Tips for Crafting With Children PART THREE

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Modelling in Clay or Play-Dough

Parents worried about mess should embrace play-dough whole-heartedly because it washes out of clothes easily and can be cleaned off carpet with a vacuum cleaner, even if it has been trodden in.

Clay is a more advanced option that should only be introduced once you are confident that your children will notice when it is on the floor and can be trusted to keep it reasonably tidy.

You will need:

  • Play-dough, either bought or home-made;
  • A plastic tablecloth or plastic-topped table;
  • Lots of cutters, rolling pins, shapers and pushers (buy these at charity shops or ask for them for birthdays as having plenty makes a big difference to the enjoyment levels).


Encourage plenty of experimenting with mark-making, cutting, shaping, and the like. Suggest suitable shapes or models that could be made.

Encourage children to put play-dough away after use to avoid it going hard.

Junk Modelling

Junk modelling is making things out of old cardboard boxes or bits of plastic that would otherwise be thrown away. It is a great start to 3D modelling.

As an activity, this requires a bit of forethought and planning as you will need to save up old boxes, egg-boxes, toilet rolls and other interesting bits of junk. You can join things together using glue or sellotape. Sellotape is usually quicker and more reliable.

You will need to provide:

  • A selection of interesting boxes and other junk;
  • Scissors (together with adult hands to help cut through cardboard);
  • Glue or sellotape


You may need to provide ideas: suitable options include robots, space rockets, armour, and houses for toys.

Ongoing Activities

As children grow older, the craft activities can get more specific and more interesting. You can also get them to suggest ideas ahead of time, giving you a chance to find a way of delivering them (whether through a kit, or by putting something together yourself).

It is always a good idea to have some kits or ready-prepared ideas put away in a cupboard for wet days or unexpected demands as this will make your life much easier.

But beware: a new and interesting activity is likely to be grabbed with glee and may not last nearly as long as you had hoped…

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Gardening With Children - PART ONE
Tips for Crafting With Children PART TWO


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Saturday, 02 July 2022