5 Reasons to Join in with Your Kids While They’re Crafting

Children are always looking for opportunities to spend quality time with the grown-ups they love. If you find getting in the mood to play difficult, try getting creative with them instead. Here are 5 reasons to join in with your kids while they’re crafting:

Improve your wellbeing

Modern life and the ever-growing list of responsibilities we face in adulthood mean it’s hard for most of us to switch off and relax. Yet it’s crucial to both physical and mental wellbeing that we all frequently stop, unwind and live in the moment. Sitting down with a craft activity is a wonderful way to slow down and immerse yourself in the present moment; when you’re painting, stitching or modelling clay – you don’t have time to be thinking about your upcoming weekly schedule or to-do list.

Creative thinking and problem solving uses both sides of the brain, logical (left) and emotional (right) which helps build connections and strengthen mental agility. While artistic expression can help us (and our children) maintain a positive self-identity and help manage negative emotions.

Build connection with your kids

How many times have you tried to ask your children about their day only to be met with grunts and frustration? It’s understandable. Like us, often when our kids have busy minds after a full-on day, they need time to de-stress and slowdown before they’re ready to chat. Sitting down with a craft activity together is a great way to allow them space, provide an opportunity for them to express themselves and then provide prompts for connection when they’re ready. Wonderful conversations can occur when you’re both relaxed and sat closely, bonding over your creations.

Unleash YOUR creativity!

Getting creative for the sake of simply having fun is not a pastime saved only for children. Let yourself explore new materials and see what you can do with them – because you can! It doesn’t matter what the result is, enjoy the process and unleash your creativity in new ways. If your only experience with arts and crafts is school lessons many years ago, it’s time to approach creativity with a new freedom. Break the rules! Paint with your fingers and toes, use clashing colours and make a mess rather than needing to create something ‘realistic’. Be silly with your kids and discover how fun creative play can be for adults too.

Help your kids get to know you better

Crafts are a brilliant way to express yourself. Your personality, your emotions, your experiences – they can all be shown through craft. By crafting with your children, they get to see a new side of you and learn more about your likes, dislikes and story.

 See things from their point of view

It’s easy to forget that our children see the world from a completely different perspective to us. They literally see things from a different height! Not only this, they have their own experiences and personalities shaping their thinking and guiding their choices, creative and otherwise, and it’s fascinating to see this in action. By sitting with our children and crafting we can stop and chat about the decisions they’re making and get to know them better, in all their uniqueness.

Do you feel you missed out on creative fun when you were a child? Read our blog ’20 Kids Crafts Every Child Should Try Before 12’ and see which activities you can tick off. It’s never too late to enjoy arts and crafts!

 

How can I encourage my child’s natural creativity without making a mess?

No matter how much we celebrate creative play here at Oglee Poglee, we know there are days when you just don’t want the kids to make a mess! What if we told you there are ways you can boost creative thinking and encourage their imagination without having to clear up afterwards? Here are our favourite no-mess ways to encourage creativity:

Use your bodies

One of the most incredible creative tools we have available at all times is: our body! Challenge your kids to move in new ways and get their creative skills going. What poses can they strike? What funny walks can they do? You could also pop on some music and have a kitchen disco! Dancing is a brilliant and mess-free way to boost creative thinking.

Encourage your children to think differently

Our creative skills grow when we are challenged to use new neural pathways in our brains and literally think in new ways. Any time we can encourage our children to think differently we are strengthening their creativity for life. The best way we can do this is to chat with our children. Be curious together, explore and investigate things together. Ask each other questions and imagine together. What does your child see? What do they think will happen next? What would they have done differently? You can apply these sorts of questions to every aspect of life, from watching a film to reading a story, cooking dinner together or watching a butterfly in a park.

Get creative outdoors

If you don’t want mess inside the house, take it outdoors. Take your paints on to the lawn or set up a water game on the patio; there’s no need to keep creative activities to the kitchen table.

