Creative Tuesday: Self-initiated craft

I have to apologize for skipping a Tuesday – my older daughter got pretty sick last week with something so simple as cold sores. But since it was her first time and it seems her immune system wasn’t so strong, she ran very high fevers and it affected her whole mouth, eating and sleeping habits. She is thankfully almost recovered now (9 days later) and she is back to her cheerful, spirited and creative self! Thanks again to all the family and friends (both online and offline) for prayers, thoughts and speedy recovery wishes. And a special thank you to our friend, “GRavan”, who took time from her 4 children and came down with her daughter to bring us lunch and make craft for miss T! 

Self-initiated craft

There comes a time when we need the children to engage themselves with some activities. And when we do, we need all the things necessary for them. Self-initiated craft is something that children can do on their own, safely and without much supervision or directions. It is usually some spontaneous craft activity and it helps children to practice creativity and engage their imagination.

Here’s what moms say about self-initiated craft:

Becky of Kid World Citizen: “I think my kids are most creative when they are bored- if that makes sense. When I tell them they need to find something to do or else I will find them some housework, all of a sudden they are creating an elaborate zoo, circus, dog show, animal rescue etc saying they are too busy for housework.”

Annabelle of The Piri-Piri Lexicon: “My daughter comes up with the best activities (even at barely 3) when I tell her I am busy and she needs to occupy herself.”

Jill of Mom’s Gone Global: “I leave fun craft materials on the kitchen table, or another easily visible location to gently inspire my kids to create little pieces of artwork. I have found that if I organize and set up a specific craft project, they lose interest quickly. On the other hand, if craft time is self-initiated, they are more likely to spend lots of time working on it. My 6 year-old cannot walk past a roll of craft tape and a few sheets of construction paper without turning it into some elaborate invention.

MaryAnne of Mama Smiles: “Allow for plenty of unstructured time.

Amanda of Miss Panda Chinese: “I have an area with papers, and art supplies for the kids to use at any time. I also have a basket with secret craft ingredients like glitter glue set, buttons, foam stickers, toilet paper rolls, bottle caps, popsicle sticks that my kids can use when they want to create something fancy.

Alyson of World Travel Family : “My two boys are very different, one goes to the craft cupboard and starts making extraordinary creations all by himself, the other isn’t interested.

Danielle  of 52 Brand New : “Don’t put all the art materials on a high shelf… They should be able to use them often (paint is my only exception!).

Cathy of  Nurture Store: “Let them use the materials their way. Don’t ‘fix’ things – let them go wrong, find alternatives, get bored, and come up with their own ideas.

Rebekah Patel of The Golden Gleam : “Don’t overschedule kids with adult directed activities. Unstructured play.  Have open ended play and art materials.

Terri of Creative Family Fun:”Let them be bored.”

Mia of Pragmatic Mom:”Do not read rules/instructions but just try to figure it out.”

After thinking a lot and reading what other blogger moms have to say about self-initiated craft I highlighted the following points for myself:

– No self-initiated craft is really possible without first introducing the child to craft and materials in general.

– Self-initiated craft is just a part of the whole creativity development and daily activities. Leaving children to themselves the whole day will help them to use their imagination, but the whole process of discovering the world and utilizing the creativity and talents will significantly slow down.

– Decide what craft material is appropriate to be used without any or much supervision. Consider the age group. Make this craft easily available to your child.

– It is always the best to have a specially designated craft area in the house. It doesn’t have to be the whole room or a corner. A regular dining table will do – you just have to teach the child where the craft is allowed to be used on his own or together.

– Let the children enjoy independence and allow them to use their imagination, however always remember that doing craft and activities together brings you close together with your child and helps the child overcome a lot in this hard process of growing up physically, spiritually and emotionally!

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2 thoughts on “Creative Tuesday: Self-initiated craft

  1. Love all the comments from other homeschool and travelling families. We are now minimalist in our art and craft supplies now we are travelling too. We tried art classes when we were in Australia but they struggled with not feeling creative on schedule.
    My children need flexibility. If they want to spend 5 hours straight following artist ‘how to draw’ videos on you tube they can.
    All 4 have notebooks and pencils each and draw what they want, when they want. Eldest creates intricate, detailed images in ink from his imagination. Youngest at 3 is still at the colour in shapes stage and scribbling but it’s all fun.
    I’m slowly starting to add content to our blog about our unschool and travelling adventures at http://www.goingwherethewindblows.com

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