Mother and daughter making origami.

Craft & Art: Fun (and Quality) Family Time Ideas Everyone Will Love

In my house, my breakfast nook shelves are stocked with cans filled with markers and brushes, boxes overflowing with buttons and shells and stacks of paper on top of cardboard scraps. So, it’s natural for my sons to wake up in the morning and head straight to the little art table (still in pyjamas) to plop down and draw things like oddly exotic creatures with super powerful weapons, all this while I prepare funny-face pancakes for breakfast. It just seems natural for us as a family to have art in our lives every day.

Art is an amazing way to allow children to explore and discover through their own efforts. Providing them with the freedom to explore and the encouragement to do so are especially important for their development of creativity. As they learn through experimentation and the observance of cause and effect, children become more and more confident in their creativity. As a parent, it’s your job to facilitate your children’s art experiences by making materials and space for projects available.

We should feel privileged to live now when there is such a wonderful variety of art supplies to choose from for our children. There are crayons of all shapes, size and colours as well as a vast array of paints, papers, collage materials, modelling materials, etc. There are even DIY craft kits that come with everything you need for a fun art activity. But this astounding number of options can make it overwhelming for anyone who is just beginning to buy art supplies for their family. I will help you select some good, basic materials and will give you ideas of art activities to do with them. I will also list some of my favourite children’s craft kits.

Children’s Craft Kits That I Love

Djeco Origami Paper Craft Kits

My kids love origami and I love that they do. Origami benefits children in many ways. It helps develop the ability to think and find solutions, improve diligence and accuracy, sharpen memory and imagination, among others. The Djeco origami DIY craft kits allow children to learn the creative art of Origami paper folding using patterned paper to create little animals and flowers to play with. The kits come with different patterned origami paper sheets in different designs and step by step instruction booklet with clearly explained origami folds.
djeco origami frog

Djeco Mosaics Craft Activity Kit

Kids can create impressive artworks with these kits. The kits include an array of triangular pieces and follow the art by number instructions to create stunning masterpieces. The learning opportunities with mosaic craft activities include creative and visual thinking, concentration and patience development.
djeco dinosaurs mosaic

Djeco Small Dot Painting

This kit is a wonderful way to introduce little ones to the world of art. It allows little ones to paint the illustrated animals with the provided foam markers. These markers are cleverly designed paint pens with bright colours that help limit the mess. The kit comes with four different coloured foam markers, which allows children to build the early foundational skills of art, mixing colours and creativity. A great way to introduce your child to sensory play.

Simple Craft Ideas

Glue Drawing and Crayon Rubbing

For this activity, you’ll need card stock, white school glue, paper, tape, chunky crayons. Tape the paper on the card stock and let your child draw a picture with regular white glue. Then let them do a crayon rubbing of the raised image. A simple and fun activity that require simple materials and can be done by kids of age 3 and up.

Contact Paper Suncatchers

I usually try to teach my kids to enjoy the simple things in life, such as having fun with flashlights. I’ve also taught them to make easy and beautiful suncatchers with simple materials like coloured tissue paper, scissors, clear contact paper, feathers, flowers, natural items and masking tape. Ask your children to tear or cut the tissue paper into small pieces and cut the contact paper into a square or whatever shape or size they want the suncatcher to by.

The contact paper will be the base of the suncatcher. Stick pieces of coloured tissue paper to the sticky side. Add feather, ribbons, whatever you like. Once the design is done, cut another piece of contact paper to cover the first. Trim the edges and hang them on the window. Let the light shine through your sun-catcher!

Animal Collage

For this activity, you’ll need paper scraps, scissors, glue, stapler or tape, heavy paper, card stock or poster board, markers or paints, collage items such as pasta, beans, googly eyes, bottle caps, feathers, leaves, tinfoil, flowers, etc. Use the paper scraps and collage items to construct your child’s favourite animal while discussing preferences and features.

Observational Drawing for Young Children

Children aged 4 and up can begin to draw what they see, especially with gentle guidance. For this activity, all you’ll need is paper and drawing tools, like a pen or marker. Choose something for your child to draw from the surroundings and set it on the table in front of your child. Start with something simple, like an orange or a banana. Talk about the shape of the item and how it can be drawn on paper.
kid paper drawing

Also, teach them how to show the texture of the object on the draw. For example, you can explain to your child that the bumps on the orange look like little dots. Keep in mind that observational drawing is a skill that can be acquired over time through practice and with a child’s natural development.