Make the most of screen time

There’s no escaping the importance of tech in our day-to-day lives, and technology is only going to become more and more important to our kids’ futures. The good news is, screen time can be used to boost creative thinking too! While letting little hands get physical through crafts and active fun is preferred, the use of creative apps and creative TV shows have their place too.

Get a camera out

When it comes to tech use, photography is another fantastic way to sharpen their artistic eye without making a mess! Hand over your smartphone or invest in a simple digital camera they can point and shoot with. Let them have free rein and take photos of the things they find interesting and beautiful or give them prompts to complete a scavenger hunt (ie, 5 soft things, 5 circles… etc).

Champion imaginary play

If your keen to help your children become creative adults, don’t underestimate the importance of letting our kids be kids and play until their hearts are content. Plenty of imaginary play is key to creative thinking – and you don’t need to set anything up either! Let your children enjoy hours of free play where they take the lead and allow their creative juices to flow through imaginary scenarios and conversations.

Have a day out

Exposing our children to all sorts of different experiences is another way to boost creativity. We love going out for a family day out and seeing new things together. For ideas on places to go, read our blog ‘10 Attractions to Engage Their Imagination’.

Come to an Oglee Poglee workshop!

We know how hard it can be to find the motivation to set up creative opportunities for your children when you have to tidy up after. Come along to one of our kids creative workshops and you don’t have to deal with any of the mess! Your children will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in all sorts of creative activities based on our theme, while you watch on in wonder as you see their creativity unleashed. The smiles are priceless. Find out more about our workshops here.

If you like this blog you may also like our article ‘8 Ways to Unleash Your Child’s Creativity Beside Crafts’ for more fun ideas.

8 Ways to Unleash Your Child’s Creativity Beside Crafts

Nurturing a child’s creativity is one of the most valuable things we can do for them during their childhood. We were all born to create. Yet sadly many adults have forgotten how to use and enjoy their natural ingenuity. At Oglee Poglee, we’re determined this won’t be the case for the next generation – and it’s not all about crafting either! Here’s how to unleash your child’s creativity in other ways:

Get dancing

Dancing is a brilliant way to get the creative neurons firing without need for any resources or mess. Let them express themselves however silly their dance moves look. Who knows, you might learn a move or two…

Make more of music

Aside from being a prompt to get dancing, music can be used in lots of different ways to boost creative thinking. Use it as a backing track for exercise, mealtimes, doing the cleaning – your children will learn from the use of different rhythms, instrumentation, dynamics and lyrics. Encourage them to make their own sounds with home made percussion, real instruments and sounds they can make with their bodies too!

Practice storytelling

Another easy way to inspire creative thinking: let their imagination free with storytelling. Tell each other funny stories, read together, ask them to come up with different endings to their favourite books, take it in turns to come up with the next part in an imaginary tale – be playful and make experiencing stories fun.

Talk to them

Our children are so wise and insightful when we give them the time and respect they need to open-up. Allowing our children to be fully who they are, at any age, is a wonderful way to unleash their creativity as they freely express their opinions and ideas. Build connection and boost their creativity by talking to them as much as possible.

Build with Lego

Lego – it’s a classic. Lego is brilliant as it offers open-ended creative opportunities as they build anything their imagination (and their bricks) allow.

Get out and explore

Help your children to see creative opportunities everywhere they go by exploring the world together and discussing what you find. Talk about the colours and textures that you see about your day, discuss how other people have overcome problems and what has been designed and built etc, go to museums and enjoy food together, discussing ingredients and how your food may have been made. It all helps in encouraging our children to think about the creative processes which take place all around us.

Step back and let them problem solve

Another one of the ways we can empower our kids and help them be more creative is to step back and let them use their creativity to solve problems. The next time they come across a challenge and ask you for help, ask yourself whether you could encourage them to solve it on their own before stepping in.

Let them play!

