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Crafting Savvy: Fun Ideas for Creating with Kids

“Mom, I’m bored… Can I watch TV?”

How can you help children unplug from the electronic world, stay active and learn new skills, all while having fun? Recent research conducted by the Craft & Hobby Association suggests that crafting is one way to help kids engage in learning and fun at the same time.

The study found that crafting in the classroom improves student learning, behavior and socialization skills, and that students develop greater curiosity for a subject when they craft. Plus, there’s the fun and messy quotient — we all know that kids like nothing better than rolling up their sleeves and getting dirty!

Fortunately, there are many easy ways a busy parent (or grandparent, aunt or uncle) can engage children in creative fun right at home. One new product, Squeeze Art™ paint from Krylon, is a high-quality, child-friendly paint that goes on smoothly and covers thoroughly. Squeeze it right from the tube, or use brushes, stamps, rollers, stencils, texture tools, or every child’s favourite tool — fingers.

All-purpose Squeeze Art paints most surfaces, including fabric, paper, wood, metal, and glass, so you won’t need to purchase and store a lot of different paints. Plus, it’s nontoxic and cleans up with soap and water. And children can’t resist the vibrant colours in glossy, glitter, and glow-in-the-dark finishes.

As you roll up your sleeves and get ready to craft, Krylon offers a few quick tips to ensure you have fun:

  • Read the label.

    Products for children should be clearly labeled “nontoxic” and suggest appropriate ages. Be sure the directions are clear, and because accidents happen, check to see how to clean up any spills.

  • Select an age appropriate project.

    Younger children love using their hands and finger painting, while older children might enjoy making cards with paint and foam stamps. For teens, decorating clothing is hot right now, and painting t-shirts and jeans will be a hit.

  • Plan ahead.

    Get out your materials in advance and be sure you have everything needed. Prepare individual kits for each child, so you’re ready to go as soon as the kids arrive.

  • Cover up.

    Cover the work surface and floor with newspapers, plastic or an old tablecloth. Have on hand paper towels or rags for possible spills. Kids can wear old clothes, painting smocks, or an old, oversize t-shirt.

  • Review the instructions.

    Read through the project instructions before you start, and if time allows, make the project yourself ahead of time. By staging a trial run, you can anticipate questions, and you’ll be sure the project works as planned. As a bonus, you’ll also have a model for the kids to follow.

  • Allow enough time.

    Choose a project that can be finished in the allotted time, including clean up. That way, no one gets stressed.

Need a few ideas? Have kids scrapbook photos of friends and family, and use acid-free Squeeze Art to safely decorate the pages. Beyond painting t-shirts, consider painting ball caps, backpacks, tennis shoes, socks and flip flops. Kids love to decorate their bedrooms, and with Squeeze Art, they can customize pillows, curtains, lampshades, laundry bags, and picture frames. Or, how about personalizing plastic storage bins? Or, stamping out greeting cards and gift wrap?

The fun is endless, and once your kids tune in to their own crafting channel, you won’t hear “can I watch TV” any more. For more information about having fun with Krylon® Squeeze Art® premium, all-purpose paint, visit www.krylon.ca.