Crafting with Four- and Five-Year-Olds

Our kits are designed for kids age seven and up, but we have quite a few younger customers who enjoy the kits with a parent’s help.  But how much help is appropriate? Recently Forrest was talking to the mother of a five-year-old about her experience using our kits.  She mentioned being unsure of how much to physically assist her child with the process vs. encouraging her to explore on her own.

Of course, it all depends on the child’s experience and abilities.  We know some preschoolers and kindergarteners who have the patience and dexterity for all sorts of intricate art projects!  But if your child’s fingers are just not ready for some of the trickier parts of a craft like sewing or decoupage, one great way to experience our kits is to say, “You can be the designer, and I’ll be your assistant!”

A 4- to 5-year old crafter.

How to Help

- Show & Tell: While you thread a needle, tie a knot, sew a stitch, or brush on the glue, make sure your child can see what you’re doing, and try to explain how you did it.

- Ask Questions!

What would you like to make?

What color felt or paper do you want to start with?

What beads would you like to add to make it fancy?

What color thread would you like to use?

Do you want to make an ornament to hang in your room?

I can start sewing and you can watch me, then if I thread the needle, would you like to sew a few stitches?

- Step Back: Make sure that you don’t tell the child he/she is doing something wrong.  Just keep asking questions to help the child figure out how to make their idea come to life. Creativity is problem solving, and making mistakes is part of the creative process. Frustration is a normal emotion!  Help the child move through and past these feelings. Something fun can turn into something frustrating, then turn into an important life lesson. You will find that when they complete the project they will feel great pride.

Hopefully this will help you the next time you’re crafting or sewing with a four- or five-year old.  Here are a few blog posts to check out as well: The Artful Parent and Sew Mama Sew.  Can you think of other tips that would be helpful?

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