Finally, don’t forget the importance of simply letting kids PLAY! Play is a child’s most natural mode of expression and a vital way of exploring and processing their understanding of the world. All forms of play are creativity in action – so if you’re ever feeling under pressure to do more with your kids (when all they want to do is stay lost in their imaginative play) stop, relax, and let them be little.

Which of these ideas are you most excited to try more of? Come and tell us on Instagram or if you liked this blog then why not read our article ‘Top 10 Gifts for Creative Kids’

 

10 Creative Beach Activities Beyond Sandcastles

What family beach trip isn’t complete without building a sandcastle? It’s the perfect chance for both kids and grown-ups to get creative together and bring out your competitive sides while you’re at it! If you’re planning on spending a whole day on the sands, here are 10 other creative beach activities to try:

Make sand sculptures

Make an alternative sand creation! Encourage your kids to use their imagination and create a sculpture out of sand, with the rest of the family having to guess what they’ve made. Or join as a team and see if you can create a huge piece of sand art for others to marvel at.

 Try 2D castles

Collect as many pebbles or shells as possible and try creating a huge 2D castle scene on the floor. The more details the better. You could add a portcullis with driftwood and a flag with seaweed.

 Play drawing games in the sand

Any game you can play with pen and paper you can try on the sand with a stick or stone. Favourites that will go down well include hangman, noughts and crosses and Pictionary. You can find more ideas in our blog on Pen & Paper games here. Writing messages in the sand is always fun too. Challenge each other to read them before they’re washed away.

 Mini photographers

Pack a camera you don’t mind your kids handling and let them free as mini photographers. What will catch their eye? Perhaps give them a quick warning about taking photos of other beach dwellers without permission, to save any awkward situations…

Create a natural collage

Challenge your children to go scavenging and fill a bucket with natural finds. Then ask them to create a huge picture on the sands from whatever they have collected. Chat through their creations and ask them why they’ve used different finds for different features.

 Paint pebbles

Pebbling painting has become some what of a trend, so the beach is a great place to get crafty without having to buy of rocks from Hobbycraft! Take paints and watch as your children use their imagination to create mini pictures and write messages – all without the need to worry about getting your home messy.

Print making

 Experiment with texture next time you’re at the beach by encouraging your children to collect shells, interesting stones and driftwood and then pressing them into the sand. What shapes and patterns do they make?

Footprint fun

 Don’t forget about the fun of making hand and footprints in the sand too! Make paths and follow each other or use your movement to create a huge doodle. Who can create the longest chain of footprints in one go? And who can leave the biggest gap between footprints with giant steps or a big leap!

Drawing/painting

 Take a set of water colours or a tin of pens and ask your children to paint/draw what they can see. Use water from the sea and experiment with other ‘brushes’ you can find too (sticks, driftwood, shells) If they’re stuck for ideas, challenge them to paint the landscape or do a family portrait.

 Collect sands 

Sand is a brilliant crafty resource. Collect sands from different beaches to compare colours and then use in your arty creations. Consider it natures glitter! If you’re lucky and happen to find many different shades – then try layering them up in a jam jar to create a coloured sand decoration.

 If you liked this blog, you might also like our article on crafting on the go. Read now to discover outdoor craft ideas your kids will love!

 

Creative Influencers Worth Following

Image by Handy with Scissors

 

If you’re not as naturally creative as you’d like to be, finding ways to inspire the kids into getting craft or expressing their arty side can be tricky. Where do you start?! Well, wonder no more – here are our top picks of creative influencers who will give you plenty of ideas the kids will love!

Growing A Jeweled Rose – Messy Play Ideas & Recipes

https://www.growingajeweledrose.com/

This is my absolute ‘go to’ website for messy play ideas and recipes! Find out how to make coloured rice, your own play dough or start making slime (always a favourite). This site is full of simple things to do but that the kids will play with for hours.  I love that all the recipes and instructions are clear and straight forward, even if you’re not used to getting messy and crafty. Plus, there are many more adventurous ideas for when you get more confident too. Play dough is fun but wait until you try wonder dough, scented dough and galaxy dough!

