January 07: Getting Crafty with Kids! January 8, 2007

I just got to spend some time making stuff with my five-and-a-half-year-old nephew Julian, and wow! is he ever crafty! He loves drawing, making books, collaging, and (be still my heart) making his own jewelry. Right now he does his own beadstringing, and for the more complicated pieces, like this good-luck charm we made, we collaborate: he designs, I wire-wrap (aka “do the trick”). I’m sure soon he’ll be the one showing me how to do stuff soon, though!

Julian getting crafty!
Owen and Julian drawing together, Julian’s good-luck charm, Julian is super crafty forever

If you’re looking for fun kid-friendly craft ideas, there are tons of projects, tutorials, and materials online. Here are a few of my favorites — I’ll be updating with lots more links this month, so please comment or e-mail me (susanstars at yahoo dot com) with your picks!

Cool Projects
Kids' Craft Ideas
crayon cookies from Kiddley, fimo “food” from One Hour Craft, chewie tissue box cozy from Star Wars Kids Crafts

Kiddley, created and run by Claire Robertson, has tons of projects and ideas for kids to try. Check out the arts and crafts category for fun how-tos like multi-colored crayon cookies, bird finger puppets, and snowglobes. Meanwhile, the sister Kiddley Links site spotlights cool toys, kits and games.

One Hour Craft has some lovely ideas for kid-friendly projects, like paper dolls from momomimi, tiny polymer clay “food”, soaps, and button flowers. And don’t miss Maria’s recent How to Teach a Child to Sew tutorial.

The always-wonderful Whip-up has a great children’s crafts section… try resist painting, mixing up kitchen craft clay, vegetable printing, or making your own doll house.

StarWars.com has a huge craft project archive, featuring tutorials for SW-related projects like Envelopes from the Dark Side, Revenge of the Sith Poetry Magnets, a Chewie Tissue Box Cozy, and my favorite: Make This Yoda Doll, You Must.

Inspiring Sites

Aliens With Afros is the home of Levi’s amazing cards and artwork, which he sells regularly at Crafty Wonderland.

•Sarah blogs about all the fun craft projects she does with her three-year-old son (a lover of buttons!) at The Misadventures of Mama and Jack.

Offline Resources to Check Out

Klutz has dozens of current titles for kids, including crafts and art and drawing, plus they sell extra supplies if you zip through your kit!

•Our very own Super Crafty has more than a dozen kid-friendly projects, like Tattoo-Flash Patches and a Sparkling Magic Wand. Don’t forget to check out the Shrink-O-Rama chapter, which is full of fun and easy shrink art how-tos!

•One of my favorite craft books is the Make and Do volume of the Childcraft encyclopedia — I have the groovy 1976 edition, including how-tos for molding a clay head, braiding a belt, sewing doll clothes or creating your own Halloween costumes.

Powells.com has a killer Children’s Crafts section, with 1571 new and used books to browse!

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