Crafts are a favorite of parents and teachers to not just keep kids entertained, but also to teach them many concepts through creativity. Just as in most areas of learning, though, all children are uniquely brilliant in their skills and interests. That being the case, there are many children who struggle with being a crafter. Even as adults, many of us are craft gurus while others are known for our epic craft fails.
For those kids you may know who are disinterested in or simply hate crafts, here are a few ideas to encourage interest in crafts in an effort to make learning more enjoyable, while keeping their hands busy and their minds active.
Relate to Their Interests
Especially with the current popularity of Pinterest and many blogging sites devoted to DIY, it seems as if everything under the sun can be made with regular household items and glitter. Because of this, we often associate crafts with people who are creative, love DIY, and enjoy prettier and visually appealing creations. However, crafts should not be limited to just those stereotypes.
Children who are interested in sports can find crafts related to their teams or that serve purposes on the field. Kids who like getting dirty can immerse themselves in messy or outdoor crafts. Is your child more of a scientist than a crafter? Perfect! There are a multitude of crafts that relate directly to science, engineering, and experimentation.
The point is that crafts aren’t limited to the type of child who gets excited over the DIY network. There are crafts that can appeal and relate to your child’s particular interests, no matter what they may be.
Consider Personality Types
Some children naturally tend more toward activities that require concentration, sitting still, or focusing on details. They might be more adept at craft-like activities, while those who are more active or impatient might find crafting boring. When trying to come up with craft ideas, consider your crafter’s personality. For those constantly on the move, longer and more involved crafts may not be best-suited, while those with high attention to detail may enjoy the more complex projects.
Be patient with those who struggle with being creative and focused, and encourage perfectionists to also test their artistic limits and not be afraid to make mistakes. Craft time should be enjoyable, not stressful—if your child is experiencing anxiety, consider adjusting the craft to better suit their personality.
Use a Variety of Materials
Crafts are often stereotyped as construction paper and glue. This obviously doesn’t appeal to everyone, so break this mold by using a variety of materials. Some children may enjoy going on a nature walk and using outdoor materials to create something unique. Others may like using wood and tools to build something. Bubbles, slime, and lava lamps are some other boy-approved crafts that children may find enjoyable using non-traditional materials.
Even something as simple as a cardboard box, a pair of scissors, and a marker can turn into an amazing creation. Just about anything a child finds can become a craft with a little imagination!
Change the Scenery
For some little crafters, the issue may not be the craft itself, but more so being stuck inside the house without friends. To change the scenery for them, consider taking your activities outside on a nice day. There are also places like pottery or art studios where children can engage in artistic crafts while interacting with others. Another option may be to alternate with your neighbors so kids can take turns going to each other’s houses, which always seem to be more interesting than their own.
Just like adults, some kids may be homebodies and others may be social butterflies. Even looking beyond crafts, if your child seems frustrated or bored, consider a change of scenery to brighten their mood!
Don’t Force It
If all else fails, do not force your child into being a crafter. Yes, there will be those unavoidable craft-like school projects which must be done, but using the above considerations should help your child through those. If they clearly are just not a craft lover, though, don’t force it. Allow your child to explore those areas of interest that do excite them, and encourage educational and creative lessons as you see opportunities in those activities.
It very well may be that if your child is not forced into crafting, you may find they start doing some crafts on their own initiative!
Are any of your children non-crafters? What do you find helps them through those crafty school projects?