How to Talk to Your Children About Their Art

Most parents want to encourage their children to be creative. But when you’re passed a page of poster paint splodges or another stick figure drawing, it can be hard to know how to respond with genuine encouragement… Here are our top tips for talking to your children about their art without having to pull out “That’s lovely” or “…What is it?” for the umpteenth time:

Try asking questions

Rather than jumping straight to your ‘feedback’ open up a conversation by asking your children questions about their work. What materials did they use? How did they create that effect? Which elements were tricky? What was their inspiration?

Be specific and use descriptive words

Show your children that you are really paying attention to their works by being specific about what you say. Rather than saying a general “That’s good” try something like “I love the way you’ve used shape/colour/texture here…” or “That’s a very realistic horse/ship/person…”.

By chatting specifics with our kids about their art we encourage them to build their creative repertoire and show them we value what they do. Use descriptive words to talk about texture, colour, shape, size and try using words they might not usually use to introduce them to new vocabulary.

Here’s how to break it down:

  • Colour – Point out colours, noticing if they’ve mixed any colours themselves or used colour in an interesting and unusual way or gone for a realistic look.
  • Shape – What shapes can you see? Point out how they’ve used different shapes to make one object/character.
  • Contrast – How do different elements of their piece contrast from each other? Dark and light colours? Contrasting textures/sizes etc…
  • Composition – How have they structured their work? Is one area busy, one empty? Acknowledge the effect use of composition can have.
  • Materials – What materials have they used today? Notice if they tried any interesting/new techniques with these materials?

Acknowledge their efforts

As well as commentary on the visual, acknowledge the effort they’ve put into a piece of art. Notice how carefully/enthusiastically/long they worked.

Encourage creative thinking

Keep their creative juices flowing by asking your child what they could add to further their creation. How could they fill large blank spaces? How could they increase the size of their work? Could they add another character? Could they add more to the story they’ve depicted? You don’t need to have any ideas yourself, open up the option and let their imagination run free.

Talk emotions

Getting arty is wonderful for our kids mental wellbeing. It gives them space to process situations, experiences and observations they can’t fully process in other ways and allows them an outlet to express their emotions. Next time your child presents you with a work of art or a craft construction, ask them how the process and end result has made them feel. Did they enjoy it? Are they proud? Did they get frustrated? Are their sad elements in the story they’ve illustrated? Once they’ve shared their opinion, share yours too – our kids love to hear more than a three-word remark from us.

Think about body language

Don’t forget how perceptive our kids are to our body language as we look at their art. Stop and really engage with them, smart devices down. If they ask you to hold their work, hold it with care and be careful where you put it down. We have a responsibility to show we value their time and creativity – let them see what’s important to them is important to us too!

To encourage your kids to problem solve and talk about their ideas why not try creating as a family team with our Creative Heroes Club family challenges.  Simply print out the activity pack and let it guide you through hours of creative exploration where the children lead the way. 

 

How Parents Can Support Their Child’s Creativity At Home

Wondering how you can support your child with their creative endeavours and boost their problem solving skills, increase their imagination and help them learn? Brilliant! You’re in the right place. Here are lots of easy ways you can do just that:

Encourage your children to think for themselves

Start by remembering, getting creative is supposed to be fun! There are no rules! Let your young artists think for themselves – even if their thought processes don’t make sense to you. Let them use materials in strange ways and go off brief if they want to. Creativity offers an opportunity for our kids to be free and express themselves.

Use open ended questions

As your children try to solve problems through creativity, ask them open ended questions to get them thinking (Why? What? How? Where?). The more opportunities you can give them to think for themselves and have permission to come up with their own solutions, the more confidence they’ll gain.

Resist the urge to take over…

When our children look like they’re struggling, or they’re taking a long time to complete something we consider to be a simple task, it’s easy to step in and get it done for them. Try to resist the urge to do this. There’s no rush. If they really need help, they’ll ask. Even then, if appropriate, take the opportunity to teach them how to do it themselves next time.

If your child is really stuck and getting frustrated, give them a gentle nudge with things like: “How about we try…” or “Would it work if we did this?”.

