Easy arts projects you can do with your grandchildren
31st October 2018
Creating art, in any form, is a gentle way to relax, let off some steam and create beautiful keepsakes that can live on forever. It’s a fantastic way to not only bond with your grandchildren but to create sentimental pieces together that you both can treasure. Whether you have small grandchildren who are just discovering their artistic side or older children who are looking for a creative challenge, there are many great art forms out there that are perfect to work on together. It’s also possible to find styles of art that are perfect for people of any mobility, from stairlift users to those who struggle with dexterity.
This article will look into some of the best art forms to work on with grandchildren, as well as giving advice on what someone would need to start, and some inspiration.
Toddlers and young grandchildren
When children are young and still developing, arts and crafts are a great way to teach them about colours and shapes while engaging in a fun activity. Painting is also a great sensory experience, the smell of acrylic, the feel of runny paint on their hands and the bright and vibrant colours. When planning arts and crafts for younger children it’s important to remember they will likely make a mess, so prepare the area with a washable tablecloth or newspapers to make clean up a breeze.
Hand and block printing
Hand and block printing are simple ways to introduce little ones to painting whilst limiting any accidents. With brushes, it’s common for paint to fly everywhere but with hand and block painting, it’s easier to keep the situation controlled and keep your furnishings paint-free. You could even paint outside, on a picnic table or even on the grass.
To do this, simply coat the child’s hand, or an object like a wooden block or even a carved potato with paint and use it is a stamp. To coat the child’s hand, you could use a tupperware box with a shallow layer of paint, after all, kids love an excuse to get messy. This can be a great way to learn about shapes and create early memories that can be treasured.
String jewellery can be a really great way to start building up a child’s dexterity and fine motor skills. By using straws, beads or even pieces of pasta and threading them on some string you can make simple necklaces. The threading aspect of this craft, as well as the design aspect, are great stimulants for young children.
When the children are a little older and are able to understand more complex ideas, arts and crafts are a great way to help them express their creativity and learn new skills. With the limitless nature of the arts, it’s possible to encourage little ones to stretch their imagination and allow them to create anything they can think of using more complex mediums.
Using air-drying clay to make small objects like keyholders and trinkets is a great way of bringing more tactile elements into play. Clay is easy to manipulate, but once dry, it creates a hard and lasting object that someone can keep forever. A great place to start is to think of something that would be easy to shape, such as a dog or a house, and then help them mould the different parts. This can help the early development of life skills like logic and observation skills.
Painting is a great way for people of all ages to relax, and for many it is incredibly therapeutic. If this is the case for you, sharing that with a grandchild can be a wonderful experience. Travelling to paint a landscape together is an opportunity to create a great memory and have a lasting keepsake to remember it by. Painting at home is also a great treat, and you can work together to create something or set up a still life to capture. The possibilities are endless.
Conscious Craft sells great quality creative toys and products designed for children. They spoke to us about why they believe crafting and art are a great way to connect with grandchildren of all ages: “Arts and crafts are a brilliant way to connect with grandchildren of all ages as it gives you something fun to do together. You can learn from each other as you get creative and you’ll be surprised at what you start to talk about while you’re making something. Ask open questions and give your grandchild space to talk you through what they’re doing.”
They gave some fantastic advice for someone who wants to start painting with their grandchildren: “If you want to start painting with your grandchildren, I recommend getting great quality art materials that are a pleasure to use and take care of. Experiment with different techniques, for example, make your own paint brushes with things you can find in the garden or at home. Use different sized paper and mix up your media, for example, painting with collage or crayons. Be flexible, lay out a range of art materials and see what happens. Encourage and enjoy the process rather than worrying about the end product or outcome. Remember, for children, it’s not about making a good piece of art but about having fun. Having said that, I’m sure you’ll end up with something lovely to stick on your wall or fridge to remind you of your time together.”
Little ones who love clothes and dressing up will love tie-dye. Even if you are unfamiliar with it, it’s very simple to learn and very easy to do. All you need are the dyes, a big container, clothing or fabric of your choice and elastic bands. This is a great way to allow children to express themselves by making custom clothing.
With older grandchildren who are in their teens or beyond, creating arts and crafts together is a fantastic way to pass on life lessons they can treasure forever. Practical skills like sewing or woodworking are great things to pass down the family tree that will prove useful for them in later life, and it means they will always associate that skill with their grandparents.
For someone who is a dab hand at carpentry, passing on woodworking skills is a great thing to do. Not only does teaching older grandchildren woodwork give you a real, potentially long-term project to bond over and collaborate on, it also allows you to pass on a life skill which may turn into a career or lifelong passion.
Sewing, knitting or cross stitching
Sewing, knitting or other needlework are skills that everyone will need at some point in their life. By teaching these skills to children early on, they can be prepared for the inevitable day they either want to make something or repair something. The scope with needlework is large, but could include working together to make clothes, tapestries and more.
If you've ever been curious about what your grandchildren might be like when they reach older age, take a look at this guide to what we can expect from the future generation of over 60s.
READ ALSO: Tips and advice for grandparents
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.