The first thing to realize when you start crafting with your kids is… that mess comes along. If cleaning is important to you, cover the surfaces with some newsprint or prepare yourself with some bits of paper and glitter and drops of glue.
It’s better to use washable materials (markers, paints, colors) when crafting with children. The last thing you want is spend some good hours trying the get the stains out of the child’s t-shirt…When it’s all done you can simply roll up the newsprint and throw away the mess.
When you craft with children. Either you don’t give them an example at all or you give them several options/ideas to choose from. Remember: crafting is about getting creative, letting your (and their) mind flow. It’s not about “this is how to do it” and there’s no fun for a kid to do it by following some strict rules. The main aspect is to keep them safe and sound through the process…How they glue it and where is far less important!
It’s also better to teach them how to use properly some tools rather then have them injured. Even if it’s your new manual or electric pencil sharpener, you can trust them using it as long as you supervise them, for instance.
Do some searching before you start crafting with your kids. It’s obvious you’re not gonna start with the top-notch vinyl cutting machine nor the leather cutting machine that you use for yourself! Keep in mind your child’s physical abilities and break the crafting into small steps. If you go with a specific theme, let them choose the paper, tape the rolled paper, plug in the glue gun (if they’re older than 6) and let him paint as much as he wants. Get creative with the metallic highlights, the permanent marker and the models for the Cricut machine.
Just because you’re having fun with your kids, it doesn’t mean you can’t leave something only for you to make. There are steps more complicated, more dangerous for a child and…the point is to relax when you’re with your children and not stress about how they could hurt themselves in the cutting machine. So, remember to leave some of the crafting for you to do at the end.
When you don’t have a designated room for the crafting and you’re using the kitchen table, it might get frustrating when you’re in the middle of everything …and it’s dinner time! So, it’s better to plan your craft ahead so that you don’t have to hurry it all up or not finish in time!
Children are fast though and even a 3-D crafting session doesn’t take forever. Plus, remember how “patient” children typically are and keep in mind that, unless your kid is gifted, his crafting is not going to be a no.1 seller in a shop any time soon. So, organize your space, take a picture of your kid’s work and get rid of the old crafts so that you can welcome the new art projects. When crafting with children, it’s the process that counts most to them and not the end result!
Practice makes perfect. Or does it?
If you like crafting, take a step behind when doing it with your kids. Keep in mind that it’s not gonna be perfectly trimmed, perfectly glued…No need to rush to the arts suppliers to get the perfect paper or bead. Go with the flow and simply enjoy the time you’re spending with the kids. Take use of everything you have in your craft boxes and take no breaks 🙂
We should have started with this one important principle: not every child likes glue or cutting paper. It’s not a disaster if he/she doesn’t like crafting…Find things that he likes to do around you or simply let him watch for a while. Maybe he’ll h get the hang of it.
And now that we’re done…where to display it?
We have to admit that the easiest way to display our children’s crafts is to stick it to the refrigerator. This is perfect when we talk about the two dimensional art pieces…but this is not a solution for the more complex art projects. You can use your creativity a step further for a fun display of your child’s projects.
For instance, use an old picture frame to show a flat piece or take a picture of the 3-D project and frame it. Transform one of your house walls into a special wall, covered all the way down and name it at your kid’s whim! Something like “The Funny Wall” doesn’t sound that bad, right?
Take a look around your windows and figure out which one is not giving you much use anyway, but it’s still in a visible space. You can attach the artwork using clear tape and hooks. Keep in mind when you go to a garage sale or a thrift store to get an old window if don’t have any to use for the display.
If your child’s room is kind of empty or dull you can always cover an entire wall with cork board and give your child the joy of hanging his own arts and crafts projects. Give him plenty of colorful push pins and…let him get creative!
Buy yourself some fun, colorful clothespins and hang a clothesline around any room that fits your taste. If you have a crafting room, this clothesline is a cute touch and if not…use a room that goes with the artistic vibe of your kid’s crafting.
Decorate all boxes, books or other items around your house with the artwork of your kids. Use the decoupage techniques for better fitting or use some clear packing tape to attach the artwork.
Let’s take the display to the next level!
If any of these solutions doesn’t work for your house, you can try laminating flat artwork or covering it with clear Con-tact paper. You get place mats, coasters or table runner at the same time. You can also go big by matching the pieces together on a coordinating piece of paper to make larger pieces.
Even though we all have smartphones now that tell us where and when to go, we all still use calendars. You can personalize your kitchen calendar by gluing your kid’s artwork or taking pictures of them. Take it a step farther and scan your child’s artwork to create your own calendar pages with a desktop publishing or graphics program.
Another fun and technical idea is to use your computer and turn your kid’s crafts into wearable art. Take a digital photo or scan it and print the image out in iron-on transfer paper. If you want multiple items, you can do it for all the family members and get a use of that new cutting machine at the same time. And now that we’re here, you can even create pins you can wear with those images.
Your vinyl/leather cutting machine is gonna be happy when you start using these pictures for some magnets, ornaments or even jewelry. Just take a look at what your new Cricut is able to do!
The easiest way to use the photos of your child’s artwork? Use it as a desktop wallpaper or screen saver on the computer. No fuss, no mess, no way to lose it or drop it on the floor 🙂