CREATE: The importance of keeping kids (and yourself) creative

04 December 2017

By Kassy Abriola

As we grow up into adulthood, we seem to lose track of creative free play that children practice daily. We are so busy with our day to day, fast paced, task-driven environment that the task of just stopping to sit, create and play sometimes becomes a chore in itself.

However, those times of free play and creativity have many benefits. For kids it increases fine motor skills, develops cognitive function, boosts self-confidence, and builds physical and emotional strength. For you (yes you!) it relieves stress, renews brain function and improves mood… see it as Yoga for your brain!

Shared with your child and you both also benefit from the bonding and quality time that creating something together can bring.

Crafts don’t have to be hard or time consuming! Tuning into your childhood memories of picking up that paintbrush, playing twister, building a fort or just twirling in the backyard not only makes you feel good (raising self-esteem) some activities help you and your children develop senses through exploration and self-discovery.

If you find it hard to fit this into your busy day, just as you book meetings and set up appointments, schedule in a time slot for children’s play in the crafts genre whether that be music, visual arts or free play.

Here are a few SUPER-EASY ideas to get you started:

Age 0-2

Fun music

You need: pots and pans; empty plastic bottles, dried pasta. 

An easy activity to do in the house. Set up pots and pans with spoons for drums; fill empty plastic bottles with dried rice and dried pasta. Play on your favourite songs and play along!

Sand, water and mud are also great sensory free-play experiences for this age. (Always supervise children around water.)

Age 2-5

Funky rock photo holders

You need: rocks, paint, picture frame wire

rock photo web

Photo credit: Onelittleproject.com

This is a wonderful age to get out in nature and experience the outdoors. Head down to the beach or park to collect interesting rocks. Paint them or decorate them, then coil some picture frame wire around the rock leaving 15cm standing up. Curl that end around a few times into a circle and that forms a clip in which you can slide your photographs in.

Age 5-8

String Craft

You need: Block of wood, nails, hammer, string

string web

Picture credit: RealityDayDream

Draw an outline of a shape you like. Lay it on a piece of wood and hammer the nails around the outline.

Tear off the paper, the wrap coloured string around the nails until you are happy with the design.

 

Personalised room signs

You need: cardboard, scissors, string, glue and optional flowers or other decorations.

An easy-solution craft that gives a personal touch to a child’s bedroom or a present for a loved one.

Draw the name onto cardboard. Cut out the letters and then wrap coloured string and wool around each cut out.

 

So, book in that dedicated time to learn grow and just allow yourself to have fun.

 

For ideas on some simple crafts, personal art classes, or a friendly chat get in touch with Kabri Kolour on Facebook, Instagram or email kabri.kolour@gmail.com.

Written by

Kids on the Coast/Kids in the City
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