March 8, 2006

Encourage Your Children

Kids Crafts

By Kirsty Lushmay

The moment you first give a toddler a crayon and a piece of paper, you're giving that child a step up to a world of creativity, learning, entertainment and accomplishment. It's the world of Arts & Crafts. A small phrase for such an important part of a child's development.

Children are interested in Arts & Crafts from an early age. Toddlers love to scribble on pieces of paper with chunky crayons. Later, when they understand not to eat it, playdo is a fascinating medium. They can squish it, use plastic tools on it, blend the colors together, and press out shapes from it. Everything get in a mess - play dough gets mashed into clothes, hair, shoes, the floor...but of course that's part of the fun for pre-schoolers. The messier the better! And what could be messier than paint?

Give a small child a pot of thick paint, scrap paper and a chunky paintbrush, and they're happy. If you can't bear to have paint on everything, take it outdoors. Using playdough and painting materials, kids are learning about form and substance, improving their motor skills and enhancing their imaginations. As they grow, there will be more and more crafts to choose from, and, thanks to the diverse range of crafts for kids, there's something for everyone, whether 2 or 12 years old.

If you join in, you'll be giving your kids happy memories to store away. So, encourage your kids to express themselves with arts and crafts. Never force them - it has to be an enjoyable pursuit. Similarly, don't ever disparage your child's work of art. Don't be discouraged if your child lacks interest - just explore different options. Be imaginative. Do crafts outdoors as well as in. Use different materials or seasonal themes.

In this age of mindless TV watching and video games, the ability to something creative is an amazing skill for a child to have. You'll be so glad you encouraged them.

About the Author: Kirsty Lushmay is a work-from-home mother.


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