Mommy/Daughter Crafternoon: The multitude of benefits from crafting with kids.

Karen Walrond (@Chookooloonks) was sweet enough to tweet me pictures of her and her daughter making the Swap-O-Rama-Rama 10-Minute purse together!

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Karen titled this “Future Fashion Designer at Work”

(From http://chookooloonks.posterous.com)

I’ve got to admit I’m jealous as all get out. I’m trying like crazy to enjoy every minute of Olive as a bitty baby but I am dying for the day when we can craft together!

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“Ladies & gentlemen, the very first Alex Bag!”

(From http://chookooloonks.posterous.com)

Didn’t Alex do a fabulous job?! Obviously Karen is proud of her daughter. And I’ve got to say, I am proud of Karen for sharing the joy of hand-making with her baby girl at such a critical age.

I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here, but I just want to say it into the internets for anyone who hasn’t heard it yet: crafting with your children is incredibly good for them.

Not only is it a great bonding experience when you craft with your kids, but crafts like sewing, weaving, drawing, painting, clay sculpting, even Popsicle-stick-house making, stimulates so many parts of the brain, helping children develop:

* Dexterity and Fine Motor Skills
* Creative Thinking
* Decision Making Skills
* Spacial Reasoning
* Teamwork (if they are working with others)
* Independence and Self Assurance (when working alone)
* Measuring and Math
* Following Instructions

The more self-directed a craft can be, the more parts of the brain they stimulate. Don’t feel like you need to buy them an expensive kit with a pre-planned outcome. The best crafting can come when you pull some clean cereal boxes, empty paper towel rolls and coffee cans out of the recycling bin and say, “Let’s make a castle!” or a doll, or a car or whatever they can imagine. Being creative is the whole point! And if you can teach them to “make their own fun” so to speak, they are a lot less likely to come to you with those three annoying words… “Mom, I’m bored.”

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(from DeclutterOrganizeRepurpose)

Of course, we all need a little inspiration now and then so I’ve started a Pinterest board for Kids Crafts if you care to follow it. I have focused on gathering ideas for projects that can be done with very young kiddos but there’s some great boredom-busters in there for any age.

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Some people will ask, how old their kids have to be to craft. I personally plan to do age appropriate crafts with my baby as soon as possible. My mother, who is a weaver and a teacher told me she’s found that 5-7 year old kids LOVE weaving and looms and they really “get it” at that age, sometimes even better than adults. So they don’t have to be as old as you may think to be into more complicated crafting.

Ok, preaching done. Now, go get your craft on!

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