Real Life Tips for Crafting with Kids

As a mother, crafter and blogger I always have my eye on Pinterest! I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you likely do as well. That being said, although Pinterest is a great way to find inspiration, it can also be misleading. That’s not the fault of Pinterest or the Pinners for that matter, but with the sheer volume of information, it’s often hard to sift through what are actually great tips and projects and what are not. Often times things that look like they would be great crafting ideas for the kids, are actually not the best.

Well, guess what everyone! I’m here at your service! After 7 years of crafting with my own children (I now have four of them!) I’ve found ways to make crafting with kids work, to make it fun and to make it worth it. Today, I’m sharing my tips with you!

Real Life Tips for Crafting with Kids:

 

1. Craft stores can be overwhelming. Stick to basics!

These are the basic materials I love having on hand:

-School Glue and glue sticks

-Washable Markers

-Crayons

-Paper lunch bags

-Tissue paper of all colors

-Pom Palms

-Popsicle sticks

-Google Eyes

-Yarn

-Safety scissors

-Clear tape

-Duck tape

-Thin cardboard (save your cereal boxes)

-Hot glue and glue sticks (for the parents to apply)

-Construction Paper

-Shrinky Dink Paper (always a winner craft project in our house)

-Large pads of paper or Roll of Art Paper

-Hole Puncher

-Larger Beads for Necklace Making

-Large Gemstones (my kids love these and I have even found them at the dollar store)

** These are the materials I would generally avoid:

-Expensive kits with tiny parts (they never last long and the pieces often end up all over the house)

-Glitter (it’s beautiful but unless it’s in “Glitter Glue” form it’s difficult to clean up and gets everywhere.

-Very tiny beads or gems

2. Adopt the Right Attitude

Kids are often way less concerned with the outcome of a craft project than we are. In fact, they enjoy the process so much and I happen to believe that enjoying the process is so much more important than the end result. Because of this, we shouldn’t focus on making the finished product something we expect, but rather shift our focus to enjoying the time spent crafting together.

3. Look for Play-Centered Craft Projects

Kids love crafts that they can actually do something with when they are finished. For this reason, things like telescopes, drums and rice-filled maracas are always a hit.

4. Plan Ahead

Our most memorable crafting disasters have been those that have also been the most spontaneous and those involving glitter. Tons and tons of glitter! While I’m a big proponent of letting the kids express themselves creatively, I also think that teaching them to wait and plan ahead is also an important skill. Planning for craft projects, and involving the kids in this process, is an important part of cultivating that creative talent, I believe.

5. Choose Projects that Will be Useful for YOU as well. 

There is nothing wrong with this, my fellow parents! In fact, recently, I had the kids craft “Thank You” cards. Not only will we use these to thank everyone for all of their generosity during the holiday season, but we will also use the crafted thank you cards for birthday presents. Another idea: you can make Christmas ornaments all throughout the year (really you can!) then save them to give as presents when December rolls around.

6. Clean As You Go

I do this both when I cook and when I craft with the kids and it makes the clean-up process at the end far less insane. I always have the kids help me with the cleaning-up phase of the project too and now we have a routine down-pat. Everything has a place and everything in its place!

 

So there you have it my friends! Those are some tips and tricks that work well for my crew and I hope they will serve as a guiding light for yours as well. Remember that simply spending time with your child is what is most important because you are cultivating a love for creating and making memories that will last a lifetime!



 

Comments

  1. Thank you for an excellent list of supplies and examples! I agree with everything – making crafts with your kids is a great opportunity to actually be with your children. Also, the good I-made-this-feeling is well worth sharing.

  2. Joy @ Caspara says:

    Oh my goodness, yes!! I love this helpful list and wholeheartedly echo your suggestions on the “things to avoid” list!! I can’t tell you how much glitter has ended up in my vacuum cleaner! Ugh!

  3. Toni says:

    I didn’t see stickers on your list. My daughter absolutely LOVES stickers! We have characters, letters, number, shapes, foam ones, glittery ones, even re-stickable ones. Those, and a piece of construction paper will keep her happy for longer than anything else I’ve tried. Then when she’s done, we usually send a few of her pictures to the grandparents since they all live pretty far away.

    I’m definitely with you on the glitter though. We try to restrict that to summer time when it can be done outside! ;)

    • Caroline says:

      Toni, you won’t believe this but stickers are actually not on our list because they always end up in crazy places and don’t easily come off! That being said, if you have a little crafter who loves stickers and puts them on paper, that’s awesome and a fun supply to add to the list!

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