Arts and Crafts have come back into fashion. Having a hands-on activity to create with your children is now seen as a healthy alternative to the bright screens of the computer and TV. This is a brilliant time to reconnect with your creative side and to help develop future generations` skills with crafts for kids..
History is often said to repeat itself and, as the Punk Movement fought the norms of society and pop music, so now are arts and crafts being used as a revolt against the modern age. We want to connect with each other again. We want to show off our skills, impress ourselves, our friends and families. Buying the same, mass-produced items as everyone else has become a chore. Bespoke is highly sought-after to create the original and define the individual.
The dangers of sitting in front of a digital screen have been expressed for decades, however the real effect of the digital age is only now becoming clear. Children and young people practically live online; they chat, watch movies, listen to music, research and network. The internet cannot be faulted for the wealth of information within reach. You can learn to do just about anything. But when it comes to textbook knowledge versus experience, the balance is tipping.
Children and young people know a lot these days. Indigestible amounts of information are at their very fingertips, however practical skills are suffering. What`s the difference between reading about how to make a cake, and actually making one? The proof is in the pudding, as they say.
People are realising that the amount of time spent on the computer has left no time for any other pursuits. Hobbies were replaced by video-games, meeting with friends became chatting online and learning a new skill became a reading exercise only. There are many problems in society that children are developing due to a lack of activities including obesity, depression and addiction.
Parents across the globe have realised this and slowly but surely, family time is making a comeback. Limits are being set on the amount of time we spend watching TV, communicating on the internet and playing consoles. The internet may be a fantastic place to start to look for craft ideas for you and your children, but once found, turn the computer off and get making.
Pastel art and bracelet crafting are two of the most popular activities to do with your children at the moment. Pastels are relatively cheap and unlike paint do not tend to make much mess! Both for beginners and the more experienced, the magic of pastel art is that there is always room for improvement. Start by making a simple design and work your way up to using shading, blending and more complicated techniques.
Pastel art is great for children and can be used to make celebratory cards such as birthday cards, christmas and anniversary cards, or presents for friends and family. Your children will love the feeling of accomplishment when they complete their first design and the joy it brings their most treasured relatives.
Bracelet Crafting is ideal for children as the plethora of materials and designs you can make are almost never ending. Learn many simple and intricate lacing patterns, decorate with beads, shells or anything you can find around the house- even dried pasta! Bracelet crafts help to bring out the creative side in your child and encourages them to develop creativity, alongside motor skill improvements and concentration. The Rainbow Loom is a particularly impressive bracelet craft set that is making a name for itself worldwide. Even boys are getting involved with loom knitting. Learning how to loom is quick and easy, so there`s no excuse not to give it a try!
Knitting and Crochet were once confined to your grandmother`s study however modern patterns and styles, alongside the re-introduction of wool-based fashion has given these crafts a new lease of life. Techniques, tutorials and styles can be found by both amateurs and experts on the likes of youtube, blogs and Pinterest. Wool is such a diverse material these days, from making a traditional scarf and glove combination for the winter, you can also try your hand at making hats, jumpers, cardigans and even socks. Some people have even taken to releasing patterns for animals- so you may finally be able to present the dog or cat, with his very own Christmas jumper.
Crochet has become a sought-after gift for the contemporary home. Traditional place mats and cake liners aside, you can create beautiful plaques to celebrate any occasion, to tell someone how you really feel about them, or just to remind guests to put down the toilet seat. For kids, they can personalize their room, their bags, even their dolls clothes or make gifts for their friends and relatives.
One of the best things about all arts and crafts is that there are a multitude of styles, techniques and materials that you can use to make just about anything. Thinking outside of the box allows for your creative juices to really flow and there are mental and physical benefits for all ages, not just the young, of developing and cultivating a new hobby. Materials are still relatively cheap to come buy and in the age of the Eco-warrior, you can find and recycle many items around the house. ( Remember the rocket made from the washing up liquid bottle?…)
The main point about starting a new craft hobby is to get out of it what you want. If you want to bond with your children, find something you all like to do. If you want to relax and unwind after work, try to find a craft that doesn’t frustrate you or require too much concentration. If you are retired and want to keep your brain and hands active, then challenge yourself to something you have never tried before. Pick a craft that suits your needs to provide the ultimate sense of satisfaction.