Growing A Jeweled Rose also has activity ideas and tips for setting up messy play opportunities at home, like popping them in the bath to keep mess contained or using outside toys.

Tinkerlab – Monthly Art Challenges + Process Art Ideas

https://tinkerlab.com

If you’re home creative opportunities have become a bit predictable, Tinkerlab is fab for really helping you think outside of the box and just play with art. Their focus is on process art (enjoying arts and crafts techniques for the fun of it rather than the result) and sensory fun. For example, using nature to make art, finding new ways to use glue and paint, and testing out creative science experiments.

They also do a monthly art challenge for sketchbooks, providing a word prompt for everyday with news ones each month. A great way to inspire your kids to draw!

Red Ted Art – Arts & Craft Ideas

https://www.redtedart.com/

This was one of the first craft websites I found when I started my creative adventure with Oglee Poglee. It’s packed full of kid’s craft ideas and fun makes! A nice place to start if you’re looking for more traditional crafty ideas your kids can make and proudly display around the house (or play with as part of their imaginary games). They also have a brilliant book if you want to get the creative juices going without logging on to the web.

For more creative book ideas, read our blog: Brilliant Books To Encourage Creative Thinking

Handy with Scissors – Creativity with Recycling

http://www.handywithscissors.com/

If you’re kids love making models and imaginary creations, this site is a must visit. Colourful, fun and exciting is how I would describe Suzie’s Handy with Scissors blog.  It’s well worth following her Instagram page too, it will brighten up any dull day!

My favourite section of the website is “From the recycled bin”.  It has loads of simple ideas that you can make from things we throw away.  Get ready for cereal box spinners and egg carton mouse finger puppets, finished in bright colours to make you smile.

Molly Moo Crafts – Simple, fun crafts

http://mollymoocrafts.com/

For more really fun but simple crafts to add another element to their role play, this site is amazing. I love the photography. Take a look at their simple toilet roll crafts, who knew you could make such fun things with everyday rubbish!

Art Bar Blog

https://www.artbarblog.com/

If you’re looking for art ideas for the whole family, you’ll love the Art Bar Blog.  More about craft/art prompts than individual crafts so great for introducing “invitations to create” into your kids lives.

Not sure what an “Invitation to Create” is? Read our blog to find out!

Krokotak

http://krokotak.com/

Love, love, love this website!  Loads of great kid’s paper crafts and ideas that you can print off and make quickly.  All you really need is paper, scissors and a glue stick. Most of the crafts are things the kids can play with too so a bit of craft time can turn into hours of playtime. You won’t think of the possibilities of paper in the same way again.

The Crafty Cow

https://www.thecraftycrow.net/

A collection/round-up of kids crafts from across the web – so great for a one stop option if you don’t have much time to search around for ideas.  Their newsletter is great as well as it’s a round up of kids crafts straight into your inbox. 

Handmade Charlotte

https://www.handmadecharlotte.com

Really clever ideas presented in beautifully.  Great for birthday party inspiration and kids’ interior ideas too.  The crafts are so good you will be desperate for the kids to have a go so that you can get involved and make your own too! Plus, everything looks beautiful, so you won’t mind having their creations dotted around the house.

Inner Child Fun

https://innerchildfun.com

This website is a bit different to the other crafts sites, it still has lots of crafts but it displays them as activities to do with the kids, so more being creative through play rather than just pure crafting.  I love the Boredom Busters and Pretend Play ideas that would be great for a rainy day or winter months.

Do you follow any other interesting creative blogs we should know about? Head over an let us know on Instagram. Or if you’ve loved this blog and think other parents should know about it – give it a share and spread some Oglee Poglee creative passion!

Party bags for kids with big imaginations

If your child has a big imagination then they will love our craft party bags.  These little craft kits have no instructions included which means your child is free to create whatever they like with the cool crafty bits.  It’s known as open-ended play and the only limitation is your child’s imagination.

