As a working mum with no help/nanny I know all too well how tempting it is to shove a screen in our kids’ face. I do things all the time I swore I would never do because there’s no other way for me to get everything on my to-do list done. In the end it’s all a balance. Some days it will be crafts and some days it will be screens, but it’s important to remember that crafts and play are the natural language of young children.
“By playing and getting crafty with your kids without the distraction of your phone or mobile device, you’ll have meaningful conversations, learn what’s on their mind and maybe uncover any difficulties they may be experiencing,” says Amber Kemp-Gerstel, DIY expert at Juicy Juice and host of Disney Family Sundays on Disney+. “I definitely recommend creating a fun schedule to make sure they are able to let loose after school.”
When it comes to encouraging your children to get crafty, Kemp-Gerstel advises to keep it simple and let them have fun. Don’t worry about perfection or cleanliness. “Crayons, scissors, paper and glue are all you need to get started. From there, your child’s creativity will run wild. You can use a favourite story as a creativity-starter.” She suggests reading the story together, then do a crafting activity based on an element of the book. “Maybe recreate your favourite part of the story or draw your favourite character. One of my favourite quotes is from Maya Angelou. She says ‘you can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.’ This is especially true with children. Once you get those creative wheels turning, they’ll just keep going.”