Tips About Crafts For Small Children
Author: Charlene Tennant
Hi, my name is Charlene.
I'm going to talk about crafts for small children and pass along some tips for setup, safety and crafting.
As a former teacher's aide for grades k-4, I worked with young children on their classroom craft projects along with helping with their reading skills. Much of the work involved preparing the craft areas for each project and getting the materials together. I did a lot of pre-cutting paper strips or shapes and putting out small containers of glue, crayons or whatever was required for the day's project. This also included handling parts of the project that were too dangerous for the kids, like melting wax crayons or ironing on transfers, etc.
When crafting at home with small children it's also a good idea for the parent to be prepared ahead of time for when the weather is bad or the kids are bored. Start a craft materials stash just as you would for your own craft or sewing projects. I doesn't have to be large or expensive. Items you might have around the house work well (paper plates, drinking straws, paper or foam egg cartons, a small bag of newspaper strips for Paper Mache, rubber bands, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, cotton balls, construction paper, children's scissors, white glue, crayons, water colors, markers, etc). You might also want to include a plastic table cloth, aprons and wipes. When you want to spend some quality time with the little ones you will be ready to craft on the spur of the moment.
Safety when crafting with small children is just as important as being prepared. It's just using common sense. No sharp objects that can cut fingers or poke eyes and depending on the age of the child, no tiny items that can cause a choking hazard. Don't let the kids handle hot items like glue guns, irons or hot liquids. And make sure all products that they use are non-toxic.
I haven't seen very many small children who don't taste everything or at least put their hands in their mouths. We want to concentrate on having a good time and not have to worry about what goes into the mouth.
Last but not least is the craft itself. Back when I helped in the classroom it was a struggle to come up with new ideas. Most craft ideas were passed back and forth between the teachers. We modified projects to fit the age group. Many ideas came from the Teachers Resource Center and just plain old brainstorming. Now we have the internet. You can find almost anything if you have time to research and collect. There are many sites dedicated to kid's crafts.
Here's just one example. While I was looking for ideas for project to do with my grandkids I came across a nice little e-book by Alexandra Martinez called "365 Easy Step-by-Step Kid Crafts". As the title indicates, she has included 365 craft projects that cover most holidays and general crafting ideas. As a bonus she has included a book of children's recipes and another book of games and activities. She offers a money back guarantee and free upgrades. I purchased the books myself to have on hand when the kids come to visit. I can print out the projects that I want to use and have patterns ready to cut or color without messing up a printed book or having to go make copies on a copier (which I don't own). It saves me a lot of time searching for ideas.
I really like the recipe for play dough that's in the recipe book. I could spend a whole day making play dough animals with my grandaughter. She has to keep every one of them until they dry out and have to be thrown out. It sure saves me a lot of money when I can make my own.
Check out Alexandra's book at:
Whichever craft projects you choose to do with your kids, no matter where you find them, be prepared, keep safety in mind and have lots of fun crafting away. Make the project along with them to show them how it's done but don't insist that they do it your way. Let them be creative. Let them know that they have done a GREAT job, even if you have no idea what the did. They may come up with something that's even better than the original idea. You will be creating happy memories that will, hopefully, instill a love for crafting beautiful things for the rest of their lives.
Oh! and don't forget to take pictures. They'll look great in your scrapbooking projects.
Tips about crafts for small children.
About the author:
I am an artist, crafter, craft teacher, former teachers aide and business owner. I am working towards my own web site and enjoy passing along information to fellow crafters.