5 Tips for Successful Bead Crafts With Kids
Every winter, we try to find something fun to do for my son’s birthday. It’s a tough job here in the mountains of upstate New York – winters are usually bitter cold, and that makes it hard to find fun outdoor activities for the kids. And while my son loves his bowling alley birthday parties, he also loves to spend time making art with me and his friends.
And then there are the days when school gets canceled because of bad weather, or there’s a half day of school. On days like these, it’s good to be able to set things aside and spend some time creating with my son while we enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or a baked apple or even his favorite funny cartoons.
If you’re thinking about spending more time doing bead crafts with your kids, here are a few tips to help everyone have a good time:
1. Don’t expect it to be perfect. It’s important for both kids and grown-ups to let go of their expectations of how the finished project will turn out, particularly when it comes to bead crafts. Let the kids explore their own unique sense of creativity and encourage them to learn how to express themselves.
2. Don’t set a time limit. In a world where it seems as though things move too fast, it’s great to give kids (and adults) time to just slow down and work at their own pace. Make sure you give kids enough time to thoroughly enjoy what they’re doing, and if you do need to wrap things up before meal time or bedtime, give them plenty of notice – a 15-minute “warning” is usually sufficient to allow kids to move into the mindset of what they need to do next.
3. Expect a mess. I always tell my husband, if you’re not making a mess, you’re not doing it right. Make sure you leave time for yourself to clean up properly when your bead crafts are finished, including time to sort and pack away any leftover beads and beading supplies you might have taken out at the beginning of your craft time. Let kids focus on creating, and don’t worry so much about the mess.
4. Offer lots of encouragement and acceptance. Kids these days are under a lot of pressure to “get it right” – at school, in sports, and even with their friends. Give your kid a “safe space” for creating any way they want to. Offer them lots of encouragement to “think outside the box” when it comes to using materials in a creative way, and make sure you tell them just how awesome their creations really are.
5. Be totally present with your kid. This is a big one for me – when it’s time for me to sit and make art with my kid, the cell phone, computer, and tablet all get turned off and stashed away so they’re not a distraction. As my son gets older, it feels like we have less and less time to just be with each other without anything getting in the way, so our time to craft with each other is really just that – no interruptions!
Do you want to create a fun crafting experience for a kid you love this winter? Kid’s birthday parties are a great way to introduce kids to bead crafts with quick and easy beading projects that they can wear home from the party. Check out Candie Cooper’s awesome Party Earrings Kit – it’s a fun earring making project for both kids (and adults) that uses colorful craft wire and beads. You’ll get all the beading supplies you need to make 6 pairs of earrings, plus 6 pretty cloth pouches for storing the finished earrings, and a video download of Birthday Parties with Candie Cooper: Bead Crafts for Kids so you can watch and learn how to have a successful birthday party for your favorite kid.
Do you have any tips for crafting with kids? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share them with us!