As well being an enjoyable and satisfying experience, being creative helps children in many ways. Creativity helps children to express their thoughts and feelings in an imaginative way. This is important for their emotional and mental wellbeing. It also helps them to plan, experiment, and work through processes. It expands their experience of the world and their place in it.
There are many simple and rewarding activities you can do with your child to fire their creativity.
Coloring and Painting
One of the simplest activities is coloring or painting. The supplies you need for this are relatively inexpensive. Basic materials include paper, crayons, paints, and paintbrushes. A palette is also useful for mixing colors. These materials can all be purchased cheaply for a few dollars.
Put down some newspaper to protect surfaces and allow your child to express him/herself. If they struggle to get started, then provide them with a few prompts.
Sewing and quilting are great activities for boys and girls. Fabric can be sourced from old clothes and bedding. Create the templates and show children how to pin the template and cut the fabric. As you will be working with fabric scissors, this is an activity for older children. Fabric can be sewn by hand or with the help of a machine such as the Janome 7700. Depending on the size of the quilt, this could be a long-term project to enjoy with your child. The result will be a beautiful piece of family history.
Scrapbooking / Journaling
Scrapbooking or journaling has become increasing popular over the last few years. It’s simple to do and requires no special skills. Young children can join in if they use safety scissors. Materials are simple and include a scrapbook, old magazines, and paper glue. Pictures and text are cut from magazines and glued into the book. They can be accompanied with other handwritten text or pictures. Encourage your children to save their own images and mementos. For example, ticket stubs, travel tickets, postcards, etc. Add a little glitter for sparkle or paint to add additional color.
Look online for examples of holiday crafts for kids. Sites such as Pinterest have lots of how-to instructions. Recycle old jars, cardboard inserts, egg boxes, etc. These can all be incorporated into the projects. Keep old packaging materials and string. Put together a craft kit that you can add to over time. Start small with paints, crayons, glue, and glitter, etc. Then build this up over time.
Craft doesn’t have to be all about making art. Cooking and baking is a great way to express creativity. Find child-friendly recipes and involve them in mixing and decorating. You can use the utensils you have already, and so all you need to buy are the ingredients. Encourage your children to find their own recipes in magazines. You could combine this with a scrapbooking project.
Gardening is often overlooked when we talk about creative hobbies. Planting a garden and thinking about themes, colors and scents is an effective form of self-expression. It also helps children learn about the natural world.
Show them the basics and then provide them with a small plot of their own. Allow them to choose their seeds and watch their delight as they sprout into seedlings. If you have a small space, think about planting in containers.
There are many creative activities that can be enjoyed with your children. These are just a few. It’s a good idea to provide a range of activities so your child can work out what he or she likes doing.