5 Tips for Crafting With Kids

Want to know some tips for, and benefits of, crafting with kids? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Arts and crafts does not have to be daunting or complicated. A winter issue of Highlights for Children led E & I to making a cup of hot cocoa with a toy pitcher, 1 piece of brown construction paper and a couple of cotton balls. Easy peasy (see the photos at the end of this post). The process, and the end result, led to hours of fun imaginary play!

Having a preschooler, handmade valentines were in order as well.. I’m addicted to making art with her handprints! Pinterest was my best friend for inspiration for these:

2019
2018

On a recent trip to Target, my daughter spotted a fairy house kit by a company called Kid Made Modern. I’m going to be honest here, I love crafting, but the idea of “building a house” was intimidating! Plus, I do not have any fairy friends. I decided to buy the kit anyway, and hoped she would forget about it.

She did not forget.The next day, we opened the box and built the house. I am so glad we did! It was so much fun, and I was reminded that there are so many benefits to doing projects like this together.

You do not have to be an artist, chef or landscaper to get creative with kids. One thing that I have learned this year is that, for children, it is about the journey wayyy more than the destination. Sure, it’s fun to have a fairy house to look at when it is finished, but that’s not the point for a 3-year-old.

It can be as simple as collecting fallen leaves & other loose items from a nature walk and make a collage, or even embellish a fairy house with them. It’s a double win experience! Repurpose some wooden clothes pins and paint them to use as chip clips. Paper and watercolors are a favorite at our house. Make gifts for specific people. Encouraging the art of kindness through art is a pretty awesome thing to gift our children.

Here are my Top 5 tips for crafting with kids:

1. Prepare the space where crafting will happen. Lay down newspaper, art mats or whatever you need to protect the surface so that you don’t have to worry once the action starts. I laid out the project pieces, so that we could both get a sense of what we were going to do. Whether you are using a kit or not, getting everything you will want to use allows for uninterrupted fun.

This process can be a fun sorting game. If you’re doing a nature collage, sort the items by category or shape. 2. This is huge if the activity has instructions – Read the instructions in advance! Avoid surprise road blocks by getting a feel for what’s in the box if you’re crafting from a kit, and you can also figure out what other supplies you might need. The fairy house kit had just about everything we could want, but I chose to grab a few different sized paintbrushes and some other paint colors (purple is E’s favorite, so it could not be ignored). Having those items ready avoided any delays or having to leave the scene of the fun.

If you have a child who can read, they can read the instructions to you.3. Wear appropriate clothing. If you’re using glue or paint, wear something that you don’t mind getting paint on – it doesn’t always wash out. You might consider a smock or an old T-shirt. We wore play clothes when we made our fairy house.

4. Talk about what you’re going to do to make the craft successful. We needed to paint the walls before we assembled and glued our fairy house. Then, let the child do the bulk of the painting or gluing. Be their assistant. This is a chance to empower our kids.

Mom, assisting
5. Let go and have fun! It’s easy to want to run the show “so it turns out right”, but once you get your supplies set up, it should be a child-led experience. While there was an order to the steps to build our fairy house, I gave E run of which colors she used and how she wanted to paint everything. I let her interlock the walls and apply the glue. Remember: Getting messy means you’re having fun.She loves her work of art! Being a mom has taught me to push past my own insecurities about what my talents are. There hasn’t been a single disappointment yet. Happy crafting!
Making “hot cocoa”
Marshmallows are a must!
Her proud face is everything!

Share your favorite arts & crafts projects in the comments, or tag me on social media.

14 Comments

  1. Love love love your blog. I’m always happy when I get a new one. Percivere my dear. You are an awesome mom

  2. Oh my God!!! This is all what new mommies like me need to learn. I so many changes adore how you become a child with E and make things more fun. Hats off to you and thank you for sharing your experience.

    1. We are all always learning. I’m so glad we are together on this journey through motherhood xo

  3. It’s so hard for me to let go when my kids are crafting, but I’m getting better at it. I’m more of a follow the directions kind of a mom than a have at it kind, lol. These are great tips for parents!

    1. Thank you so much! I do the have at it stuff outside a lot.. having a bucket of water with me to get the worst of it cleaned up helps. 🙂

  4. I love the last tip about letting go. Sometimes that’s so hard as a parent, especially when you feel like there is a big mess being made. I am not the best with arts and crafts, so these tips are a big help. I also love all the photos you shared.

    1. Thank you! Letting go is the hardest part for most parents, and the most fun for our kids.. it’s worth it! 🙂

  5. That fairy house kit is such a fun and cute idea! my baby girl just turned 5 months old but I’m already getting excited for the fun things we’ll do together.

  6. Letting them lead and use their own creativity is the best (and sometimes the hardest for me!) These are great tips and she looks like she’s having a blast! Kudos!

  7. Aw, thank you for these great ideas! Crafting is one of those things that always feels like it takes so much effort to do for some reason, but I’m always so glad we did it. Your daughter is so stinkin cute!!! I love how proud she is of her house.

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