper and pencils or markers in different colours to get started. Or mix different colours of paint and discover how to make colours.
Another fun and educational children’s activity is sorting pompoms. Take an egg carton and paint the different compartments in different colours. Then let your child put the various coloured pompoms into the right slots. If you want more of a challenge for the fine motor skills, let them try to pick up the pompoms with a large pair of tweezers.
After the DIY Jumbo Colour Race is set up, challenge your child(ren) to an exciting race! Throw the dice and see which colour comes out on top. If it matches the colour of your puppet, you take a step forward. Whoever reaches the end first, wins!
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of crafting is that it gives your child a chance to be creative. Through a creative outlet, your child will learn that he or she can make decisions and be resourceful in different ways. Your child will discover that there are no limits to his or her imagination, which in turn is good for their self-confidence.
With our complete craft kits, children can let their imagination run wild. A pack contains hundreds of craft materials for making the most beautiful creations, like beautiful masks for fancy dress parties, greetings cards, foam hand puppets or a glitter rocket. The craft kits include a booklet filled with inspiring ideas but children can come up with other creations too.
Another great way to stimulate creativity is to make a marble track out of toilet rolls. Collect toilet paper rolls and kitchen rolls. The more rolls, the longer the track. This craft project not only appeals to your child's creativity but also their problem-solving abilities. And when finished, it provides endless fun!
Doing a craft project together is good for a child's social and emotional development. They learn to work together, share craft materials and help each other. When children make something creative together, they naturally increase their capacity for empathy: they mirror each other and celebrate each other's creative successes. They also learn that by working together they can achieve more and contribute to a greater whole.
A fun way to show small children that they can make something beautiful together is by making a tree out of handprints. Take a large sheet of paper and draw a tree trunk and branches on it. The children can colour these in themselves with pencils, markers or paint. Then let the children make the ‘leaves’ by using paint to make a handprint along the branches. Feel free to use different colours of paint for this.
Making a maze is something that children of all ages enjoy doing. You can make it by sticking pipe cleaners or straws on the lid of a shoebox. Found the exit of the maze? Then the little explorers can try to get a little marble through the maze by tilting the lid from side to side.
Children are naturally very proud when they show off their artwork or creation. But crafting also helps boost their self-confidence in another way. While getting creative, pre-schoolers are challenged to face difficulties, deal with frustration, persevere and come up with solutions.
Complimenting your child on what he or she has done also increases his or her self-confidence. Try to mention details or choices the child has made. For example: "I like the way you have given these stripes a different colour" or "You cut out this shape very well!". Naming specific things makes your child feel seen, which in turn is good for their emotional development and self-confidence.
Special events or holidays are excellent opportunities to let children make presents or cards. Make a personalised gift for Christmas or a birthday, and a handmade card for Mothers day. How about a key ring for Father's Day or a sweet painting of handprints in a nice frame. Your child will shine with pride when they give their self-made present to dad or grandma and grandpa!