Arts And Crafts For Kids

Written by Shirley Parker
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Badges made from felt, beads and glue, with a safety pin on the back, were legion. Beautiful wooden necklaces were many. I still have the enameled piece on a leather string that my much younger brother made in metal shop. Arts and crafts get kids started on the road to creativity and therapy that so many of us still benefit from in our grown-up years. They're not frivolous time-wasters.

Thinking back to one of the first successful arts and crafts projects I made, it had to have been the raffia-covered container that closed with a loop over a red bead that had been sewn on with thread. It was a gift for my Dad, and after all these many years, Mother found it recently and sent it to me. When I gave it to him, I remember telling him it was to hold his cuff links. My father never wore cuff links, though I bought several attractive, manly sets for him after I entered the working world.

Loving parents keep everything their children ever make until the collection becomes unmanageable. However misshapen, however garish the colors, it is displayed proudly as a symbol of the progress their child is making, of the talents she is developing. Somewhere along the way, an essay has been misplaced. I wrote about a young girl, surrounded by the slag heaps of a coal town, seeing a rainbow for the first time since she was forced to leave the country. It is not something I can reconstruct, since it was written at a young age. We are hoping it will surface again some day.

Be Sensitive When Using Food

I still remember the shock my then 7-year-old stepdaughter expressed when coming home from her first day at a summer parks program. "They're wasting macaroni! They're painting it and making necklaces." I couldn't believe it myself, and understood her concern. Our household and her mother's were both short on income. Food was for eating, not playing with and throwing away. Realizing that some participants in arts and crafts classes might not be eating well could change the type of crafts chosen or at least the materials used.


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