How to Buy Crafts for Kids

Four Methods:Evaluate Age AppropriatenessGauge InterestStimulate CreativityConsider Storage

Crafts allow children to open their minds to creativity and increase motor skills. Art projects teach children to follow directions and express themselves. However, not all crafts are right for all children. Knowing what to look for when you buy crafts for kids is an important factor in helping the children reap benefits from the art.

Method 1
Evaluate Age Appropriateness

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    Buy crafts that are appropriate for your child's age level. For example, sticker foam crafts are more suitable for young children. Painting, beading and clay are good choices for older children. Sewing and model building are best for teenagers.
    • Selecting age-appropriate crafts that children are capable of successfully completing will build self-esteem.
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    • Many crafts will list an age range on the box.
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    Consider the safety and use of the materials to make the craft.
    • Small children do not need projects containing small items such as beads. They can easily choke on small materials.
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    • Older children can handle permanent markers, oil pastels, glitter and pottery wheels more safely and with less chaos, confusion and mess than younger children.
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    • Items that state "non-toxic" on the package are best.
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    • Healthier choices include white glue and glue sticks over rubber cement (with hexane or heptane), tempera paints and poster paints rather than spray or acrylic paints (containing ammonia,formaldehyde and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic), homemade, earth-based or flour-based clays instead of polymer clays (made of vinyl or PVC) and washable markers, crayons and colored pencils in the place of dry-erase markers (with alcohol or ketone).
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    Examine the ability required to complete the project.
    • Refrain from buying crafts for small children that take great concentration and detail.
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    • Younger children should not be asked to complete projects that are physically demanding or make great use of fine motor skills, such as stringing small beads.
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Method 2
Gauge Interest

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    Think about the child's likes and dislikes when buying crafts.
    • Making art should not be a chore for the child. Children should enjoy completing the project.
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    • Girls may find making bracelets and designing bags fun while boys may enjoy building cars and wood crafts.
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    Ask the child his or her own crafting method preference.
    • A child will take more pride in the craft if he or she has a choice in the type of work that is purchased.
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    • Some children love to paint. Others like clay or bead work. Buy crafts that match the child's art creation interests.
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Method 3
Stimulate Creativity

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    Buy a craft that allows the child to express himself or herself.
    • Open-ended projects that have more than 1 option for a finished product are good for enhancing creativity in children. Boxes and tubs of craft supplies that do not have a single finished project pictured or a blank canvas and paints are good examples to allow for creativity.
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    • Paint-by-number and other projects that confine children to specific methods for completion allow for less creative thinking.
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Method 4
Consider Storage

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    Focus on what will happen to the craft before and after it is completed.
    • You'll want to choose crafts you can easily store before and during the work.
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    • Also think about what you will do with the craft after it is complete. Will it serve a purpose, such as a refrigerator magnet, or end up thrown in the trash?
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    Finished.

Tips

  • Buy a selection of items and let the children have the freedom to choose which crafts they like best.
  • Look for crafts that allow children to use them more than once or make several different items.

Article Info

Categories: Kids' Crafts