Be specific with praise

If you think your child is doing a brilliant job, tell them! But be specific. Praise is more valuable when you recognise your child’s efforts as opposed to throwing out a generic remark. For example, instead of ‘Great job’ say something like ‘I love the way you’ve used that colour/material/technique’ or ‘Wow look at how hard you’re concentrating’.

Think of yourself as a technician

At Oglee Poglee events, we often refer to the parents as creative technicians. Your job is to be there as an encouragement and hold the scissors and glue! Our kids love it when we get involved and help, but it’s important we’re helping at the right things if we really want our children to get the most out of their creative time.

Try creating alongside them

When your child is in their creative flow, you can leave them to it but use the time to bond by creating your own masterpiece alongside them. You don’t need to be an artist, play with materials just as your kids do – you may be surprised at how relaxing it is, or uncover a new skill of your own!

Don’t worry about the end results

Whether it’s their work or your own, the main benefits of creativity come from the creation process itself; try not to worry too much about whether you think the end result ‘looks good’. Don’t forget, art is subjective… there really is no right or wrong with creativity. Simply have fun and enjoy the learning that happens naturally along the way!

Ask your child to talk through their creation

Don’t let the fun stop when the paints are put away; at the end of your creative session it’s a wonderful chance to learn more about your little artists and how they think. Ask your child to talk through their work. What is it? How did they create that effect? Which was the hardest part to complete? Often there’s a brilliant story behind each drawing and invention. Allowing them the chance to share, it is great for boosting their self-esteem and showing you value their efforts.

Ready to get creative with your children? Take a look at our new Creative Heroes Club challenge downloads full of exciting creative opportunities. Download a challenge to discover a new mission to save Oglee Pip through creativity and amazing inventions – expect family bonding and lots of learning.

15 Creative Activities to Help Our Kids Appreciate Nature

With more and more attention being drawn to the realities of climate change and other eco issues, it’s never been more important to help teach our kids about the importance and wonder of nature. Here are 15 creative activities to help them appreciate the world around them while having fun and nurturing their inner artist:

Landscape drawing

Next time you’re out for a family adventure, pack sketchbooks and pencils to try your hand at landscape drawing together. Pick a comfy spot with a good view (National Trust garden, local park… it doesn’t matter where) and draw what you can see.

Leaf & tree rubbings

This activity is a classic, suitable for all ages. All you need are some strong wax crayons and paper. Place them on top of tree bark or a dry leaf and rub the crayon over the top to create a print of the texture beneath.

Dancing in the rain

Rain. It can dampen the mood, but it doesn’t always need to. Put your wellies on and try getting outside with your children and dancing in the rain! Be silly together and appreciate how amazing weather is… water falling from the sky is quite bizarre when you stop and think about it.

Collaging with nature

Take a nature walk looking out for interesting natural finds like leaves, feathers, conkers, acorns, twigs etc. Then take them home and arrange them onto card to create a nature collage.

Cloud shape spotting

How often do you stop and look up at the sky? Show your children how vast and amazing it is and get your creative juices going by seeing what funny or impressive shapes and animals you can find in the clouds.

Water play

Water play is a really easy way to be creative without having to make too much of a mess (if you dress right). Splash in puddles, collect rain in buckets, paddle in the sea, wade through streams – there’s plenty of opportunity outdoors.

 Tree climbing

You’ve probably noticed by now, not all creative activity needs to involve paint and craft materials! Tree climbing gets all the same creative pathways working as children need to problem solve which foot to put where while taking in the sensory input of tree bark and the need to balance.

Beach sculptures

If you’re taking a trip to the beach, take sandcastle building to another level with beach sculptures. Create characters and scenes out of sand then add stones, seaweed, twigs, driftwood and shells to for the finishing touches.

Nature scavenger hunt

Draw up a quick list of things to find in nature then hand over the list to your kids. A lovely way to keep them engaged on a family walk. You could include things to listen out for as well as objects to find.

Stone balancing

Have you ever tried making a sculpture of balancing stones? It’s such a simple yet mindful activity which will leave you satisfied. Expect a bit of family competition as to who can make the tallest.

