I’ve never been the ‘craft mum’ – it is NOT my thing. But colouring with kids – that’s much more my thing.
I do remember loving crafts at school and I believe firmly in the benefits of them. I just don’t particularly enjoy them as a parent. There, I said it.
Don’t get me wrong, we craft. But if your kid comes round for a playdate, don’t expect me to set up the paintbrushes and scrapbooks. Nope.
I felt bad for a while – why was I missing the ‘crafting’ gene? Wasn’t it something all mums should love to do?
Then I realised that crafting doesn’t need to equal paint splodges, glue sticks and…mess.
Colouring in with Kids
Because…colouring in! Colouring in is SO much fun and something that I’ve loved from my toddler to adult years.
It’s calming, it relieves stress, it’s pretty and there is NO mess. Perfect!
We have lots of kids colouring in books dotted about our house, and the occasional adult colouring book too. And it’s always been our go-to when we eat out.
If the kids can sit and do some colouring in while they’re waiting for their food, eating our is so much easier.
My six-year-old daughter particularly loves to colour in and has from an early age. My three-year-old son? More of a scribbler apparently. But the thought is there. Kind of.
I’m happy though that my kids love one of the hobbies I loved as a kid and colouring in together is something that bring us all joy.
More joy and less mum guilt!
I know I’m not alone with the whole ‘I’m not a craft mum’ thing. Phew.
Psychologist and parenting specialist, Renee Mill, says “While many mums love crafting with their kids, many also avoid crafting activities because they see them as time consuming and messy. However, with a bit of planning, you can choose a simple activity just with scissors, colouring pens, paper and glue, for example, that is fun and mess-free.”
Renee says that getting involved with a craft activity can take you away from the busy everyday routine that can help you connect with your young child – something that can benefit you both.
6 Reasons to Craft with Kids
She explains six key benefits of craft time with kids:
1. It’s time away from technology
Good connection happens when there is eye contact. Our brains are ‘social brains’, which means that when we connect through eye contact, it helps our child’s brain develop. When a parent and/or the child is engaged in technology, eye contact and face to face communication is diminished. Bonding, love and affection are best displayed when there are no screens or other devices in the way.
2. It’s non-confrontational conversation
A lot of parenting involves telling a child what to do and the child reacting to it, frequently in a negative manner such as being oppositional, defensive or sulky. When you work cooperatively on a craft activity, the focus is on working together, both being contributors and respectful of each other’s opinions. This generates closeness and warmth. It sets the tone for collaboration in the future.
3. It creates confidence
Confidence does not come from being praised. It comes from achieving something, which is called mastery. When a child learns a new skill or finishes an activity, they develop feelings of mastery which increase confidence. Of course, the parent should give helpful praise which will reinforce the confidence e.g.; “I noticed you were able to concentrate for 30 minutes”, “That border required good eye hand co-ordination.” “You really mastered that”, “How creative to think of adding red to the drawing.”
4. It enhances moods
Arts and crafts are good for lowering stress and lifting one’s mood. When you create something, you release dopamine which is the “happy hormone”. Therefore, spending time together doing an activity is great for mental wellness. When you are both happy and calm there is more space for loving moments.
5. You use your imagination
The imagination is a very powerful tool. With the advent of technology, children are not engaging their imagination as much as before. When you watch a video, you are watching the creativity of another person passively. In therapy and hypnotherapy, sports psychology and performance enhancing psychology the imagination is harnessed. It is a good “muscle” to keep active for mental wellbeing.
6. You can re-connect with your own creativity
As adults we often take life too seriously. It can feel like life is all about paying the bills, getting the kids to appointments and daily chores. What a grind it becomes. When you take time out for creative play, you step out into another dimension for a while and it relieves those burdensome feelings. It also is an opportunity to be mindful and in the moment. You are activating different parts of your brain (right side) which will help you feel more balanced and alive. Also, it is a reminder not to take life so seriously all the time.
“Crafting and art work can be very rewarding for children on many levels. It takes them away from the right/wrong world that is often part of everyday school work and into the arena of the imagination, where anything goes,” adds Renee.
Does colouring with kids count as craft time? Absolutely yes!
We love to colour in with gel pens because they’re so vibrant and easy to use. Plus, the range of colours is vast.
I’ve shared before my passion for Pilot Pens and we love their Pop’lol Gen Pen range.
John Johnston, Marketing Manager for Pilot Pen Australia said that a ‘craft resurgence’ is currently taking place and that they consequently have seen an increase in demand for many products such as colouring pens, paint markers and even calligraphy pens. He said that this trend is ironically being driven online, with many ‘Insta’ mums and YouTubers offering some great tips and advice to make craft easy and accessible.
Instagram and Pinterest used to be a place that brought out the ‘mum guilt’ in me. When I saw the craft that other mums were producing and the look of joy on their kids’ faces, I felt like I should probably be doing more.
Colouring is our thing! It’s a hobby we all love and we can do together.
Don’t get me wrong, we still make time for other crafts, this is our favourite though.
Pilot Pens Pop’lol Pens Giveaway Closed
And the winner is…Lisa!
I’ve teamed up with Pilot Pens in a giveaway of their beautiful Pop’lol Gel Pens! You can win a set of 16 Pop’lol Pens for your child (or you!) worth $45.
To enter, simply:
- Complete the form below.
- Comment below with your favourite craft idea for kids and why do you love it? Scroll to the bottom of this page to where it says Leave a Reply.
Terms and Conditions
- Open to Australian residents only.
- Giveaway closes on April 17th 2019.
- Winner will be announced here after April 18th 2019.
- Game of skill, not a random draw. Your answer must be original or creative.
For more ideas and inspiration and downloadable craft templates, head to www.pilotpen.com.au
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- Poplol Gel Ink Pen Review – from Pilot Pen Australia!
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Do you love colouring with kids too?