Arts and crafts offer several benefits to your child—not to mention the quality time it provides between you and them.
Crafting can help preschoolers develop their fine motor skills and learn pattern recognition. It helps elementary-aged children to build resilience and encourage critical thinking. Even into your children’s teen years, doing crafts with them can help them fine-tune their patience, be more creative, and, in effect, develop healthy self-esteem.
With that in mind, are you ready to schedule a craft time? The following activities are both fun and educational, good for all ages (but you can scale the difficultly up or down, depending on your child), and a great method of bonding and learning with each other.
1. Out-of-This-World Fun
When craft day rolls around, there’s nothing like making a good old-fashioned solar system mobile, especially if your child has hopes of being an astronaut!
These mobiles are not only beautiful as decorations, but they teach your children all about the planets and solar system. It’s one of the most fun science projects they’ll ever do.
Which planets revolves around which, which planet is closest to the Sun, and how far is Earth from Jupiter? Answer all these questions and more as you begin to build.
Find free templates online that tell you what materials you’ll need and how to put your creation together!
2. Make Your Own Ink
Have you ever made natural ink? If not, this activity might be something new for you, too!
First, start building a collection of things to turn into a dye. Find colorful things outside, in your neighborhood, at the park, wherever you can—items like berries, bark, leaves. You might even find things around the house, such as ground coffee beans, sumac, spinach, turmeric.
Take your ingredients and combine them in a pot with salt and white vinegar (consult the recipe for amounts, based on your collection size). Heat it to below a boil and let it cook for at least an hour, or until the water becomes the color of your foraged item. You can test the color by using a strip of white paper.
Filter the ink, then gum arabic and your go-to preservative. Bottle and label. You’re done!
Then, you can use your homemade ink for other crafts, including coloring.
3. Do a Dinosaur Day
Learning about dinosaurs has been a long-time fascination for many children. If your child is a budding archaeologist, they’d surely love a craft day dedicated to their favorite scaley, feathery, slimy, bumpy, prehistoric friends.
Start with classics like coloring—a T-Rex coloring page here, a Velociraptor there—and use it as a way to identify different body parts, functions, and other educational tidbits. Move into more hands-on activities like excavating bones from sand (have some tools on hand) or making your own fossils.
For younger ones, even something like drawing a pin-the-tail-on-the-dino could be a riot.
Soon, Your Kids Will Be Asking: “Is It Craft Time Yet?”
The above list just barely touches the surface of all the crafts you can do. Depending on your child’s age, interests, and education level, you can choose from a variety of ideas like this. Feel free to make up your own crafts, too!
Aside from craft time, how else can your family bond, have fun, and build a deeper connection?
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