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It may seem that only creative people are good at coming up with crafts and activities to do with kids. The reality is that anyone can come up with these ideas and anyone can make the crafts. After all, the whole idea is to just spend time with a child and let them create. I have my personal niche selection and it’s what I enjoy, but I know other moms who prefer coloring sheets because they love to color with crayons or colored pencils. Whatever you try, try to have fun with it and most likely your kids will too.
I have been working with kids for many years, beginning with a part-time job fitting toddlers in snow skis while in high school and most recently as an in-home childcare provider, scout leader, and Sunday School Teacher. Making art and crafts with these kids is my favorite part of working with them, if not the real reason I wanted to work with kids.
The artwork and the crafts are mostly educational. I look for projects that go along with a story, give an opportunity to mix colors, teach us new letter sounds or words, and more. It varies for different age groups. Also, I try to pick projects that will end with a lasting product, that can be kept for memories or easily displayed, like ornaments and picture frames. This is because I believe in building up the kids I care for with pride in their work and teaching them they can accomplish just about anything they set their minds at doing.
As serious as childcare is to me, I can’t see a way to care for children without silliness and humor. If there is a way, I would rather not give it a try. Having a good sense of humor helps to get through the most stressful situations and if not, there’s always wine. In addition to funny and silly, I like projects that have cool functions and features. If I can make a paper treasure box that opens and shoots glitter, I’m going to pick that project. If I can make a felt map and have felt characters that I can move around to tell a story, it’s going to be posted and shared.
I get most of my ideas from the internet, i.e. Pinterest. I feel there is nothing wrong with getting ideas and inspirations from other people. It’s not original, but we can exhaust ourselves trying too hard to be original. It’s much easier to recycle ideas or just begin with inspiration from the ideas of others. Besides, it’s flattering when someone likes my work enough to try it for themselves.
Choosing activites becomes even easier when incorporate a calendar. Every month has a special holiday or anniversary of a historical event. When trying to come up with a central theme, consider the month. Martin Luther King Jr. day is close. Why not explore the library for books that teach Martin’s message of love and acceptance? February is a great time to look ahead with Grounds Hogs Day.
Here is a selection of crafts and activities I’ve tried with my kids:
Bottom line, don’t stress over trying to select the best craft or activity with your kids. Just remember to try things you like doing and have fun doing them. When looking for a starting place, there is nothing wrong with searching “crafts for kids” in Google or Pinterest. Using the holidays and historical anniversaries can help kids learn and give you an interesting topic to work with. And of course, use my posted ideas! I really appreciate it!
Thank you and happy reading!