Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tips for Crafting with Kids — by Guest Mom Marie

At times it may seem overwhelming to craft with your kids. You may worry about glue dripping, scissors cutting things they shouldn't, or not having some of the basic craft essentials. Here are a few tips that can help you have fun crafting without the worry.

Basic Crafting Supply List — a few items to always keep on hand. Keep them in a clear plastic tub and label the front with what is inside. All the items should be available at your local craft store: glue sticks, white craft glue, child size scissors, pipe cleaners, crayons, buttons, art paper, tape, clothes pins, popsicle sticks, crafty eyes, felt, hot glue gun (for adult use only).

Glue Tips:
• I prefer to use glue sticks whenever I can. They are easy for the kids to use. Just make sure they put the cap back on tight or it will dry out.
• For white craft glue, pour some out onto a milk jug lid or yogurt lid. Give each child their own Q-tip to dip and paint the glue where needed. I like to let kids do things on their own, they need to learn sometime. Just be prepared with wet wipes or a rag for clean up.
• I will often use tape when glue is asked for, if I can. My kids are younger and much better at placing tape than using glue.

Cutting Tips:
• Start early practicing with scissors. Don't be afraid to let them try it. My 2 year old is obsessed with them, so I have to keep them up high for safety. Because she is excited and ready to use them, we practice.
• We use child size scissors. They usually go on sale during back to school sales.
• We practice on paper that is going to be recycled anyway. Sometimes I just let them cut away, and sometimes I draw lines for them to try to follow.
• For holding the scissors correctly, tell the kids to always give a "thumbs up".
• It may take a child until they are 6-7 years old to handle scissors. I highly suggest doing lots of practice at home, so they can be successful at school.

Taping Tips:
I just wrote a Taping Tips
post that can help you when you want to display your child's work and you only have tape to use. It's an easy solution to the "tape tearing paper" dilemma.

I know there are many more Crafting Tips out there. Please share what you do to make things fun for crafting and easier on the clean up.

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Blogger Jonathan & Jillian said...

Great little one's too young to craft with just yet, but I recently found Eco Glue which is a great eco-friendly has less than 1% VOCs and is water based...I've used it for a variety of projects and really like it - it's very strong! I know Crafts, Etc. carries it online and Hobby Lobby in their stores...Anyway, it'd be a great glue for kids to use b/c of it's eco-friendliness! Great post!

Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 12:25:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous K said...

We found these great glue spreaders in the Discount School Supply catalog. They work so much better than q-tips and you can wash them and use them over and over again.

Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 2:06:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jane Maynard said...

the q-tip idea is GREAT!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 6:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jane Maynard said...

I'll have to check out those glue spreaders, too. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 6:47:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you mix a little dishwashing detergent in with your tempera paints, the paint washes up easier from hands, furniture and in the laundry. We also use old ice cube trays for pallettes - it helps the kids keep the colors seperate and clean up is simple.

Friday, April 25, 2008 at 2:40:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Marie said...

J&J - Thanks for the Eco Glue tip. I will have to check that out.

K - Fabulous catalog for supplies. Thanks.

Anonymous - I love the ice cube tray idea for paint. They would work great at keeping them separate.

Friday, April 25, 2008 at 10:45:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

I am a little late on the forum, but I do have a great suggestion on children's art activities. I was always annoyed by the huge mess with our markers. So I came up with a product called cap trappers. Really they are an amazing little way to keep your lids together and things so much better organized. Check them out and let me know what you think CapTrappers

Thursday, May 1, 2008 at 11:17:00 AM EDT  

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