Using arts and crafts to bond with children

The technological age sometimes feels as though it has made slaves of children and adults alike. Televisions, computers, mobile phones and video games have changed the way in which parents interact with their kids. As more time is spent in front of a digital screen of some description or another, it is important that parents realise the benefits of non-technological activities.

Arts and crafts, for example, can help parents bond with their children in a closer, more interactive manner, creating posters, badges, models, stickers, birthday cards and other such items, all in the name of love.

Whereas a typical Sunday afternoon might see dad on the couch watching football, mum on the phone to a friend and the kids in separate rooms playing computer games, arts and crafts can bring the whole family together. Unlike technology, arts and crafts can be enjoyed at very little cost.

Few items are required to get started. In fact, it is perfectly acceptable to use household waste (typically that which is destined for recycling) such as plastic bottles and cardboard boxes to produce creative works of art. One necessary purchase that is unlikely to be found amongst tins of beans and boxes of cereal, however, is glue – specifically PVA glue. Other items that can be purchased include matchsticks, glitter, pre-cut fabrics, tinsel, stars, stickers, feathers and buttons.

The best way to enjoy arts and crafts with all the family is to sit down at the dining room table, lay out the available materials and get to work creating something from imagination. There is certainly nothing wrong with gluing together random shapes of card and felt to produce something bizarre and imaginative; on the contrary, children tend to love doing this.

Alternatively, parents can attempt to structure arts and crafts sessions, setting fun yet challenging goals for each participant. Perhaps a time limit can be applied to certain tasks or individuals are given a specific quantity of materials to make a dinosaur, car, house or other such object. To further the bonding process, the entire family can contribute to the same creation; for example, everyone could work towards building a model space rocket, or a greeting card from all the family.

Arts and crafts endeavours can also be themed. During Halloween, for instance, the family could attempt to build a haunted house out of cardboard, yoghurt pots and other such items. At Christmas, arts and crafts can be used to great effect by making Christmas cards and decorations.

Whatever the task and however it is carried out, there is no doubt that arts and crafts can bring the whole family together. Putting technology to one side for an hour or two in order to take part in an arts and crafts session is well worth the effort.

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