What parent doesn’t love watching their little ones get their hands dirty (metaphorically, of course – nobody wants paint stains!) with handicrafts. Whether the youngest ones are gluing pasta to their mother’s day card, or the older kids are trying to create their next big masterpiece…sooner or later the excitement usually fades. Be it in favor of the new smartphone or the TV, eventually, they outgrow crafts.
And what a pity that is! Fortunately, it’s not an irreversible process. Creativity is important for kids of all ages, and there are several ways to keep them interested.
One method is to encourage them by rewarding them for doing creative things. Ideally, you want to give them something positive to associate with it. So, instead of asking your 8-year old to draw three Christmas cards, mention how happy your relatives would be about receiving them, or even how happy Santa would be to see them work hard.
You know your kids best, so you probably already have some idea on how to motivate them. It may just be a question of finding the right moment or suggesting to do it together, to get them excited for it. Think back to what you enjoyed at their age. Drawing? Painting? Building things? The options are endless, so you’ll be able to find the right thing.
Be open to alternative creative outlets as well – perhaps your kids prefer something like playing an instrument to making something with their hands? You could always record something for your relatives – or take a video of them trying their hardest!
For older kids, try to find something that presents a bit of a challenge so they get a sense of accomplishment with their crafts. Get them to try something new, like pottery or crochet, and they might find they enjoy it more than expected. Another thing to try is to associate the crafts with something they are already excited about, such as drawing materials from a movie they like or making crafts for holiday gifts.
Christmas is a wonderful example. Ask them for suggestions on what they could do, and try to work around that. If nothing comes to mind, a hand-picked basket is always a lovely gift for friends and family, and the whole family can contribute and work on it. From little notes to drawings, from food to a bottle of wine – the kids can draw, paint, and arrange however they like.
Perhaps they can even make or decorate the basket. And if the gift making doesn’t quite go as planned, well you can always cheat a little, and supplement a little with Christmas gift baskets. We won’t tell anyone. Promise.