Creative Child

Doing Crafts with Your Kids Has Lifelong Benefits

(5 Quick and Low-Mess Crafts to Do)
by Rebecca Eanes

It seems that sitting down together for a little parent/child craft time has more benefits than we realized. Sure, the kids love it and keeps them happily occupied, but did you know that it encourages key visual-processing skills, improves fine motor skills, and even improves their executive function (which helps with focus and memory).

Richard Rende, Ph.D. teamed up with Elmer’s Products to explore the impact that creative time has on long-term success. They spoke with 50 experts in the field of child development and pediatrics along with nearly 300 moms across the United States. According to his report (found here), moms admitted that things like chores and extracurricular activities got in the way of creative time and 90 percent of the moms surveyed said they wish they had more time to do crafts with their children.

Still, it looks like it’s worth our effort to clear off that table and spend at least a few minutes every week crafting with our kids. Rende states that your child’s academics will be improved as skills like pattern recognition and detecting sequencing are strengthened. Just as importantly, in my view, is the fact that creating together gives you time to present and connected, which is always much needed in today’s busy culture.

If clearing off your kitchen table just to fill it with loads of crafting supplies that are going to be a mess to clean up seems too stressful to undertake, no worries! I’ve gathered 5 quick and low-mess crafts from around the web so that you can start creating now with very little fuss.

  1. Colorful crowns by Inner Child Fun. These cute crows are made with colorful straws cut up to make “beads” woven onto pipe cleaners. Talk about simple, cheap, and mess-free! Nailed it! What a great activity to practice those fine motor skills, too!

  2. Mess-free art by PBS. Now your child can enjoy finger painting without the mess! I remember doing this activity with my boys when they were tots, and it’s so much fun. You’ll need a plastic freezer bag, paint, a sheet of white paper, and tape. Fill the freezer bag and 1/3 full with paint and zip tightly. Flatten it out to disburse the paint. Place a sheet of white paper underneath the bag (to show contrast) and tape it securely to the table. Voila!
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