You know the kid who’s always cutting things out and gluing them together? Who always wants to paint on a rock? The one who draws better than most adults?
I have one of these magical little beings in my family. At times, it’s a little messy and overwhelming. I don’t want to repress her, but sometimes she needs organization and an outlet!
Here are ideas to help your crafty kid to flourish and enjoy creating.
Craft Supplies Station
Some of the best play happens without adult intervention. If you have a crafty kid, keeping craft supplies on hand is a must.
Giving your artist a variety of materials to explore helps them can figure out for themselves how things work together (or not).
Here are some craft essentials to keep around:
- Felt in various colors
- Various kinds of glue (Modge Podge, hot glue, cement glue, super glue)
- Old magazines
- Construction paper
- Googly eyes
- Floral wire
- Plaster of Paris
- High-density foam
- Fabric remnants and scraps
- Scraps of wood
- Pieces of leather
- Pipe cleaners
- Various kinds of paint (acrylic, tempura)
- Assortment of brushes
- Markers (washable and permanent)
- Colored pencils
- Sketch pads
We like rolling drawers and/or rolling carts to organize materials. This makes it easier to bring everything to the dining room table for big projects.
When she was 8, my daughter grabbed a box, some cans out of the recycling bin, and other materials. After an hour or so, this little robot emerged! She had the best time letting her imagination run wild.
Along with the supplies, you’re gonna need some tools! Teaching tool skills gives them more confidence and independence to craft without needing you every few minutes. It also gives them valuable life skills. Make sure that your child is old enough and trained enough before allowing them to handle anything dangerous.
An easy way to do this is to include your child in what you’re doing. Even preschoolers can watch as you talk them through a project. Elementary can start to hand you supplies, and begin to understand how things work. Middle school kids may need just instruction and supervision.
Last year, I wanted to make a wooden box out of old fence pickets to make a giant Christmas present for the porch. My daughter was thrilled to help me measure and to have me ask her opinion on the size, which way the slats should run etc.
I showed her how to use a power drill to remove screws from the old boards and screw together the new ones. She learned about eye protection, using a square, and more. We spent a wonderful afternoon together and her confidence soared.
Here are a few craft tools you may start with:
- Needle and thread
- Hammer and screwdriver
- Paper cutter
- Hole punch (for leather etc.)
- Scissors (fabric scissors especially)
More advanced tools:
- Hot glue gun
- Power tools
- Sewing machine
- 3D printer
Bonus tip: If you have a craft-loving kid, you’ll accumulate a lot of toilet paper boats, styrofoam dinosaur parks and plywood fairy houses.
I make sure to take a photo of their creation immediately and then let the kids keep a collection in their rooms for a month or more. When the project starts falling apart, we talk about how fun it is to make new things and that we have the picture to keep before sending them to the trash.
Craft Inspiration and Classes
If your kiddo is ready for a little direction, YouTube is jam-packed with free tutorials and inspiration. Use discretion for age-appropriate channels.
NerdForge is my 10-year-old’s favorite channel to watch with us. Mark Kistler is a CLASSIC teaching sketching and drawing. Our friends rave about Art for Kids Hub. If your child is interested in learning to paint, Shayda Campbell and others share beautiful tutorials.
Local Crafty Outlets
Many of these have wonderful artsy summer camps – be sure to check for updates in our Summer Camps In Wichita Guide !