Remember being a child and spending hours lost doing the things you loved? From drawing and painting to puppet play and cardboard box cars, kids have an innate knack at connecting with the world of play, and their ability to drop into the creative zone is both easy and natural.
Studies show that art, crafts and creative play are brilliant for building confidence and developing little minds and bodies, and can foster a range of important developmental skills. When younger kids use their fingers to make and do (think cutting, colouring, painting), they develop their fine motor skills and coordination and learn about how things work and fit together.
As we head into a few more weeks of home time, you might be looking for ways to get kids into the zone. Good news –we have plenty of inspiration to get you started.
Kids love getting into the process of art-making, and at all ages, art encourages creativity and self-expression. When kids feel good creating, with the freedom to experiment and make mistakes (and mess!), they get a healthy boost of self-confidence too – so just let them go with the flow!
For ages 4+, try experimenting with found-object printmaking. Grab some butcher’s paper or old cardboard cereal boxes as your canvas; gather some everyday objects (leaves, feathers, bottle tops, fruit and vegetable slices, corks, sponges); lay out some washable paint colours on a disposable plate; then let kids dip each object into the paint and fill their canvas with different shapes, textures and colours.
Sparkly finger painting anyone?! You’ll need a sheet of white drawing paper, some washable finger paint and some glitter. Help your child to splodge the paint onto the paper then let them go wild making different shapes, lines, squiggles and dots with their fingers. Add more paint if you need, then, while the paint is still wet, get them to sprinkle glitter over their creation before allowing it to dry. For another hands-on art adventure, try making this gorgeous marbled paper –– with shaving cream!
Hold onto those empty egg cartons, when it comes to crafting the options are endless! One great way: Let kids create a magical underwater world, filled with fish and sea creatures. Using a skewer (parents), spike some small holes into the upper part of the carton, then use garden leaves, twigs or pipe cleaners to create ‘seaweed.’ Help kids as needed to cut out paper in various sea creature shapes (think fish, starfish, whales, dolphins), then let them paint or colour-in each one in bright colours and paste them into the carton ‘sea,’ adding googly eyes and glitter for that authentic underwater glisten.
For bigger kids, Kmart has a great range of kids’ craft supplies, from bath jelly and bracelet-making kits to colour-your-own water bottle kits and build-you-own solar robots. Might be time for a project!
Going on a ‘Colour Walk’ is a wonderful way to engage young minds and fill some time. While it might not be possible to wander public parks just now, you can still do a colour walk at home or in your backyard. The object of the exercise is to carefully search for objects around the house in every colour of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, blue, purple) – one by one. Next, take a large piece of drawing paper or butcher’s paper and get kids to sketch out a map of their walk, then add colourful drawings of some of the things they saw in each colour. Each walk will be different. Ask: did they find more than one thing in each colour?
Keen for more ideas and inspiration? Check out our arts & crafts retailers.
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*Please note that due to COVID-19, some stores may be closed at this time, but most are still available for online purchases. For an updated list of Woodgrove retailers still trading please click here.