We all agree that letting the imaginations of our little treasures run wild with craft projects is a great thing, it’s just the messy fall out afterwards that can be tough. But if this is balanced with the benefits that crafting brings children, the picture looks brighter. Getting them interested early on in making and doing things in an imaginative and inspiring environment helps with hand eye co-ordination, with self esteem, focusing skills and planning and organising.
So why not have a designated place in the home where children can focus on their crafts? Spare rooms, box rooms, garden rooms, even garden sheds can be pressed into use as a craft area. By putting together a room, or even allocating a corner of a room for craft projects, household harmony will reign. The children will be overjoyed to get stuck into a range of mucky, imaginative tasks whenever they like, and mum and dad will be happy the collateral damage is contained.
For fiddly craftwork good lighting is essential. Place workbenches close to windows and fit adequate task lighting. Crafts generate lots of stuff, so consider storage options carefully. Will there be bulky tools to put away when not in use? Materials need to be simple to stow, yet easily accessible. Plentiful shelving can look so pretty when lined with jars of jewel coloured craft accessories, such as beads, sequins and ribbons.
The workbench is a key piece of the craft kit. Ensure it is the right height for children to work comfortably. On occasions when more work surface is needed for assembling larger projects, extending dining tables offer the perfect solution and can be folded neatly against the wall when not in use. A craft space needs to work on a practical level as well as looking good. Before committing to a layout, consider how the room will function. How many children will be using it? Will parents be in there as well? Who will sit where? Can everybody reach the essential things? Easy clean flooring is a must to cope with the inevitable spills. Think about where rubbish will go and if there will be a recycle bin.
A craft space should be enticing to children. They need to want to go in there and start creating. A stimulating, lively room will help them to spark new ideas and feel energised. Decorate cupboards with blackboard paint so that when the need strikes, they can chalk up a masterpiece. Why not fix up a display board so they can proudly exhibit their work?
Safety is paramount in a craft room that accommodates children. Electric sockets will be required for using tools, so make sure they are positioned safely out of the way and keep them covered. Don’t allow cables to trail dangerously, keep them short where possible. Built in storage cupboards are practical and stable. Take a look at windows and doors – are they safe? Store any sharp utensils and tools out of reach of little hands.
Catching the craft habit at a young age will hopefully continue into adulthood, bringing years of rewards and satisfaction. Why not help the children reach their creative potential with a craft space of their own?
Disclosure – This is a guest post, contributed post.