How to include kids while we explore our creative side

A recent blog post comment from Cate asked if I could share some tips on how to include children when we are exploring our creative side and how to make it fun for them.

I learnt very early on that most structured sewing/craft activities that I set up for my girls (now 8 & 12) were quickly abandoned and they moved on to play with something else. You can't force a child to be creative if they are not in the mood! Even now they are much more interested in being involved with the projects that I'm currently working on, enjoying working side by side with me.

A recent example of this was when I did the stamp carving tutorial, they each grabbed themselves a print block and started carving their own stamps.  So here are a few tips from my own experiences for encouraging kids to embrace their creative side.
  • Make some similar supplies available for the kids to create their own.  Kids love to copy adults.
  • Try to make projects less structured, encourage them to make their own interpretation as they may get a little frustrated when it does turn out the same as mums.
  • Keep age in mind and improvise.
  • Invest some time in teaching them basic things like threading a needle, tying a knot, doing a blanket/back stitch, sewing on a button, tracing simple shapes or patterns onto fabrics and cutting them out. This will save you in the long run having to put down your project to assist them.
  • Make crafting supplies available for kids to use whenever they get a crafty urge! We have a craft cupboard in our home - with clear boundaries set.  Where they can craft, preparation (floor & table mats & smocks) and CLEANING UP all has rules set.
  • I really try not to their make crafting time only for when it suits me & my timetable.  I will admit this is a whole lot easier when the kids are older.
 How do you involve your children when you are crafting?

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