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6 Rules for Crafting with Kids

Crafting can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things you can do with your kids. You get to see their imagination come to life and quite often it becomes a great bonding experience as Agent M and i have had many deep conversations as well as a few giggles while we were doing a craft together.

However, without a little forethought, it can quickly turn into a disaster that will have you wanting to weep into a wine glass.

I've come up with a few rules that should help you keep it fun ...

Messy Mats are your best friend - Paint and small children is often cause to hyperventilate but trust me when i say, Messy mats will ease this tension. Paint will most definitely get spilled and/or smeared via tiny fingers but having it all contained makes for an easy clean up without the carpet or the sofa getting a colourful makeover.

Wet wipes aren't just for snotty faces and dirty tooshies - Having something wet to hand when painting/gluing will also help contain the mess. I learnt this the hard way and while i went to get a cloth for Agent M to wipe his hands on, He proceeded to touch his face, hair and wipe on his jeans. Wet wipes can be used to wipe any smears on the messy mat too so that they project doesn't get ruined when its sat on top of wet glue or smeared paint.

Save your good clothes for visits to Granny - No matter what they are doing (paint, glitter, gluing, colouring), you always run the risk of them getting their clothes dirty/sticky/coloured. This is when you need to swap the good jeans and tops for the old faded ones. You could always buy them cheaper clothes specifically for messy play. Asda have value range clothes that are just basic and simple, but they are great for when you know your kid is probably gonna get dirty. I don't mind Agent M getting those stained with paint or mud as much as i would his expensive Next ones.

Crafting doesn't have to break the bank - I started a rainy day box when Agent M was little. Each time i went shopping i would get something to add to it. I would regularly go into shops like Wilko or Pound stretchers and pick up bits and pieces that were on sale till eventually the box became well stocked. If you want to follow a planned project rather than wing it, there are plenty of kits you can buy that have everything you need included which cost very little. Shops like Poundland and Home Bargains do some brilliant kits from £1 each and depending on the time of year you can get alot of seasonal kits too. Don't rule out everyday household items either. Agent M has made some brilliant things with toilet roll tubes and egg boxes. Again this is where their imagination comes out to play and you can just sit on the side lines and let them direct you.

Keep it small or perhaps themed - When deciding what project to do with your little ones its worth keeping in mind how old they are. Its had to keep even the most enthusiastic toddler engaged in a big project after a while so you're going to want to keep it small. Anything that lasts longer than 30 minutes you may find really difficult to get finished, so for smaller kids i would recommend crafts that don't require much planning or direction ... painting, colouring or dough for example. With older kids you can always incorporate a theme. Possibly one that ties in with school topics. Agent M was doing a Dinosaur topic at school so i decided to buy a Dino Hama Bead kit for him to do at home. He had a great time and i got to hear lots of different dino facts he was learning about at school.

Remember your building memories - I'm 28 years old and i still remember the days that my sister and i would sit at the kitchen table with our mum and she would guide us through a craft activity. It was a special time and i feel that it helped us bond not only as mother and daughters but as siblings. To this day my sister and i still love to make things and i have shared that love with Agent M. Crafting with your kids isn't about you, Its about them. Even if your not enjoying sitting with them gluing sequins onto a sheet of paper or making play doh shapes with cookie cutters, they are probably having a brilliant time so make sure your giving them a happy memory of mum or dad playing with them, not of you sitting with a cranky face rushing them to get finished.

For some ideas on what to make, check out my Kids Crafts Pinterest board below or check out some Crafts we've made HERE:)

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