March is officially “Craft Month” and boy oh boy, do we have a lot up our sleeves 🙂
The beauty of crafting with kids is that it often uses things typically found around the house. Egg cartons, tooth picks, pegs, cupcake cases, you name it; we will find something to craft with it 🙂
I also love that arts and crafts expand our children’s imaginations. They encourage independent and pragmatic thinking, which in a world filled with television and media, is something we so need to work on!
Together with House of York, one of South Africa’s most loves household brands, we have been playing around with everyday wooden objects that we could turn into Arts and Crafts.
First up in our craft spree are their skewers.
Traditionally used in South Africa for braai’s, we incorporated the skewers into some fine motor skill building sticks.
Stick a skewer into some playdough and let your kids thread cheerio’s, froot loops, or pasta onto the sticks. It requires huge concentration for little hands to thread those objects onto the skewers. Add in beads or use different coloured fruits to bring in pattern recognition; get your kids to follow an order of objects that you placed to encourage repetition. A simple, fun, learning activity that the little one’s love!
Next up are toothpicks.
The possibilities here are endless, I honestly had to limit myself to two activities.
First up we worked on our STEM skills. I built a molecular structure that the boys then had to replicate with their toothpicks and baby marshmallows (you can use sweets, or any fruits like grapes or apples for this as well). My 5-year-old worked on this with uninterrupted concentration and asked me to make more! My little one however (he’s 3), managed the basic concept of a square and triangle. This activity encourages 3D thinking and I LOVE the concentration that took place.
I then took a whole bunch of toothpicks and dyed them different colours with food colouring. They are so pretty, this could have been an activity, toothpick rainbows? Why not?
The activity I chose was based around creating pictures. To up the interest a little, I took some sticky plastic wrap (the kind you cover books with) and stuck it onto the sliding door. You could use paper, but I just did want to get hands too sticky with glue. The kids stuck their toothpicks onto the contact plastic and created their own pictures.
Lastly, let’s look to one of our favourite household items to create with, pegs!
Not only are they super affordable, but they are a perfect size for little hands to hold and play with. They also offer one of the best fine motor activities you can ever give to a child; simply hanging clothes on a line. The pincher grasp and squeeze of a peg is crucial for healthy development, and that really doesn’t take any creativity!
OK, I may have gotten involved in a some of the finer detail on these ones, but the boys painted the wooden pegs. We then decided on what animals we wanted to create and how we would do it. We made crocodiles, birds on a “branch” (Skewer), a Giraffe as well as some super easy butterflies, which the kids pretty much did themselves.
I LOVE how these turned out and they are now proudly displayed on our “Gallery” wall.
So, there you have it. Using affordable items, often found around the house, we created several different craft activities. This “Crafting” Month of March I encourage you all to spend more time doing things WITH your kids. Whatever it may be, the act of doing something with them is priceless and they will value the time with you forever.