Tips for Crafting With Children PART TWO

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Specific Craft Activities

Painting and Drawing

Painting and drawing includes any kind of mark-making: it might be on paper, or board, or on paving outside in chalk.

Mark-making is very good preparation for school so it is a good thing to encourage from an early age, but it can be very messy.

You need to provide:

  • Drawing surface (for example, large sheets of paper, blackboard or floor space outside); and
  • Mark-making material (for example, paint and brushes, or chalks).


If you are bothered by mess, control is key:

  • Limit the number of colours of paint to avoid spillages;
  • Have one brush per paint pot and leave it in the pot during painting;
  • Invest in paint pots with lids that can be stored with the paint in them to reduce washing;
  • Use an old sheet to catch drips and spread it out on the floor (preferably on a wipe-clean floor) to save your carpets;
  • Paint outside whenever possible so that you can just hose down any spillages.

It is useful to have a stock of large sheets of paper for painting. Lining paper (available in the wallpaper section of DIY stores) is a cheap option as it is available in large rolls and can be cut to size.

For maximum encouragement of young artists, don’t ask ‘What is it?’.

Young children very often don’t paint ‘things’, they just make marks on the paper, and it may not even occur to them that they ‘should’ paint things.

Instead, comment enthusiastically about the colours, or say ‘Tell me all about it’ when they show you their works of art. Allow them to tell you, rather than guide them.


As an alternative to paint brushes, use plastic cutters or shapes to dip into paint and make marks. Sponges are good as they soak up paint, but leaves provide a cheap alternative.

Cutting and Sticking

Cutting and sticking is a good way to help children learn to use scissors, and also to make pictures.

Boys, whose fine motor skills tend to develop later, may be discouraged from painting and drawing by being unable to produce the same kind of pictures as their female peers. Cutting and sticking offers an alternative way to create. It is also rather less messy, so a gentler start for parents worried about paint spillages.

You need to provide:

  • A piece of paper suitable for sticking things on;
  • Scissors and instructions on how to use them safely;
  • Glue (glue sticks are less messy than PVA and often easier to use); and
  • Coloured or textured paper for cutting up and sticking on. Old magazines or cards are perfectly acceptable.

As children grow older, they may like to make specific things by cutting and sticking. A stock of suitable pictures for collaging can be a useful wet-weather tool. A scrap book is also a good option as a place to stick interesting pictures.

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Tips for Crafting With Children PART THREE
Tips for Crafting With Children PART ONE


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Saturday, 02 July 2022