Looking for ways to spend quality time with your kids but hate crafting? Or do you want find ways to engage your kid with technology without them spacing out in front of a screen? Below are 5 activities that will help you create memories without the mess of traditional crafts and without the isolation of regular screen time.
It’s been said that if you want to raise successful, well-adjusted kids, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money. It’s in that spirit this list exists.
I’m a very practical mom with two girls under age 10. But I love to instigate little adventures that build memories and family bonds with them. I strive to make every day feel special in some way.
Here are some ways we’ve created memories and plan to in the future. What ideas would you add? Leave some of your favorites ways to craft with kids in the comments below.
5 Non-Annoying Ways to Craft with Your Kids
1. Draw together.
It sounds too simple. But it’s amazing what happens when you break out some blank paper and pencils. The point is spending quality time with one another, but it’s also fun to tap into the creative artist of your youth. Your child will love seeing you drawn — whether or not you’re “good”!
This is a trick I picked up from my mom, who was an educator for 36 years. No matter where you are, you can usually find a scrap of paper and a pen, and it’s saved me on more than one occasion. Drawing will capture the attention of a little one when electronics or other forms of entertainment aren’t available.
Make regular time for drawing with your kids. Give them prompts or allow their imaginations to soar. I remember sitting down with my then-8-year-old while she drew a picture of a mermaid and the sea, and I drew a picture of our house with the tire swing out front. I was kind of surprised/impressed with myself — and she and I made a memory we’ll treasure for years to come (plus we have the drawing to commemorate that special moment!)
2. Pinterest day.
Do you spend hours a week scrolling through Pinterest like I do? I love the ideas I see there but I rarely pursue the ideas I like or pin. So take an afternoon and do a craft, recipe or decorating idea you’ve liked! Click back to your liked pins and resurrect an older idea you saved, or find something new to do together.
We recently used the engineer print idea and had a favorite photo blown up into an $8 engineer print at Staples. To mount, buy a large foam core board from Home Depot and affix with spray adhesive. Cut to fit with an X-ACTO knife.
3. Create an e-book.
Using an app on the iPad or Google slides on a laptop or desktop computer, create an original story or re-tell a family favorite using text, clip-art, photos or illustrations. Children can draw, use photos, record voice, type, and then send their finished creations to family and friends. Here’s how my 5-year-old created an ebook (which we used to raise money for her school) using an app called My Story.
Use the voice recorder on your phone or video an interview with your child (this is good to do yearly!). Make the questions fun and easy to keep them from freezing up on camera. Here are some interview questions!
- What is your name?
- How old are you?
- Who is the president?
- Where do you live?
- What’s your favorite food?
- What’s something I say all the time to you?
- Tell me a joke.
- What do you want for Christmas?
I also made a video interview as a Father’s Day gift one year. Here are the questions I asked (in the form of slides you can use!)
5. Create stop-motion videos.
Kids LOVE creating stop-motion videos. Using Legos or small figures and an iPad, phone or DSLR with video and a computer, allow them to create a scene and storyline. Help them set up the technology (here’s a tutorial.) If that sounds like too much trouble, just let your kid create a video on their own! Supervise and give them expectations and boundaries, but let their creativity roam a bit. Last winter we allowed our 8-year-old to take the video camera through the snow and to a nearby frozen creek where she captured some beautiful footage. Their perspectives are unique!