Does your child need a lot of direction when trying to decide what to play or do? Or does your child make up games or combine games to create new ones? Take Hannah, who comes up with all kinds of games to play. Games like Hide and Seek can merge into “Red Light Green Light.” Would you like your child to be more imaginative or creative?
There’s good reasons for boosting your child’s creativity and imagination. Creativity and imagination support abstract thinking, independence, social skills, language development and problem-solving skills.
In this blog we focus on time-tested craft-related activities to complete with your child. Before we share our projects with you, here is a set of tips to help you and your child be successful.
- Know that less can be more. Simplify your project choice and assure it’s age appropriate.
- Explore your child’s interests. What sparks their interest? Converse with your child to discover clues. Pay attention to subjects they show excitement about. Open-ended conversations typically reveal more interests.
- Provide down time. Give your child unscheduled time in which they can discover more ideas and interests.
- Use inexpensive or free material for projects. Check your home for materials you can use for projects, for example, tissue paper, scissors or ribbon. Everyday household items can spark creativity, and buying material from a store may be unnecessary.
With these tips in mind, here are some crafts projects that can foster creativity and imagination in your child, many of which help them build fine motor skills:
Creating birthday cards. All you need is paper and crayons for this project. It encourages a child’s empathy.
Making a Do-It-Yourself bird feeder. Children can decorate the bird feeder, enjoying the opportunity to check the feeder daily to view the birds daily. Kids can decorate it with paper, crayons and snow sprayed with food coloring.
Completing a hand/finger planter. Create lady bug designs for your planter using hand prints or finger prints from your child. This activity can be used to help children learn the names of their fingers and practice manipulating them.
Making tasty ornaments. Use dough especially made for baking for ornaments. One idea: Make them from gingerbread and cinnamon. (Visit Tips from a Typical Mom)
Putting together a seasonal sensory bin. You can create sensory bins to stimulate a child’s senses such as touch. A fall sensory bin could contain leaves and sticks and a winter bin could contain snow decorated with spray paint.
Building a fort. Use cardboard boxes to create a fort in which children can draw on boxes with markers, stickers and paint brushes.
Making “candy canes.” Use pipe cleaners to create this holiday treat.
Playing with food. Make patterns with sliced bananas and strawberries and cereal shaped in a circle using fruit loops or cheerios.
For more information, contact Bloom at 763-559-0045.
Irene Connors donates her time grant writing and blogging for social service agencies. She served as an information officer/communications specialist for most of her career at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). In addition, she had a role in the Workforce Development unit in which she assisted job seekers find meaningful careers. Prior to joining DEED, she was employed at Allina Health as a communications coordinator and as an economist at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and completed graduate work in professional communication at the University of St. Thomas (Twin Cities).