Bonding with your children through family art and craft activities is a rewarding way to spend your time. Not only do you become closer as a family, but at the end of the time together you will have something tangible to show for your efforts. What’s more, this will often be an item that’s treasured for years to come.
Ways to promote the creativity of children:
- Be aware how you talk to children about their art
- Create a children’s art space that will get used
- Give this year instead of toys, art materials and art kits
- Transfer the artwork of your child to canvas and hang it on the wall
- Give your family a regular ‘night in art’ – perhaps once a month – whether you’re covering the table with butcher’s paper or doodle during or after dinner
- Go more frequently to the Art Museums (and look for ways to make the art experience a love)
- Encourage creative research in other than visual art areas, such as cooking, science, sewing or music.
Here are some family art and craft ideas that will help you become a more artful parent.
Create veggie stamps
Turn mealtime leftovers into fun times with veggie stamps. To create your stamps consider using leftover carrots, bell peppers cucumbers, lettuce and celery. Then get some child-safe paint, paintbrushes and paper. Slice and prepare the veggies so they can be handheld and used as stamps. Use a paper towel to soak up all moisture from your veggie stamps. Then get creative! Your child can apply paint directly to the stamps and press them onto paper to create a fun pattern!
A fingerprint family tree
What better way to record your history than with a family tree where the leaves are your family’s actual fingerprints? Draw a tree, then get some different coloured ink and get everyone in your family (grandparents, aunts, cousins and your immediate family) to place their fingerprint on the appropriate place on the tree and then write their name underneath it.
Make a magic wand
Is your child a Harry Potter fan? Making a magic wand is as simple as finding a chopstick. To decorate your wand, get a selection of plastic beads, shells, coloured stones – the more materials the better! A glue gun is a handy tool in this wand-making process. To transform your chopstick into a wand, place a dollop of glue at the tip of the chopstick and stick a large bead onto it. Use your glue gun to create a spiral pattern of glue down your chopstick and let it set. Get some acrylic paint in any colour and paint your wand. Once the paint had dried, use the glue to stick your beads, shells and stones along your wand.
Animal clothes peg puppets
These clothes peg puppets will have your children playing for hours. Just get some heavier printer paper and a few clothes pegs – wooden is best, some coloured pencils, glue and scissors. Look for peg puppet templates online and print them out. Get your children to colour them in. Once they have coloured them in, you can even laminate them to make them even stronger. Cut along the mouth line to separate the top and bottom parts of the puppet and stick each part on the appropriate clothes peg, Make sure the top part of the design is aligned with the bottom one. Let your peg animals dry and they are ready for playing!
Download your free peg animal templates here: https://www.livingandloving.co.za/for-fun/printables/peg-animals-templates
Fairy garden in a jar
This is a wonderful craft activity that can get your child involved in growing plants. Get a glass jar that can house a small plant and place some soil in it covered with small stones. Plant the small plant. Then get your child to draw a small fairy house and laminate it. Place the house in the jar next to the plant. If you prefer not to plant a plant, you can add some moss inside your jar for greenery. Then your child can decorate their fairy garden with glitter, coloured stones and even small figurines.
Top Artful Inspiration Books
If you are looking for some crafty ideas, try one of these books:
- Not a Box by Antoinette Portis.
- Ed Emberley’s Complete Funprint Drawing Book by Ed Emberley.
- Doodles: A Really Giant Coloring and Doodling Book by Taro Gomi.
- Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes by Doug Stillinger.
- Papertoy Monsters by Brian Castleforte.
- World of Geekcraft by Susan Beal.
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