A Season for Handicrafts

     During the holiday season I like to invite the kids to make and create.  Sometimes we make cookies or a cake after school while we talk about our day.  Then they are off to complete homework or play for awhile.  On weekends and when the kids are out of school during winter break we spend time doing handicrafts and handwork.  With technology and screens around us all the time, it is pleasing to make time to use our hands to make.  Sometimes we have very harmonious making sessions and sometimes there is bickering and arguing and we end up watching a movie but I continue to prepare materials and invite them to join me.

Melted bead snowflakes

     The seasonal crafts and handwork I am sharing helps keep the kids’ hands busy. Kids of all ages benefit from doing crafts not simply for fun but to help develop their hand muscles and fine motor skills.  These are the same skills and muscles kids use when writing.  Mostly, what I enjoy about spending time making is the chance to slow down and connect with the kids. Often we will listen to a story, music or lately have The Great British Baking Show on in the background while we make.  Last Saturday, my daughter found the stash of holiday craft items I had been saving.  She and her brother spent time making some snowflake decorations with a melted bead set I found at Hobby Lobby.

A messy table full of  crafts on a Saturday morning.

Examples of handicrafts are: 

  • melted beads,
  • wool felting,
  • crochet,
  • knitting,
  • watercolor painting,
  • scrapbooking,
  • paper crafts,
  • drawing,
  • finger painting,
  • weaving,
  • latch hook,
  • beading and bead work
  • macrame
  • clay sculpting…

     Sometimes I am purposeful in offering the kids a specific activity.  For example, I might set out felt, sequins, glue, and thread so the kids can make ornaments and other times I set out a basket or tin of materials and let them create freely with the materials at hand.

A prepared invitation to create with felt and sequins.
Decorations from 2017.
A tin with a variety of materials the kids can use freely.  Paint, glue and scissors are also made available.

     Both my daughter and youngest son like to crochet.  My daughter, now 12, learned to crochet when she was six-years-old.  The Montessori school she attended included handwork as part of the curriculum.  My son, who is now in 2nd grade at the same school, has learned how to felt wool and is currently interested in learning to crochet.  I love that all kids are encouraged to participate in handwork.  They like to crochet during transition times or when we watch movies.  I set out a basket with their yarn in the family room to encourage them to continue the handwork.

Felted wool ornaments and decorations
This basket sits in the family room so the kids have easy access to their yarn.

     I like to make my own projects when the kids I invite the kids to join me.  I like having my own project to work on because it keeps me from offering too many suggestions to the kids and taking over their project. In other words, I am back seat crafter.  I am not a particularly good crafter, I just enjoy using my hands.  Lately, I have been painting little wooden peg people for my youngest to play with as well as doing some paper crafting. 

Wooden peg people I painted over the last couple of weeks.

Chipboard houses I am covering with scrapbook paper.

I hope this post about crafting during the holidays provided you with some ideas to try out with your kids.  It really is about spending time together rather than creating a perfect product.  Wishing you a peaceful start to the holiday season.

~ Maria

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