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Did you know that March is National Craft Month? If you have a child who loves being artistic or is curious about getting started, this is the perfect time to encourage them to try!
Who knows? Maybe, crafting might become one of their lifelong hobbies or turn into a family tradition of some kind. Whatever the outcome, crafting will only be a fun family activity for everyone involved. Most of all, you can have mementos to keep and cherish forever!
Besides, who doesn’t like filling up their home with things made from love?
Several studies, such as those from the University of Arkansas (Research & Extension), have shown that crafting improves your mental, emotional, and physical well-being by reducing anxiety, blood pressure, and stress in exchange for increased cognitive function and higher self-esteem–all of which we encourage at our Lake Elsinore self-sufficiency program.
Crafting in and of itself is also fulfilling because it positively reinforces that your child can create a meaningful project that will only bring happiness to others but themselves. It’s rewarding in addition to being fun!
You have an abundant variety of crafting mediums to choose from. The choices can be overwhelming, but we at Kamali’i, your local Riverside foster care agency, recommend starting with more accessible materials that most of us are familiar with when walking into a craft store or find after rummaging our cabinets: paper, wood, fabric, pottery clay, and metal. What’s more, these crafts do not require the use of tools on your child’s part, so safety won’t need to be a concern. If items such as scissors to cut shapes in paper need to be used, you can prepare materials for them ahead of time!
Below, we elaborate more on the crafts mentioned above and give you some ideas on where to kickstart your craft bug. Most importantly, please supervise your children at all times and don’t be afraid to be crafty alongside them.
Crafting with paper can either be simple or complex. For example, introduce your child to origami, the art of Japanese paper folding, to bring their favorite flowers or animals to life. Depending on the intended origami shape, you never need to cut additional paper or worry about paper waste. All you need is patience and a keen eye for folding symmetrical corners. Alternatively, you can attempt scrapbooking if your child has an eye for detail. Gather the whole family to put together a scrapbook that highlights the best memories captured in photographs.
Contrary to popular belief, neither heavy machinery nor sharp tools are required to enjoy this craft. Aside from making birdhouses and simple boxes, you can opt for simpler crafts such as painting on flat wood pieces to become coasters or creating wood ornaments that can dangle in the backyard. If your child wanted to try being more hands-on with wood, craft stores sell project kits–like one for a birdhouse–with pre-cut and measured pieces, ready to assemble with glue.
Fancy a project you and your child can wear? There are numerous no-sew, easy fabric projects out there! Gather leftover fabric scraps or have your child pick out their favorite pattern in the fabric aisle of your local craft store. Together, you can create bracelets, hair ribbons, pouches, and bookmarks–just to name a few examples. To add a little more artistic flair, your child can paint on fabric so they can create a one-of-a-kind t-shirt or bag.
No fancy potter’s wheel is necessary–unless you want to go out and experience one in a studio! But you can also enjoy pottery in the comfort of your own home with just a few carving tools from the craft store, a rolling pin, and blocks of clay. Our suggestion is to try pinching pottery, the pottery form that would be easiest to do at home. All you need is the warmth of your hand, a flat surface, and fingers ready to pinch the clay into the desired shape.
You read that right! You can introduce your kids to the world of metal crafting–safely. Don’t worry; there won’t be any welding–just household items! To start with metal crafting, remind the kids to hold off on recycling old cans of soup to instead upcycle them into practical items such as a pencil cup holder, bird feeder, or lantern. Making masks or icicles (come the holidays, of course) with aluminum foil is also an option!
In conclusion, you have a great selection of crafts at your fingertips. There are honestly so many crafts out there, and we couldn’t name them all. One thing is for sure, however. The family can reflect on the meaningful memories that were made by crafting! You might even create a complete collection of crafts with its shelf!
If you need any help acquiring craft materials of any kind, don’t hesitate to reach out! We can connect you with our family prospective resources.