A Parent's Guide to Getting Creative with Kids
Research shows that art and craft play an important role in childhood development. When a child puts pencil to paper, picks up a paint brush or uses scissors, they’re developing their fine motor skills. They’re continually learning about different shapes, colours and textures. They’re learning to express themselves both creatively and by discussing their work. Art gives children a sense of achievement by seeing their skills put to use, which in turn helps to boost their confidence. Nurturing creativity is a simple and effective way to enable children to assert individuality. It’s not about developing artists, it’s about enjoying the process! Art is also a fun and easy way to spend time and connect with your children. It might seem daunting (and messy!), but we’ve got some fantastic, tried and tested, mess-free ways to help you get creative with your kids.
Yes, it does exist! As a mum of two young children, I understand the reluctance to pull out the paint and brushes, believe me. Paint on the carpet, paint on the walls, paint in the mouth... argh! But it doesn’t have to be that way. Micador has a range of painting materials that will allow your little ones to express their creativity, have fun and stay clean too.
early stART No-Drip Paint ensures the paint stays in the tub and not splashed across the floor. Its thick and creamy texture is specially formulated not to drip, so it’s ideal for young visionaries who want to get involved. It also has a bitter taste, which helps keep paint-covered fingers out of mouths, and of course, it’s non-toxic and fully washable, so no stains! It’s great to use with the early stART Stuff for Painting pack, which contains easy-to-grip brushes and sponges for little hands. See how shapes and patterns differ by using the tools and then using your fingers!
Using large size paper like Micador A3 Painting Paper helps to keep the paint where it should be and not where you don’t want it – like the table!
Another great option is the early stART Low-Mess Washable Paint Discs. Contained in a sturdy tray, the tempera paint discs can be easily accessed with a brush and as the name suggests, the paint is fully washable. For older children, the Micador jR. Jumbo Watercolour Palette or Micador Stylist Watercolour Palette with included brush is a clean and easy way to encourage mess-free painting - the snap shut lid doubles as a palette to avoid needing additional accessories.
If we still haven’t managed to get you across the line with painting activities (yet), there are many other engaging alternatives to ensure your children can get creative at home.
Allowing children to experiment with different mediums is a great way to encourage their learning and creativity. The early stART Stamp and Colour sets invite a range of different skills. The motion of stamping in ink and then onto paper helps to build hand strength, coordination and motor planning. Colouring in the stamps with the tri-grip crayons activates visual reasoning and creativity. It’s also a fun and engaging craft for all ages and the ink, of course, is washable.
Chalk is a great way to encourage children’s creativity because it’s compact enough to be transported around and it can be used on many different surfaces, plus it’s washable. We keep a box of Micador jR. Colourful Chalk in the pram so that when we are out, the girls can draw on the wooden stumps or bricks around the playground. Experimenting on different textures is a fun way to learn new techniques! See how the chalk responds to grooves in bricks or ridges in wood. What patterns can you make? The early stART Egg Chalk is a great alternative as it’s easy to hold and suits a child’s full-handed grip.
Scissors can be used in a multitude of art and craft activities. It’s a great way to build hand muscle strength, concentration and confidence as children see the outcome of their skills in practice. Try tracing around your child’s hand on paper and having them cut out the shape. early stART Safety Scissors have an innovative opening system and blades angled at 10 degrees for safety. They have a maximum opening angle of 80 degrees to keep the rounded blade on the inside too, so you can confidently let your little one learn to cut while staying out of harm’s way. Micador jR. Safe Scissors come in left and right-handed styles too, so everyone can have a go.
An Art Smock is essential to help protect the clothes of your small artist in residence. Made from bright and light polyester with fabric collar and cuffs for comfort and an open back for flexible sizing and ventilation, the waterproof body can be easily wiped clean, making it a parent favourite! Available in both the early stART and Micador jR. range.
A Splash Mat on the floor will help to keep your worries at bay and ensure any wayward specks and splatters are caught – plus it’s great to use under the high chair or a table at meal time too!
Getting creative at home with your kids doesn’t have to be overwhelming and it definitely doesn’t have to be messy. With so many emotional and cognitive benefits and a whole lot of fun to be had in the process, we can hear a crafternoon calling!