We love it when happy customers send in ideas and pictures of the things they made. Here is Oglee Poglee’s pick of the best ideas for things to make with our craft party bags:  

Special Cards

Each little kit includes two little cards to be decorated. Who would you love to surprise with a lovely card? Perhaps it could be a thank you card for the amazing person who brought you the craft kit. These cards are so small that they are perfect for the tooth fairy as she finds big cards very heavy. They are also great for slipping into a parent’s pocket as a fun surprise note.

Storytime

All our craft kits are themed and each one tells a story. Will the octopus prevent the pirate from reaching the treasure of will they use their map to discover a cave to hide in? Can you create a picture or book that tells the whole story. Or how about sticking some of the stickers onto the lollipop sticks and making a puppet show.  You might need the help of a friend or sibling to act some of the other characters. Perhaps the whole family can take part.

Think Bigger

Add some of your own art supplies from home like felt pens, big sheets of paper, sticky tape etc and the possibilities are endless.  Can you create a whole world for Oglee Pip to live in?

Let’s decorate

How about making something cool for your home and sharing your creativity with family and friends.  What about a special door sign for your bedroom or a colourful picture for the hallway to welcome guests.

Let’s Pretend

How about getting your toys involved in the fun too.  Perhaps your favourite cuddly friend deserves a certificate for all their hard work or could you make them a special medal for their bravery.  Or maybe design a menu, or create tickets and invite all your toys to a tea party.

Thinking outside the box

I know all the crafting bits inside the box are very exciting but don’t forget that you have the box to use too. Can it be transformed into a home for a pom pom monster, a new handbag or a puppet show booth for your creations?

We would love to see what you made with your craft party bag.  Send your pictures to us here or share them with us on Instagram with the hashtag #ogleepoglee  We will include them in this blog post and your ideas will inspire others, how cool is that!

 

10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Art & Crafts (Besides the Fridge Door)

It’s lovely when our kids get arty and proudly bring us their creations. But we’ve all faced that moment when we’re not entirely sure what to do with their latest masterpiece. There’s only so much room on the front of the fridge and it’s hard throwing stuff away. Here are our favourite alternative ideas of how to treasure their creative works:

Turn it into a book

I love seeing how different children visually represent their favourite things and tell stories through illustration. A photo book is a brilliant way to keep these interpretations for years so you can enjoy them together in the future. Just scan or photograph and then order a professionally printed photo book online. Brilliant for resizing larger works to a more manageable size too.  For a more bespoke service send Doodle Nest all your kids artwork and they will professionally photograph and photoshop each individual piece into an amazing book that you and your children will cherish for years to come.

Doodle Nest

Create a gallery wall

If you want to incorporate their art into your décor, try creating a gallery wall to suit your interior style. Pinterest is full of fab ideas on how to carry this out. Whether you use brightly coloured frames that you can peg their artwork inside or pick a blank wall in your house and put up their artwork with washi tape.

Laminate as placemats

How about turning their artwork into something practical you can use and look at every day? Laminating pictures and painting is a great way to do this! Use as placemats or cut to shape and use as coasters or hanging ornaments for around the house.

Upload to an app

If you’re short on space, keep their artwork forever in the digital realm. There are numerous apps to pick from to do this, whether you opt for a simple file storage system like Dropbox or an artwork specific app like Keepy.Me

Use as wrapping paper

When you’re children are happy to get rid of their artworks but, you don’t want to simply bin them, make them into wrapping paper next time you give a gift.

Recycle

Keep the creativity going by thinking about how can you repurpose their artworks to make another. For example, paper drawings and paints could be ripped up and make a collage or used for paper mache.

Hold an art sale

If you don’t want their art projects any more, maybe someone else in the family will. Holding an art sales is a fun way to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in your child and make funds they can save or give to charity. If you do plan to hold an art sale, why not let people bid on the chance for your child to do a bespoke painting or drawing for the winner!

