It’s probably safe to say that any parent would delight in seeing their kids getting well and truly stuck into arts and crafts from the earliest possible age. Even if they don’t grow up to be an award-winning artist, there’s really nothing better for inspiring creativity and nurturing the talents you may not even know they’ve been hiding. And what’s more, any time you can get the kids to spend away from the TV or computer screen is of course a bonus…a task that’s easier said than done these days.
Which begs the obvious question – how can a parent better-encourage their child to take an interest in arts and crafts at home, every day? Well, the answer often lies in making sure that the kids have ready and easy access to something of a crafts area or ‘station’ allowing them to dip in and out of their activities when and where needed. It soon becomes a chore if you have to set up, strip down and thoroughly clean an already congested area of the house every time a little finger-painting is on the menu, so it’s worth giving real thought to creating a kiddy craft haven than stays up and running on a near-permanent basis.
Here’s a look at just a few tips for creating craft den that’s bound to prove irresistible for creative kiddies:
1 – Make it Welcoming
First and foremost, no kid is going to want to spend time working in an area that’s cramped, dark or generally anything other than warm and inviting. This means not just simply allocating a corner and having done with it, but ensuring that there’s plenty of light, plenty of space and ideally a good sense of order.
2 – Plenty of Supplies
As you never know where the little nipper’s talents may lie, it’s a good idea to provide them with a bit of everything in order to see what takes their fancy. The best bet therefore is to head to an online stockist like Handy Hippo Crafts and order in a pretty eclectic supply of bits and bobs, ranging from paper to ribbon to modeling clay and really anything else that’s age-appropriate. You can’t expect them to be a genius with everything or even enjoy everything equally – find what they like and run with it.
3 – Easy Cleaning
If you’re terrified of a single drop of paint finding its way onto the work surface, you’re never going to relax enough to give the little tykes full creative freedom. As such, it’s much better to choose surfaces and areas that are lavished in easy-clean materials like lino and laminate, which is usually as easy to look after as a quick wipe after each session.
4 – Display Area
Along with the area you’ll be setting aside for their arts and crafts pursuits, it’s also a good idea to allocate somewhere else to proudly display their work. It doesn’t need to be the exact same area as the work station, just as long as it is somewhere that they can see their work and draw inspiration and confidence for their successes. Speaking of which, don’t forget to offer a world of praise for everything they do, even if you have absolutely no idea what on Earth it is supposed to be.
5 – Easy Access
Make sure that all their supplies and other bits and bobs can be accessed with ease at all times. The idea it to essentially spoil them for choice with all the arts and crafts goodies they could ever need all at the same time, in order to motivate them to try them all and see which is the area in which they have the most interest.
6 – Monitor Favourites
If it comes to pass that your child is showing something of a growing fascination with one particular thing – clay, paints, paper crafts etc. – keep a close eye on their supplies and try not to let them run out of what it is they need. Kids lose interest so fast these days, so if you’d like to see them really get stuck into what they’re doing for the long term, make sure they’ve got the tools for the job.
7 – Join the Party
Last but not least, you must remember at all times that the old ‘monkey see, monkey do’ analogy comes into the equation here in a big way. Long story short – you personally might hate arts and crafts having realised from a young age that you couldn’t draw a stick-man, let alone paint a basket of fruits. Nevertheless, you’ll still need to make it the most wonderful hobby in the world if your kids show any kind of liking toward it, as for you to give them any impression to the contrary will never fail to see them follow your example and abandon what could have proved to be a beneficial pursuit.