5 Essential Creative Skills To Teach Children


Kids are expected to learn everything by the time they are 2 seconds old. Parents are expected to teach them it all. There's no guide on 'How To Teach Children Everything They Will Ever Need To Know'. This article isn't a guide and I don't have children but what I do have is a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a lot of projects. I will find you and I will teach you to be creative...I digress.

I have a craft habit. I go to meetings with other people with this habit. We call them craft groups. There are a bunch of creative skills I see which have helped people outside of the craftroom in both work and home. All creative skills are worthwhile, so these are just my top picks.


DOODLING

Never underestimate the power of pencil and paper. Drawing is something so personal. Every sketch is unique and with doodling it isn't about being an artist. A doodle is a random absent-minded scribble. Stars and hearts are a great start but it's about learning to use your imagination. When you have to fill a full page, you learn to use your own initiative.

When I was a kid I was around adults who could do very talented drawings. I tried to draw at their level, not understanding that it would come with age. I compared myself to an unrealistic level. This gave me a lack of confidence in my drawing which made me avoid it completely. I'd only mastered the three lined S (bonus points if you know what I'm on about). I wish I knew that I would miss years of finding my own style. Despite being creative since young, I have only recently forced myself to doodle.

Dress makers, website designers, builders and film makers all find sketches essential to their work. The sooner you learn to doodle the better. Google 'doodles' and copy if you must. It's only drawing, what's the worst that can happen? Get that magic on paper.

UPCYCLING

Reusing cereal boxes isn't just about keeping kids busy. You are teaching them to look beyond what they know. All craft is about creating something that wasn't there. Other examples of using your imagination to build something is modelling clay, building blocks and paper mache. Upcycling was picked because of the need to look past an object's original use. Think outside the cereal box and design a new use.

IKEA makes most of its money because clever people find alternative uses for their products (take the spice rack, come book shelf, come nail varnish holder, come picture frame holder).

Great minds see clay and make bricks to build houses. They see metal and create a slinky. You could be developing the mind of a future inventor.

With upcycling you are also teaching that creativity is limitless. It's not an expensive sport that needs lots of equipment.

TEXTILES

I'm guessing you wear clothes. The world without textiles would be a pretty naked place.

From a career point of view, the UK textiles industry is a big money maker. There will always be a need for it so there will always be jobs at all levels of ability. Being able to design your own designs can be more than just a money maker though. It gives people a sense individuality. It is a way to express yourself.

There are many skills to be had while working with textiles. Drawing patterns for clothing is a brilliant way to become comfortable with measurements and scale drawing. Dyeing material is a fun way to learn ratios. Researching styles is a great insight into history.

If sewing is too much at the moment, try drawing images onto paper, cut out material and stick this onto the paper to crate a colour picture. This will help to gain an understanding of different materials and how they move.

WOODWORK

It is one of the most used materials in history. Furniture building might not be accessible for most children but sanding, gluing and painting wood is. There are a lot of model building sets which can show how useful wood can be. There is a big difference between fiberboard like MDF and an expensive mahogany. Learning to work with these materials is a great way to see their differences.

FOLLOW PATTERNS

Developing a creative mind is great but let's not forget the benefit in following patterns. Confident creative people can do both, just as chefs can follow recipes or freestyle.

Knitting, the classic craft known for following patterns is notorious with intelligent minds. Simple Knitting or Crotchet designs could help develop your child's logical thinking and problem solving. For a fun version of this, try giant yarn knitting.

An alternative for following instructions is Lego. Following a guide will teach patience. This will be well used in a world full of flat packed furniture.

GET STARTED TODAY

So get started today. Have some fun being able to fool around with your children. Use it as valuable time making memories with them. If they knock over the glue, it doesn't have to matter. There is no pressure in their own home. They can enjoy being creative and little do they know, they are learning precious skills at the same time. The best thing about craft with children - they don't know that you're not an artist :)


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