Make into greeting cards

Turn those charming pictures and paintings into cards you can share. You can either cut up artworks and add to folded card or upload photos of their favourite pieces and order professional prints.

Create a unique gift

Imagine how excited your child would be to see their creation turned into a real product.  Send Cuddlies a drawing and they will sew a soft cuddly toy to match it.  I would have loved that as a kid!  Or check out Happy Art House who can turn your child’s imagination into cool t shirts and gifts.

Cuddlies

Frame them

Don’t have room for a gallery wall? Keep artworks for longer by framing your real favourites around the house. You could also alternate pictures and paintings by uploading scans/photos to a digital photo frame which plays a slideshow of them all.   Articulate and My Little DaVinci are two great frame options if your child creates lots of art as you can change the pictures really quickly.

Make into party bunting

Another way to cut up and re-use their paper creations: cut into triangles, add ribbon and hang up as party bunting. A lovely way to celebrate your child’s creativity as party of their birthday celebrations or over Christmas.

If you like this blog you may also like our blog: Brilliant Kids Books to Encourage Creative Thinking

Plus, don’t forget to sign-up to for Oglee Poglee Post to receive creative ideas straight to your inbox.

 

Boys Like Craft Too – Craft Ideas They’ll Love

The word ‘craft’ may have somewhat feminine connotations, but boys really do love to craft too! All children are born curious explorers ready to experiment with materials and eager to problem solve, which is why crafting is an activity anyone can enjoy.

At Oglee Poglee, we cater for boys by keeping crafts BIG, interactive, and things they don’t’ need to sit still for long to do – here are some ideas to try at home:

Junk sculptures

Boys stay engaged the longest when they’re allowed to get their whole body involved. Creating large scale junk sculptures out of cardboard boxes and other recycling bits is a great way to facilitate this. The bigger the sculpture the better as they search through oversized boxes and work with big pieces of fabric, use their bodies to lift large objects, stretch to reach stick things up high, crouch down to paint lower details – it’s physical work.

If you want to help them make their structures sturdy we recommend using Makedo screws – clever cardboard screws as used in our Oglee Poglee party structures.

Catapults + Targets

Pom Pom Shooters by Red Ted Art
Pom Pom Shooters by Red Ted Art

What boy does love the chance to play with a catapult! Well a brilliant craft idea is to let them make their own. Give them the supplies lollipop sticks and elastic bands or loom bands and see if they can problem solve to build it themselves. We also love pom pom shooters (like above). At Oglee Poglee we switch paper cups for strong tubes.

If you’ve got a large piece of card to hand, cut holes and make a target wall to go with these. They can make bigger balls from screwed up newspaper taped to secure, and a cut up milk bottle can make a great little catcher with handle.

Encouraging them to make their own ramps to roll things down to hit a target is also fun!

DIY Marble Run

Marble Run by Mum Filter
Marble Run by Mum Filter

Another physical activity, a DIY marble run craft. There are lots of different ways you can make a marble run, but we think boys will love this large scale marble run using cardboard tubes (like wrapping paper or toilet roll tubes) and lots of coloured tape. Making a marble run out of paper plates is another great challenge.

Dressing up

One top tip for holding your boy’s attention while they craft, choose something they can play with after. Anything they can make and then wear always goes down a treat – such as, masks! Providing a basic mask shape with all the elements for them to create a superhero alter ego or become an animal is always a fun one too. You’ll find lots of dressing up ideas on our Dressing Up Pinterest board too.

Paper plate dinos

For younger crafters who need your help, this simple dinosaur craft is easy and fun. All you need are some paper plates, card, glue, and coloured paint – and an eager helper. Toddlers and pre-schoolers can use paint brushes, sponges, or even their hands to colour the body of each dinosaur. And when dry, it’s another nice craft for them to play with after. Find instructions of this craft here.

