Making something with your hands is always a good game. In the digital age, crafts for kids are still all the rage. And they have been shown to encourage creativity and concentration and promote self-esteem.
If you type “crafts for kids” in the Google search engine, you’ll get around 2,500,000 results. Hardly anything. And if you choose to spend a few minutes browsing some of these many suggestions, you will discover a little bit of everything. Butterflies and caterpillars with a peculiar resemblance to toilet roll and egg cartons, finger puppets made from felt, rings that still smell of coffee capsules, photo frames decorated with EVA rubber, designer T-shirts personalized with studs...
Children and adults alike enjoy handicrafts. And they are scientifically proven to provide numerous benefits, even therapeutic effects. They encourage inventiveness, they develop abilities, they have a calming effect and they enable personal relationships… Why is it worth making the time and space for “homemade crafts”?
- They allow us to unleash the inner artist that we all have inside. Creativity is an innate ability which, when combined with imagination, can take us very far.
- You can get all of the family involved. Isn’t it great for dad or mom to suggest an activity and help their child to carry it out and then, let’s say, for grandpa to receive the result of all of their team work?
- They learn as they do it, because it involves artistic, mathematical and linguistic concepts that have to be resolved.
- It improves attention, concentration and patience. And these are qualities that need to be developed in children nowadays.
- The final satisfaction is the biggest reward. Making an effort to create something with a certain level of difficulty and achieving it increases a child’s self-esteem.
- And we can also forget about all of that and simply do it because we have lots of fun.
One of the simplest forms of handicraft is based on using paper. Paper folding or origami is a Japanese technique which kids love and it is especially recommended to develop hand coordination and help them to understand spatial concepts. Some time ago a fantastic book, Paper play, was published, helping us to discover the countless games we can play with this everyday material. “Roll it. Rip it. Fold it. Snip it”, we are suggested by Lydia Crook, a “paper engineer” who combines this job with illustrating pop-up books. The book itself is a wonderful piece of handicraft with a meticulous design, with each page suggesting a different design that we can create: snowflakes, beads, doll chains, magic tricks… A delight.