Doing Crafts With Your Preschooler
Are you ready to delight a child? Engage him or her in a creative craft. All youngsters, from preschool up, enjoy making and decorating things. Crafts add fun to an average day and make memories at the same time. Activities such as colouring, drawing, cutting and pasting develop the fine motor skills of pre-schoolers, as well as teaching them focus, perseverance and attention to quality.
Where do you start?
One of the best ways to gauge your children’s interest in crafts is to let them watch you doing them. Take up knitting, tole painting, wood carving, or any other craft that strikes your interest. If your children express an interest, get them involved too. Children as young as six or seven can learn to crochet or knit. You can teach your child to carve simple animals from soap or wood, and they can learn simple sewing.
Have a crafts centre
Keep some basic supplies in a central place. Many of the items listed below are recycled household products, but you may need to buy a few things as well. Shop for these when they’re on sale, or order them from an educational supply store which usually has reasonable prices.
Your craft centre might include:
- Cardboard cylinders (e.g. paper towel tubes) and boxes
- Egg cartons
- Old envelopes
- Paper lunch bags
- Scrapbooking paper
- Cotton balls
- Fabric scraps
- Sea shells
- Twigs and dried flowers
- Liquid glue
- Glue sticks
- Washable tempera paint
- Paint brushes
- Paint smocks
- Construction paper
- Tissue paper
- Finger paint paper
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutters
- Plastic knives
- Craft sticks
Here are some crafts you can make out of ordinary household items:
A bat from an egg carton
- Separate three cups from an egg carton.
- Cut out part of the bottoms of the two outside cups to resemble bat wings.
- Add eyes, a mouth, and decorate.
- Hang this from a string or rubber band.
A dog puppet from a paper lunch bag
- Cut out ears, eyes, a nose, and a tongue.
- Glue the tongue inside the mouth.
- Glue the eyes, nose, and ears to the dog’s face.
A Hawaiian lei from paper, drinking straws and yarn
- Thick paper such as card stock or construction paper
- Drinking straws (two straws for each lei)
- Yarn (about half a metre of yarn for each lei)
- Paint, markers and glitter (optional)
- Draw a flower template, and cut out many flowers from thick paper.
- Poke a tiny hole in the center of each flower (you’ll thread the yarn through this later.)
- (Optional) Decorate the flowers with paint, markers and glitter.
- Cut a drinking straw into 3-centimetre segments (the exact length is not important). You’ll need a segment of straw between each flower.
- Cut a piece of yarn about 60 centimetres long. Tie a thick knot at one end. Thread the smallest flower through the other end of the yarn, and push it down to the knot. Then thread a segment of drinking straw — push this down to the small flower.
- Continue threading flowers and straw segments. When the last flower has been threaded onto the yarn, tie the ends of the yarn together to make the lei.
A sunflower from a cardboard tube
- A small paper plate (coloured yellow)
- A paper towel tube
- Sunflower seeds
- Yellow and green construction paper
- For the stem of the flower, tape or glue a piece of green construction paper round the tube.
- For the petals trace your child’s handprints on yellow construction paper and cut them out. You’ll need about six handprints.
- Glue or staple the handprints around the paper plate.
- Apply a layer of glue to the center of the flower. Sprinkle this with sunflower seeds.
- Flatten the top of the tube and staple it to the flower. You now have a huge sunflower.
Increasing your children’s exposure to creative endeavours will help to raise their IQ and develop many of the basic tools they’ll need at school. But best of all, they thrive on the time they spend with you, Mother, as you create things together. Enjoy every moment!