If there is one thing we do well in our house, it’s crafts! We will use anything and everything to create, imagine, build, mould, stick – the possibilities are endless. Crafts for children are so important for many reasons and is an area where the boundaries can be stretched as far as your child wants to take them.
As Einstein famously said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Craft allows your child to explore their creativity and inventiveness! For those that need that little extra scaffolding, craft sets and kits are amazing! Including everything you might need for a particular project, there is age appropriate guidance so all ages and abilities can create something of worth.
There are so many developmental benefits of craft sets that I could write an essay (don’t worry, I won’t!) Being allowed free imaginative rein fosters cognitive and social development. Needless to say, children’s fine motor skills (hand eye co-ordination and manual dexterity) also come on in leaps and bounds – they become more skilled in other daily activities such as tying their shoes, dressing, using cutlery, tidying up!
The family favourite Fuzzy Felt is wonderful for encouraging not only those pincer hand movements but also for colour recognition, counting, sorting and storytelling – which is a great opportunity for that creativity to really show.
I absolutely adore Djeco craft sets – not only are they are inclusive and accessible to all, they are beautifully made and allow children to create really gorgeous works of art. Each set provides opportunities to try out new ideas which helps develop the skills of lateral thinking and problem-solving. There is a confidence which grows from using a craft set for initial ideas and then branching out on one’s own. I am fascinated by Djeco’s Kinoptik range which integrates art and science to create an optical illusion of movement. There are instructions to follow but also the opportunity to try your own patterns and designs. Absolutely fascinating!
Imaginative and creative play is how children learn about the world. Craft helps children express themselves - for some it is the only way. For those children who struggle to communicate their emotions, craft and art can be a visual way to who show they are feeling.
I would always have craft materials at hand for those moments of “I’m bored/sad/angry/needing to tell you something”. There is something beautifully cathartic about sitting together and crafting. Children find it easier to talk to you about delicate subjects when they don’t have to look directly at you – a crafting activity gives them the opportunity to focus on something else. A beading activity is great for this – very reminiscent of the fisherwomen and men making nets on the harbour whilst setting the world to rights! If you have no beads at hand, then good old penne pasta is just wonderful for threading and then painting.
Dough is another great calming activity – there are loads of kits available however I think everyone should make their own once in a while as it is something that all ages love and it is very simple to make. If you get your children to make it, you can thrown in a bit of maths as well!
This is a great recipe: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/playdough-recipe
I have struggled in the past with the abundance of pinks and pastels used in the packaging of children’s craft sets – this limiting of their interests by pushing toys as only suitable for one gender. Some boys don’t care – my son would play with anything as long as it was fun. My daughter has always hated pink and yellow so wouldn’t be drawn to anything with that coloured packaging. Increasingly (and wonderfully), we are seeing manufacturers capitulate to campaigning websites such as www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk which pushes for a gender free approach to toys and marketing. I am happy to see more range in craft sets with regards colour and subject matter – really something for everyone.
by Allie White, educational consultant to BrightMinds
As a parent and former-teacher, Allie has a hands-on approach to home learning, believing that the best learning is done together in a relaxed environment.
Our mission at BrightMinds is to foster “a brighter way to play” to inspire your child to be curious about the world around them & encourage creativity in a fun & relaxed way.
We curate a world-class range of educational toys, games, gifts & books which are good quality, safe and backed by our extraordinary customer service. Craft Kits are our speciality and a Craft Kit from BrightMinds is a wonderful gift for your special girl or boy. Backed by our 90 day guarantee we are the number one site for thoughtful toys for kids!