How to craft with kids and teenagers, with advice from Heidi Kenney
One of your new year’s resolutions might be to spend more time with family, especially your kids — and what better way to do that than through crafting? In her book “Every Day’s a Holiday,” Heidi Kenney offers simple, kid-friendly projects based on traditional and nontraditional holidays alike. So while Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving are duly represented, there’s also the kind of holiday that you wish you could take the day off for, like Pi Day (March 14th) and National Candy Day (November 4th).
For a holiday that isn’t readily associated with crafting — Martin Luther King Day — Kenney suggests celebrating with the “I Have a Dream Cross-Stitch Sampler.” In this project, King’s famous speech is broken down into quotes that can be embroidered onto Aida cloth and hung on the wall. The first step, however, is to read the speech with your child, go over the language and talk about what it means, making the project both educational and fun.
Kenney says the key to crafting with kids is to enjoy the process and not worry so much about the finished product. “Crafting with your kids should be fun and creative,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to follow each step exactly, and be open-minded to letting your kids make decisions too.”
But what if you have a kid who isn’t that into crafts? “Try a baking project or a science-related project like making your own goop or Play-Doh to get them interested,” Kenney suggests. “I also think letting your kids look through crafty books so they can pick out things to make can also be a big help.”
While her book mostly contains projects for adults and kids to work on together, there are some that don’t require adult supervision. The tools required for these are things that most kids can use on their own, like glue and paper. Other materials Kenney likes to use are pom poms, glue, glitter, recyclables such as cardboard boxes, and scissors. “Most kids I know love to cut things up,” she says.
For tutorials by Heidi Kenney, see the related links below. She also specializes in making plush characters, available for purchase through her website www.mypapercrane.com