A variety of important and useful tips for parents.
1) Accept that arts and crafts with children will always messy
Make sure to cover and protect surfaces with newspaper or butcher paper to catch bits of paper and glitter and drops of glue. Also, make sure to use materials (adhesive, markers, etc.) that are washable. The importance of using washable products comes in handy if your child gets marker on his or her shirt, as it will effortlessly come out in the wash. For an easy cleanup, make sure to have wet wipes at the ready incase paint or glue gets on you or on your child. When you’re finished, simply roll up the newsprint and discard the mess easily.
2) When working with kids it’s important to encourage personal creativity Therefore, don’t present one firm example of how the craft should turn out. Either don’t present an example at all, or present several options, so your child knows that they can use their imagination. If they glue the eyes where the ears should be, good for them — think of it as an opportunity to introduce cubism. Their idea and imagination is more important than how they execute it.
3) Look for crafts that are age appropriate and play to your child’s strengths
If the craft is complicated, break it into steps and figure out which parts your child can do and which ones will not be appropriate. If you are completing a craft exercise which involves elements that are not suitable for your child, for example, hot glueing, help out by completing this step. This is a good opportunity to teach your child about collaboration.
4) When creating art and crafts with your child, you may be tempted to control and steer them in the direction you would take.
This however, does not encourage their own creativity and imagination. To resolve you can set aside two sets of materials for the project, one will be for you and the other will be for your child. You can work together to discuss the project and enjoy the process together.
5) Time management is important.
If you’re crafting on the kitchen table and the craft isn’t finished, but it’s time to use the table for dinner, it can be frustrating to clean it all up and start again later. If you don’t have a dedicated craft space, plan your craft to be done in an allotted time.
6) Don't over think it.
Once the craft is finished and it has been sitting on the dining table for two weeks you may feel overwhelmed with lack of space. You may feel compelled to throw it out. The truth is, you don’t have to keep it forever and you shouldn’t feel guilty about this. Crafts are often 3D and can quickly accumulate and take up lots of space. Say goodbye to some old crafts when new art projects come into your life — before you start resenting crafts in general. Remember that much of the value of crafts is in the making.
7) Remember that it’s important to reuse and recycle!
It’s not worth running to the store to get the perfect paper/trim/detail. The enthusiasm for the project will evaporate if you have to break for errands. Use materials you have at home such as toilet and paper towel rolls and let your child’s imagination run wild!
8) Let your child choose what they like!
It’s also important to remember that not every child likes glue and glitter and cutting paper. So don’t force it. Allow your child to figure out what they like and don’t like and from here you can tailor your arts and craft projects to suit their preferences!