Colour spotting

How many colours of the rainbow can you spot in nature the next time you’re outdoor exploring? You may be surprised! Discuss with your kids which colours are the hardest to find? Why is this?

Bug hunting

Pack a magnifying glass next time you head to the park and see how many bugs you can spot. This is a great way to encourage creative thinking. Where to look next? What to look under? Plus, the creative process of comparing bugs… Is that another ant or something else?

Shell collecting

We love finding unusual shells on the beach, whether it’s an unusual pattern or a different shape. What’s the coolest shell your kids can find?

Make music with nature

Let your kids get noisy outdoors and boost their creativity through music, there are lots of opportunities to make noise outdoors – from whistling with grass to drumming on tree stumps!

Outdoor free play

Don’t forget the creative importance of free play outdoors. Let your children spend time outdoors with no prescribed outcome and see where their imagination takes them. Whether they’re running through fields of tall grass, clambering over rock pools or playing hide and seek in the garden – playing outdoors helps them immerse themselves in new imaginary worlds and think creatively as they appreciate different scenery.

Which of these creative activities will you be trying next? We’d love to know! Tag us over on Instagram.

6 Ways Your Children Learn as They Create 

At Oglee Poglee HQ, you’ll often hear us raving about the power of creativity and just how vital it is to help our children unleash theirs! But when traditional education pushes the arts to the sidelines, how can you know creativity is something worth nurturing in your kids? Let’s take a look at 6 important things they learn as they create:  

They learn new ways of thinking 

Let’s start with looking at what goes on in your child’s brain as they create. Emerging research shows that babies’ brains are born with around 100 billion neurons but with only about a quarter of the connections – synapses – already made between them. Creative activities have been shown to support the rapid blooming of synapses in childhood, helping a child’s brain to create new ways of thinking. Creativity helps your child to, literally, broaden their mind – giving them a better chance of being able to adapt and thrive as adults. 

 They strengthen their self-esteems 

The development of new synapses created through creativity also helps develop a strong sense of self-esteem. Kids learn the satisfaction of making ideas come to life and the joy of having others appreciate their creations and performances. They learn they have control over the way they use their mind, their body and the materials in front of them – to create things and situations which improve their play or their everyday environment.  

 They also learn disappointments, frustrations and obstacles are commonplace in the creative process. But with the right nurturing, can be encouraged to either persevere or learn how to move past their mistakes.   

 

They master new materials 

The more chances are children are given to create, the more they learn about mastering new materials – and discovering the solutions and opportunities different materials provide. Materials might be as simple as pen and paper, or paint and craft bits, or wood and DIY tools, musical instruments or computers! There’s no one best medium for our kids to create with. Whether your child is painting, collaging or building levels on Minecraft, your child is learning about how different properties work together to create new ideas and effects. 

They use problem-solving skills 

If you’re new to uncovering the importance of creativity, you’d be forgiven for thinking kids creativity is all about learning to paint! But creativity is so much more. Creativity is the process of the use of our imagination to create new things – whether it’s new paintings or new recipes, songs, lego buildings, character designs, stories… Creativity is problem-solving in action. For our kids, these problems don’t need to be big! It could be as simple as solving the problem of: how do I get that shape to fit there? Or how do I create a colour for that tree? Or how do I build a vehicle that will hold these figures?  

Every time your child uses creativity to solve a problem, they strengthen their confidence (and create those synapses!) to become better at problem-solving in the future too.  

They discover their own interests 

Creativity is also a wonderful process of self-discovery. Through opportunities to create, your child learns which creative outlets provide the best ways for self-expression, which reveal artistic giftings and give them a sense of joy! By simply having the chance to explore lots of different ways to create, your child has the chance to explore lots of different ways to adapt, cope and enjoy life.  

They become innovators 

Finally, in a time of global uncertainty, the true value of creativity has been revealed! Scientists searching for new answers, businesses needing to adapt, leaders thinking up new ways of living. A thriving future relies on innovators, and our children will be the next generation of innovators we need. 

Excited to help your child learn through creativity? Our ‘Creative Heroes Club’ printable downloads were designed for family fun that will unleash the joys of open-ended creativity. Find out more about the first mission here. 

 

 

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

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