What do you do with little kids on a cold, rainy day in January? Break out the art project! Maybe arts and crafts aren’t your fortay or your “I’m not creative” paralysis has you avoiding the whole subject. Never fear. There is such a wealth of ideas and inspiration out there that, whatever your personal style, you can be faciliating creative fun in no time.
Great Kid’s Craft Blogs
My go-to source of inspiration is The Crafty Crow, a “Childrens Craft Collective” blog. Author Bella Dia scours the internet for kids art and craft ideas and presents them by theme. Crafty Crow projects are often seasonal, sometimes recycled and always varied. She pulls from all types of blogs, so that projects will appeal to the full gamut of parenting styles. During December, she mixed it up a bit with a “Book & Activity Advent”. Each day presented a wintertime story along with a fun project. Good stuff.
The Artful Parentis another favorite blog of mine, this one witha much more personal feel. The author, Jean, has an art background, which features prominently in the way that she and her daughter Maia spend their time. From time to time, Jean hosts an art playgroup, which gives readers a peak into how a variety of age groups will approach the same project. With a new baby in tow, Jean has not been posting as much as of late. For a feel of what she usually offers, see Jean’s Artsy Ideas to Get You Started.
Whenever I find art projects online that I’d like to do someday with the kids, I copy the link to my digital notepad titled “Fun Art Projects”. Creative, I know. Later on down the road, the title of these projects gets placed into our “art jar”. Every other Friday, at playgroup, one excited little child gets to choose a project from the art jar for our group. This actually helps me because I get stuck unable to decide which fabulous project to do! The jar forces helps me commit to having materials ready and helps us get to the seasonal projects in time.
Great Kid’s Craft Books
“Scribble Art” by MaryAnn Kohl. This is a fantastic art activity resource that draws on basic household supplies (glue, salt, flour, crayons) to open up a world of creative possibility. MaryAnn Kohl has written many popular kids art books celebrating the process, not the product of the art experience. “Scribble Art” is one of her best. It is available at our library, but we hope to have our own copy someday. Her “First Art” is a better choice for those 2 and under.
“Crafting Fun” by Rae Grant. As opposed to an art experience book, Grant’s “Crafting Fun” is about fun “Things to Do & Make with Kids.” Many of the included craft projects have stood the test of time and aren’t “new” at all. But, having the book on hand is a great source of inspiration (and of “how-to” when mama doesn’t remember how to make a paper snowflake).
“My First Sewing Book” by Winky Cherry: Step by step how-to hand sew with tons of pictures and fun rhyming text. My daughter received this for her 5th birthday, and has really taken off with sewing since then. It helped her master basic skills so she can take on projects independently. Woohoo!