Budding builders

Corvus tools: real tools in children's sizes
Corvus tools: real tools in children’s sizes

If you’re feeling brave, try letting your boys be adventurous with real life building resources and tools. Your supervision is key, of course, but providing a mix of grown-up materials is a great way to peak their excitement and stimulate their creativity. Lumps of wood, nails and a hammer, a saw – it all depends on your child, their age, and your comfort levels, but with a little instruction and a lot of patience they can create incredible sculptures, learn valuable skills and boost motor development too.

Process play

Boys love seeing things happen right in front of them. Things like building a boat and seeing if it will float, getting things out of trapped ice, and potion mixing. To set up a potion mixing activity simply give them access to a range of ingredients and water (perhaps coloured waters if you fancy it!). Things like coloured pasta, oats, herbs, dried rice – all safe and great for a sensory experience too.

Do you know any little boys who love to craft? Why not share this blog with their ‘grown-up’ to inspire creative fun!

20 Kids Crafts Every Child Should Try Before 12

Oglee Poglee - Craft Workshop - Child Painting

Looking for more creative ideas to do with your kids? Presenting your child with an exciting invitation to create doesn’t need to be complicated. The most memorable creative opportunities often come from trying something new! Here are 20 kids craft techniques and activities every child should have a go at before they turn 12:

Collage

Kids love the freedom of collage. Rip up paper, cut pictures from magazines, use stickers – then glue and layer to create whatever they like! Add details with pens and paints.

Rubbings

A lovely activity to take creativity outdoors. All you need are some wax crayons and paper. Challenge your kids to get outside and spot textures they can rub the crayons over to create an interesting print.

Woodwork

Woodwork tends to be something parents leave for the kids to do at school, but there’s no reason you can’t make this a family bonding activity from as young as toddlerhood! With the right tools, and plenty of supervision, children will boost gross motor skills and learn problem-solving as they learn how to use hammer and nails, saws etc.

Watercolour (watercolour resist)

Don’t just stick to kids poster paint! Watercolours are lovely because they’re easy to use, easy to wash off and allow real scope for our kids to do both realistic landscapes/portraits or abstract masterpieces. Watercolour resist is a really fun activity too. Before painting, draw on paper with a white wax crayon. Your invisible drawings will be revealed when you paint over the top.

Oil Pastels & chalks

Both nice materials to use as an alternative to crayons or paint. Chalk is great for using on dark coloured paper for a different canvas.

Tie dye

Tie dyeing is a must for when you’re feeling brave and don’t mind the kids making a mess! Learn how to do tie dyeing with this tutorial video here.

Pointillism

Use a cotton bud or pencil tip dipped in paint to paint using only dots.

Finger/Hand painting

A classic messy-fun activity they can do as soon as they can sit up! Grab the child-friendly paints and let them make prints with their fingers/hands/feet.

Friendship bracelets

A good one for mindfulness. Simply braid coloured threads to make a bracelet they can wear or share.

Sewing

Sewing is such a handy tool in adult life, but it’s always a fun way to be creative. You could design simple puppets out of felt and show your kids how to stitch them together, or give them a piece of cotton and see what shapes and images they can stitch.

Origami

Origami is the art of paper folding – something which looks far easier than it is! Kids can start simple with paper airplanes and boats before trying the many traditional animal shapes possible with paper. This looks like a brilliant little kit to get you started.

Tape resist painting

For a fun technique to wow toddlers, add tape to paper before painting over the top. When you remove there will be white space where the tape once was.

Doodling

Don’t over look the magic doodling! It’s such a fun way to get lost in the creative process and all you need is pen/pencil and paper. Invite your kids to doodle with you, creating wiggles/shapes and whatever else springs to mind. Try not taking the pen off the paper until the whole page is full.

Potato stamps

A childhood classic. Cut up potatoes to produce simple stampers and dip in poster paint to make prints.

Symmetry painting

Show your kids how to create symmetry by adding blobs of paint or painting an image on one side of a piece of paper. Fold in half and watch as the paint spreads on the other side in a symmetrical shape.

Weaving

Weaving is an ancient art and addictive when you get started. You can use strips of paper, ribbons, wool, or natural finds from the garden.

