Image from Unboxed by Eleanor Ford
Continuing our theme of deepening family connections, inspired by Lou Harvey-Zahra, here are some more simple fun ways to keep connecting!
Nimble fingers make for nimble minds and happy hearts.
When we are engaged in activities that require hand work, we switch of the overthinking monkey mind and engage our tactile creative senses instead. This is a really significant concept to consider with older children 7 – 12 years, when intellect and emotional well-being starts to be influenced more directly by peers, social media, popular fads, TV and fashion, all of which impacts their growing sense of self in the world.
Here are some simple ideas that will help to bring more balance to the changing landscape this age group is navigating daily:
*Gardening – provide your child with their own patch to plant and nurture. It may simply be a bonsai or topiary tree that they can manicure and shape as they care for its wellbeing.
*Purposeful craft for gift giving – flower pressing to create gift cards or framed art. Air dry clay for wall plaques, a flower vase, trinket bowls and pendant jewellery (all can be painted and sealed once dry). Making soap and bath bombs (plenty of good recipes and tutorials online) wet felting and candle making are also creative and fun activities to explore. The level of detail and finesse of these concepts are all adaptable to suit different age groups.
*Whittling knife and woodwork – combined with regular nature walks or camping trips to gather fallen branches, bursting with potential. Whittling is both a very satisfying and respect building activity to introduce to your child as it comes with great responsibility and suggests that you trust and respect that they are mature enough to understand and respect this.General woodwork activities that don’t involve whittling include building a bird feeder or a frame to rest a bird bath bowl, a book stand, swords and shields, bow and arrows, picture frames…….
*Weaving, knitting and crochet are wonderful crafts for the cooler seasons when we find ourselves indoors more often. They can be very purposeful with the opportunity to create something useful as skills develop like a beanie, scarf, socks, dolls clothes, pot holder. The rhythmical nature of these activities settles the mind and brings calm, so particularly helpful where anxiety is present.
*Cooking – many a young Master Chef finds peace and purpose working creatively in the kitchen. Maybe your child chooses to prepare and cook a family meal once a week or bakes the lunchbox treats. Our beautiful embossed rolling pins make cookie and pastry making extra fun.
*Box Craft – keep and collect boxes for creative activities like making a doll or tree house, build a city, monster/robot masks, cars and boats, crazy critters. Our ‘Unboxed’ book listed in resources below is loaded with amazing ideas.
*Origami folding – try kite paper, silk paper and paper scrapes for variety.
*Your own hobbies – ask your child if they would like to help, learn about your hobby/craft and allow them to be involved and or work along-side you on their own project.
Having a shelf or cupboard in your home with lots of craft materials at hand is a wonderful resource. Become a collector of possibilities as you find things to add, from Opp shops, markets, garage sales and time in nature. Encourage your kids to do the same….to seek out potential treasure where-ever you are!
Useful resources below: