(This post is written by Aradhana)
My children are little bundles of joy, always bustling with energy. They are on a constant quest to explore, learn and create. We are all aware that a child’s mind is like a blank canvas; you can paint it just the way you want. And certainly, you want nothing short of the best for your little ones. Being a mother of two hasn’t been easy but has surely taught me a thing or two about honing a child’s creative genius. Here are few examples of how I engage my tiny tots with simple and fun art & craft activities:
1) On Festive Occasions – Don’t you just adore the cute little cards your kids make for you? Turns out, they love making them as much! This is a simple way to cheer up your kids and let them explore their creativity. Hand them a few sheets of paper, non-toxic paints, sketch pens, cute stickers, buttons, glue, and voila! You’ll be surprised to see the wonders they are capable of! Let it get messy if it does. It only proves how much your child enjoys the activity. Handmade cards make memories for keeps! I tear up each time my kids make me a card to profess their love.
2) On Weekends And Holidays – Being a working mother, I prefer staying at home and spending quality time with family on my days off, rather than going out. On days like these, I let my kids do what they totally love; I let them color! There are many coloring sheets available online which I usually keep a stock of. Not only is this a great outlet for your kids to keep busy, but it is also a good way for them to learn about colors, living beings, things, and shapes. It’s always better to let them color on a piece paper than the walls of your house, don’t you think?
3) While Traveling – Most of you mothers would agree that traveling with little kids can get really arduous. They get restless and make it extremely hard for you and your fellow travelers. I for one have learned a fun way to keep my kids occupied on long journeys. I have introduced the concept of a travel journal in which they can draw and write about the places they see and the people they meet. This makes them better observers and learners. It also makes your journey a lot more peaceful.
4) At Birthday Parties – Contrary to popular belief, organizing children’s birthday parties is a highly enjoyable and easy process! You can plan a myriad of exciting craft activities like balloon painting, mask making, finger painting and many more! To minimize litter and avoid dirtying the surroundings, make sure you cover the entire area with old paper. Give the kids a memorable time by letting them freely showcase their creative flair!
5) On “DIY” Days – I have noticed that many children, especially single children often experience boredom and loneliness. The situation gets further aggravated if both the parents are working. They resort to mediums like TV and video games to keep their children entertained. While these mediums are good in their own right, they aren’t always suggested due to their negative impacts on a child’s mental and emotional health. The perfect cure for boredom then is to introduce easy DIYs to your kids. Used plastic bottles, old clothes, sea shells, rocks, almost anything can be used to create a beautiful work of art. Mark a day each month on your calendar, where you and your child can get together to create magic out of waste.
Parents these days are giving very little importance to art & craft and are focusing more on digital learning. I strongly believe that craft can positively shape your child’s personality in many ways. You can use it as a medium to introduce many concepts of science, environment, culture and etiquettes very early on in their life. This will not only make them more aware of their surroundings, but also turn them into a well-rounded individual. Craft is also a great medium of self-expression. Let your child communicate creatively!