24 Mar 6 reasons why Easter craft is a great activity for parents and kids
Crafting and art work can be very rewarding for children on many levels, says clinical psychologist Renee Mills. It can help you connect with your kids by just spending time with them.
Whether it’s fathoming up a new Easter hat design for the annual school Easter hat parade, making an Easter basket, or painting eggs, as a parent of young kids, there’s nowhere to hide from Easter craft at this time of year and experts say there is something to be said by putting some time aside, taking a big deep breath and diving in.
“While many mums love crafting with their kids, many also avoid crafting activities because they see them as time consuming and messy. However, with a bit of planning, you can choose a simple activity just with scissors, colouring pens, paper and glue, for example, that is fun and mess-free,”
“Getting involved with a craft activity can take you away from the busy everyday routine that can help you connect with your young child – something that can benefit you both.” says psychologist and parenting specialist, Renee Mills.
Some of the benefits, says Renee are:
- Time away from technology – good connection happens when there is eye contact. Our brains are ‘social brains’, which means that when we connect through eye contact, it helps our child’s brain develop. When a parent and/or the child is engaged in technology, eye contact and face to face communication is diminished. Bonding, love and affection are best displayed when there are no screens or other devices in the way
- Non-confrontational conversation – a lot of parenting involves telling a child what to do and the child reacting to it, frequently in a negative manner such as being oppositional, defensive or sulky. When you work cooperatively on a craft activity, the focus is on working together, both being contributors and respectful of each other’s opinions. This generates closeness and warmth. It sets the tone for collaboration in the future.
- Creating confidence – confidence does not come from being praised. It comes from achieving something, which is called mastery. When a child learns a new skill or finishes an activity, they develop feelings of mastery which increase confidence. Of course, the parent should give helpful praise which will reinforce the confidence e.g.; “I noticed you were able to concentrate for 30 minutes”, “That border required good eye-hand coordination.” “You really mastered that”, “How creative to think of adding red to the drawing.”
- Mood enhancement – creativity and time with mum. Arts and crafts are good for lowering stress and lifting one’s mood. When you create something, you release dopamine which is the “happy hormone”. Therefore, spending time together doing an activity is great for mental wellness. When you are both happy and calm there is more space for loving moments.
- Use of imagination – imagination is a very powerful tool. With the advent of technology, children are not engaging their imagination as much as before. When you watch a video, you are watching the creativity of another person passively. In therapy and hypnotherapy, sports psychology and performance-enhancing psychology the imagination is harnessed. It is a good “muscle” to keep active for mental wellbeing.
- Re-connecting with your own creativity/inner child – as adults, we often take life too seriously. It can feel like life is all about paying the bills, getting the kids to appointments and daily chores. What a grind it becomes. When you take time out for creative play, you step out into another dimension for a while and it relieves those burdensome feelings. It also is an opportunity to be mindful and in the moment. You are activating different parts of your brain (right side) which will help you feel more balanced and alive. Also, it is a reminder not to take life so seriously all the time.
“Crafting and artwork can be very rewarding for children on many levels. It takes them away from the right/wrong world that is often part of everyday school work and into the arena of the imagination, where anything goes,” adds Renee.
“For those parents who are keen to try some craft with their kids but need some ideas, it’s worth hopping online – many crafty ‘Insta’ mums have some fantastic ideas that are surprisingly simple to do with a few colourful pens, some paper or cardboard and a bit of imagination, making it easy for any parent to enjoy creating a wonderful ‘craft connection’ with their kids this Easter or at any time of the year!” said John Johnston, marketing manager for Pilot Pen Australia.
For an Easter basket template see downloadable craft templates and ideas.
Renee Mills is a Sydney-based clinical psychologist who specialises in parenting and anxiety. She is also the author of books Parenting Without Anger and Anxiety Free, Drug Free.