Using crafts to bring your family closer together
After School Arts and Crafts Projects
by Wendy Burns
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After school lets out, many parents wonder how to keep their children busy and away from the television or video games. One of the best options is to encourage them to be creative by introducing arts and crafts time.
Arts and crafts time can be something the entire family can participate in, which makes it a very good way to bond with children and teach them a new skill or hobby as they grow up.
Create a Quick Finger Painting Project
The type of arts and crafts project often depends on the age of the child or children. For younger children, finger-painting is a very fun and easy activity as anyone can do it.
The first step in creating a finger-painting project is to get all the supplies. Parents will need at minimum the paint, some paper or poster board, and a few paintbrushes.
Some parents may find that easels, aprons, and floor coverings are also a good idea, especially with younger children. These will help to protect the floors and other surfaces from being covered with paint.
Teach Kids How to Paint or Draw
Older children may prefer something more advanced than finger-painting, such as oil or acrylic painting. Some may even prefer to learn how to draw or sketch with oil pastels, colored pencils, or graphite pencils.
One option is to teach them how to paint or draw still life. To do this, parents can assemble a variety of items like a fruit basket, jewelry, toys, or other items that children can draw.
Some may find these structured projects teach children valuable skills when it comes to perspective, shading, and general composition for paintings and sketches. This is often the foundation to becoming a better artist at any age.
Another option for projects is to provide children with a workbook or art book to follow along with. With these, they can learn how to draw in a variety of styles as their skill improves.
While the structured lessons or projects can be fun, it is also important to let kids express their creativity. To do this, parents can suggest that they work on something that they want to draw or paint or suggest a theme, such as their favorite food, pet, or person.
One advantage to these creative projects is that it teaches children to think through how to create the sketch or painting rather than just look at something and recreate it. This can help spur further creativity for other projects.
Encourage Creativity with a Variety of Supplies
For those who have children in several different age groups at home, it can be harder to come up with after school arts and crafts projects for everyone. This is why it is a good idea to have a variety of supplies on hand.
A well-stocked arts and crafts closet or tote should include a variety of paints, pencils, paper, glue, glitter, and small decorations like stickers. These can serve as the foundation for a number of fun projects for kids.
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