Tracing

Tracing is a really handy artistic technique and will allow your child to have a go at recreating images with greater accuracy and realism. Use tracing paper over magazine cartoons or photos, or use a lightbox.

Junk modelling

Make the most of your recycling box and let the kids raid it to make a sculpture. Let their imagination run wild!

Self-portrait

This one promises a giggle. Get your kids to sit in front of a mirror and draw or paint a picture of themselves!

Blown art

When your kids are old enough not to slurp up paint, add a straw to your art sessions and let them use their breath to make art. Drop a blob of watercolour paint on paper and see what shapes they can create by blowing the paint in different directions, or blow bubbles in a cup of paint and then press paper over the top to make a bubbly print.

 If you like this blog you may also like our blog: 10 Attractions to Engage Their Imagination

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What Is an ‘Invitation to Create’?

Eager to create more creative moments with your children? There’s a good chance you’ve come across the term ‘invitation to create’ on Instagram, Pinterest or craft packed parenting blogs – but what does this popular term mean? And how does an invitation to create benefit our kids?

The good news: it’s easy to understand. An invitation to create is simply an environment that ‘invites’ young children to get involved with a creative activity – whether that’s exploring sensory play, a cut and stick craft, painting, a heap of new materials to experiment with – the opportunities are endless.

The aim is to simply capture a child’s imagination and provide the materials for them to engage their natural creativity and problem-solving skills.

Why should we set-up invitations to create?

So often, adults set up craft activities for children with an intended outcome – perhaps with specific instructions to follow and a specific ‘product’ in mind to create. While there’s no harm in this within a mix of creative activities, this sort of adult-led crafting restricts our children.

An invitation to create intentionally allows children the means to create ‘how they see fit’ respecting their innate creativity and allowing them the opportunity to use their imagination fully. It’s always fascinating to see children using their natural creativity and exploring materials in ways we could have never expected!

Creative play has other huge developmental benefits too. It can boost both fine and gross motor skills, aid in basic maths skills (like geometry, sorting, and measuring) and offer an outlet to express emotions and strengthen mental wellbeing.

Setting up an engaging invitation to create

There are no strict rules to setting up an ‘invitation to create’ but if you feel overwhelmed by the idea of offering your child an open-ended creative task, here are a few tips to presenting a creative opportunity they will learn from and enjoy:

• Make it hands-on
If your idea of getting creative is currently restricted to paper and pens/paintbrush, think again. To let our children, get the biggest benefits from being creative we need to allow them to use their whole bodies – particularly their little hands and fingers! Think about how you can set up an invitation to create that lets them manipulate materials without tools and to explore new textures and materials.

• Make it messy
Most kids love getting messy! Whether it’s exploring the different ways to use paint, using plenty of gloopy glue or shaking glitter and sprinkles about the place – it’s all part of using their creative freedom fully. To keep them engaged for longer, set up their invitation to create in a space where you feel happy for them to make a mess and let them go for it.

• Make it ‘grown-up’
Another way to really capture their imagination is to give them a sense of responsibility as they create. Using real tools like wood, nails and hammers is a great one! Or simply trusting them with scissors, glue and tape to use however they want without limit.

• Make it obvious
While you don’t want to be completely prescriptive, it’s important that your invitations to create are clearly defined. This means setting up your craft activity and giving your child a quick explanation of how the materials ‘could’ be used (this is not the same as describing what the final piece will look like). The fun is then watching them as they explore and add their own creative twists!

• Use other people’s ideas!
You don’t have to think everything up yourself. Pinterest is full of amazing craft ideas (see our Kid’s Craft Prompt board). Our blog ‘Brilliant Kids Books to Encourage Creative Thinking’ will introduce to some inspiring craft books too.

Oglee Poglee’s pre-filled craft party bags are a lovely example of quick and easy ‘invitations to create’ you can gift your child at any time and unleash their creativity. Which one would most capture their imagination?