5 tips for fostering creativity in children

Paper cutter and mum of two, Emily Hogarth shares her top five tips for encouraging children’s crafty creativity, plus four inexpensive kids craft ideas to try.

Inclined to tidy around your child when crafting and zip-lock blobs of paint in order to contain the mess? We’ve all been there. It’s tricky to get the right balance of mess and fun, especially when playing He Who Tidies Quickest, Wins! doesn’t work anymore. But does uncalculated crafting make us a better creative influence on our kids? We asked Emily Hogarth to share her top tips for inspiring creativity in children (mess and all!) plus a few half term activities you could try…

Clean later

Don’t worry – you don’t have to be an amazing artist to have fun being creative with your kids. It’s much more about doing something together that sparks their creativity, and hopefully yours, too. Also, don’t worry about the mess – I think this is often one of the big worries when people talk about doing something creative with their children, but if you are worrying before you even start then no one is going to have any fun. A little mess won’t do anyone any harm.

Take in your surroundings

Think about what’s going on around you – often people are stuck for inspiration but think about the seasons, nature, holidays – there is always something fun to talk about. I love going on a dog walk and finding something interesting – a flower, a frog at the local pond, or how many other dogs we saw – then use that as my starting point to create something with my children later that day or the next.

Perfectionist, be gone!

Don’t expect too much – it is unlikely if you have a three-year-old (as I do) that they are going to sit quietly for hours painting a beautiful picture – but half an hour of engaged painting fun is pretty good in my book. Also, don’t be too controlling in what they are painting – children are much more creative when given some space to do what they want.

Be the muse

Use others as inspiration! I find Instagram, Pinterest, blogs and magazines are great ways of seeing what others are doing and that often gives me inspiration and ideas to do something with my kids.

Have fun

I know this is pretty obvious, but if you are having fun, then they will, too!

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Emily’s 4 favourite ideas to try:

 

1. Baking

Most children love baking, especially if you let them measure out the ingredients and pour them in themselves. And they will be proud as punch once the cakes or biscuits are baked and then you can eat them together.

 

2. Large paper roll

Get a large roll of paper and lay it out either over your kitchen table or in your hallway, and let your children draw or paint a local walk. For example, draw their house then draw and chat about all the things they see on their walk to school, café or park – it’s a good starting point.

 

3. Greeting cards

Let your child be abstract and creative with some messy bold painting on some white card – then once it’s dry you can cut up the card to make greetings cards. You can make them look really good by using ‘happy birthday’ stickers on top of the artwork on the cards.

 

4. Potato printing

Good old-fashioned potato printing – once you have created one, you can print lots of designs.

 

Mollie Makes 67 printRead the full Q&A with Emily Hogarth in Mollie Makes 67, on sale now. Available from all good newsagents, supermarkets and our official online store. Sold out? Download it from ZinioGoogle Play or Apple Newsstand. Don’t forget your project templates for this issue.

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Crafts for kids: Craft ideas for toddlers to tweens

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Summer holiday: Garden crafts for kids

Painting crafts for kids