At Juicy Juice, we love creating fun crafts for you and your family to enjoy. We firmly believe in crafting through all of life’s stages and the positive benefits it can have. Crafts can be fun, time intensive, and distracting, but they also have many intangible benefits. Crafting can help your child develop skills mentally and physically as they grow, and it can help with anxiety. We wanted to share some of our favorite tips on how to keep your children crafting through adolescence to help you and your family reap the benefits of this pastime for years to come.
Starting young children on simple crafts before they start school helps build the framework of skills they will need for a classroom setting. Starting them at their skill level with drawings, jewelry or coloring can help them easily build confidence and shows them an outlet for their thoughts and emotions. Plus, crafting with parents can also help them build strong bonds that you reinforce over time. This activity is especially helpful for parents who wish to eliminate screen time.
Challenge Them As They Grow
Once your child gains experience with crafting at their level, you can slowly build up to more challenging activities. For example, you can work with beads that challenge their developing fine motor skills. Encouraging them to fold, cut, or draw details on a craft helps introduce skills they’ll need for the coming years. For certain aspects, you may have to help them, but letting them try certain steps with more crafts down the road will also help them take more ownership of their creations. If your little one gets stuck, encourage them by complimenting their work. Phrases like “Good work!” and “You’ve put a lot of work into that!” nudge them to finish a project despite frustrating hurdles.
Try Different Types/Genres
As your children grow older, they’ll have different types of crafts they’ll be interested in. From paper crafts to woodwork to pottery, there are plenty of options for your growing child. If you feel unfamiliar with a certain type of craft, stores like Michael’s have crafting classes and kids’ art sessions to help you and your child navigate a new style of crafting. If you don’t have any craft stores near your home, you can also watch videos online that guide you through new types of crafts. No matter what you and your child are interested in, there are plenty of passionate crafters out there that can help you take your first steps into a new genre. As always, providing support and voicing approval can encourage them to create more.
Let Them Choose
Once your children have gotten comfortable with making crafts, you can let them choose the projects they’re interested in. Doing this helps them plan out their steps and materials and gives them that important sense of autonomy. Also, letting them choose their projects along the way gives them additional ownership of the end result, which brings more value to the entire effort. You can still take small steps to get them started, like presenting them with options, providing resources on the type of craft or supervising, but just make sure that you’re helping them gain ownership along the way.
Make a Tradition
Tradition effectively drives family connection, and making crafting part of your family rituals will also add more meaning to the pastime. Making craft time quality time helps foster connections with your children in the long run, and they will appreciate the effort for years to come. Additionally, you and your child can pick certain special occasions or recipients for your crafts, like making birthday cards for every family member or fostering connections with others. These projects have added meaning when they are attached to times of year or philanthropy, and creating them can almost serve as a seasonal or regular challenge. These types of experiences can solidify the idea that creating is less about making something to put on a shelf and more about fostering connections with others by demonstrating your care.
Encourage Self Expression
One of the most helpful benefits of crafting is its inherent element of self-expression. While following a pattern may not seem particularly personal, people can change patterns, colors and themes of their projects to express themselves. This is especially critical for young children, who may not have the words yet to describe how they feel. This can also help significantly with children who have a difficult time articulating their feelings. If crafting can be understood as a soothing and expressive activity, your children will choose to make projects when they need to express themselves instead of resorting to less constructive behaviors.
At Juicy Juice, we strongly believe that crafting is a lifelong pastime that can help you in all stages of life. We hope you found this blog helpful and inspiring. Please let us know if you have any questions or tips we have not discussed here. As always, we love to hear from our fans on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Happy crafting!