How to encourage crafting with children

Firstly thanks to Becky for asking me to come over to Baby Budgeting and do a guest post.  I am Jen aka mum in The Madhouse, I am a SAHM of two boys ages 5 and nearly 4 (yes, only 15 months between the two).  I am passionate about crafting with children and believe that all children should have access to arts, crafts and getting messy.
encourage crafting with children
I pick up my craft supplies all over the place and they really need not be expensive.  I have a few staples that I believe really important.
Vinyl Table cover – you can get vinyl table cloth of the internet for as little as £1.99 a meter, I used to use an old plastic birthday party table cloth
Paper – Ikea sells rolls of white paper for £3.99 this is excellent for laying in the floor for footprints, you can even use it once decorated as wrapping paper.
Paints – I use premixed tempura paints (not from the ELC, as it isn’t very washable), a little goes a long way and lasts a very long time
Scissors – Children scissors really do make it easier for them to use
Felt tips – Crayola do a really good washable range
Glue – PVA, all the supermarkets sell it now
Great shops for supplies
Poundland – yes poundland, you can get paper plates, doily’s, paper, stickers, felt, stamps, seasonal sequins (confetti), pencils and much much more. 
The Works – Sugar paper, foam shapes, paper straws, feathers, tissue paper and pompoms
Supermarkets – I always keep an eye when I go shopping as they now all stock great inexpensive crafting items for children and they are great for picking up season items after the time and storing for next year (I got some great Easter ribbon for 16p a roll).
Over the years, my crafting supplies have gone from a small box to a cupboard full, but the great thing is the boys have access to everything and use it when ever they want.
Reuse, reduce, recycle
Yoghurt posts and ice-lolly sticks are great for glue holding and application, cut off of fabric, dad’s old shirts make great art smocks, cardboard is the thing for model making, pasta makes a great necklace.  Are you getting the idea, children can make something from anything.  Fruit and vegetables are great for stamping with, wool makes great hair on an picture.
Encouraging Craft and Art in Children
Children often do not need any encouragement, often it is the adult who needs to be encouraged to give it all a go.  Preparation is the key, if you have a project in mind collect together everything you need before you get the children involved.  Don’t be afraid of mess, make the area as clear as possible and if you really can not deal with the mess then take your activity outside.
Don’t push your requirement for perfection on to your children, there is no right or wrong, just fun.
A easy cutting and Gluing Activity
Old supermarket Magazine
Glue or glue stick
Paper plates (these can have been previously used for painting)
Encourage your child to go through the magazine with you and get them to cut out any images of food you find, or if they are too small cut them out for them.  This is a great way to discuss new foods with them and to talk about the importance of vegetables etc.
Then get them to create plates of food using the images and the glue.
Simple as that.
Thanks Jen for a fab guest post!





  1. May 21, 2010 / 9:38 am

    Have bookmarked this page, thank you!

  2. May 21, 2010 / 9:19 pm

    Some great ideas. I like to use lining paper from B&Q as my painting roll of choice. The kids love it and cheap as chips!!

  3. May 23, 2010 / 4:31 pm

    Wonderful ideas, thank you for sharing.

    I’m a fan of lining paper too! My little boy loves making life-size pictures of himself. I get him to lie down on the paper, I draw around him and then he paints himself in. Lots of fun!

  4. May 30, 2010 / 10:37 pm

    What great ideas, I love them. We use the paper from Ikea it lasts for ages, and so easy for footprints!

  5. Becky
    May 31, 2010 / 6:35 am

    I only paint before bath time becuae of crazy footprint type ideas!!!

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