Easy ways to use crafting with your kids as bonding time

 Guest Post
There is something about sitting around the table doing crafts with your children that is so great for bonding. Just having mom and dad sit down to play with them makes the children feel loved and special. Some adults like to do crafts too so it is no big deal, but there are many adults who are not fans and would rather avoid it. Even if you are not a fan, I believe you will find it enjoyable. It is important for them to explore their creativity when they are small and it really helps their imaginations and gives them encouragement to consider other areas of study.
There are many neat and easy arts and crafts projects you can do with your kids. The craft stores and dollar stores are full of craft supplies so it does not have to cost a fortune. 
1. Craft Sticks – You can buy a large package of craft sticks for basically pennies and make many neat projects from that one package. All you need is some glue, some magic markers or crayons, and imagination. You can create houses, cars, chairs, tables, jewelry boxes, etc, the possibilities are endless. You can decorate with beads, buttons, or jewels to design something to give as a gift or to keep. Craft sticks make nice picture frames for school pictures from your child to grandparents or even Christmas decorations for the tree. You can even create a bird feeder or bird house for the birds that come to visit your yard.
2. Nature – Some other items that are great to use for crafts are items from nature. Take a walk with your kids and pick up beautiful leaves, interesting sticks, or soft green moss. Then use those things to make a collage or use your craft sticks and make a fireplace with a crackling fire and moss on the mantle. Another great thing to do with leaves is to put them under your paper and use a crayon to cover them with color and bring out the imprint of the leaf. Most children love watching the imprint of the leaf appear right before their eyes like magic!
3. Paper Plates– Paper plates can be used to make cute vases for wild flowers or to draw faces on and cut out the eyes for masks. There are all kinds of things to be made out of inexpensive paper plates. You can make bunnies for Easter, banjos, turkeys for Thanksgiving, hats, or even birds. How about making teepees out of the plates and log cabins out of craft sticks and creating an entire village? Using construction paper or colored tissue paper you can add wings to your birds, make flowers for your hats, or grass around the teepees, the possibilities are practically endless.
4. Bead, Buttons and Bags– Beads and buttons are a lot of fun to make crafts out of. Your kids can string the beads or buttons on plain string or elastic for jewelry. Another great craft item that is mere pennies is small paper bags. They are perfect to use for making hand puppets. The faces can be made with markers or use the buttons for the eyes and the nose and beads for the mouth. You can add hair with yarn or strips of construction paper and even ears if you would like. 
5. Baking Fun – Kids also love baking cookies, cupcakes, or cakes and this can be a wonderful family activity. Sugar cookies are a lot of fun because you can roll them out and use cookies cutters just like with play dough. And then the decoration ideas are endless. You can use M&M’s, raisins, nuts, sprinkles, plain sugar, colored sugar, cinnamon candies, or even leave them plain and then ice them. The icing is just powdered sugar and food coloring with a little milk to get to the right consistency. And the best part of making cookies is that you get to eat them when they are done! Rice Krispie Treats are easy and fun to make as well and you can mold them in to different shapes if you would like.
There are many ways to enjoy time with your children doing crafts or baking together. It is a wonderful way to spend a rainy day or to keep your children sitting down and happy instead of running around and bored. They will feel loved when you take the time to sit down and spend time being creative with them.
Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.

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