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6 Strategies to Keep Kids Engaged & Motivated when Learning Crafts

In today’s fast-paced digital era, it is essential to keep our kids engaged and motivated in meaningful activities, and learning crafts provides the perfect avenue for that. Beyond the joy of creating something with their own hands, handicrafts nurture their creativity and help with their fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities. Here are 6 strategies to keep your child engaged and motivated in learning a new handicraft. 

Strategy 1 when learning crafts: Let your child choose the crafts they are interested in

  • This may take some experimenting to see what they like to work on and what style of craft fits their personality. Or, if they are anything like me they will want to learn all of them!
  • Giving your child ownership of their craft will keep them engaged and motivated even when they are struggling to learn a new skill. 
  • Depending on your child’s interests they can take those passions and interests and use them in their handicrafts. If your child loves nature and the outdoors, learning crafts that incorporate natural elements like pressed flowers, leaf rubbings, or creating nature-inspired collages can be a perfect fit. If your child is an animal lover they can make animal-themed puppets, or even design personalized pet tags, or fun stuffed animals. If you have a sports fan your child can explore sports-themed crafts to showcase their team spirit. They can design and decorate shirts for team spirit,  create sports-themed keychains or magnets, or even make mini sports figurines with clay. Children who have a love for stories can dive into crafts that bring their favorite stories to life. They can design and construct their own puppets for storytelling, and craft characters to fit into their current favorite story.

Strategy 2 when learning crafts: Break Down Projects into Achievable Steps

  • Overcoming Overwhelm: Large craft projects can sometimes feel daunting, especially for children. Breaking them down into smaller tasks helps to alleviate feelings of overwhelm and gives them confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Building Concentration and Attention Span: Children naturally have shorter attention spans compared to adults. Completing one task before moving on to the next teaches them the value of sustained effort and helps develop their concentration skills over time.
  • Tracking Progress: Dividing a project into smaller tasks provides clear milestones for children to track their progress. As they complete each task, they can see their accomplishments and feel motivated to move forward. 

Strategy 3 when learning crafts: Make Crafting Fun with Games and Challenges

  • Fostering Friendly Competition and Collaboration: Introducing friendly competitions among children can spur enthusiasm and motivation. For example, you can set a time limit for completing a specific task or challenge and see who finishes first or who creates the most unique design. This healthy competition encourages children to give their best, boosts their determination, and adds lots of fun to the crafting process. Or you can help encourage teamwork and collaboration by incorporating crafting challenges that require children to work together. Assign them tasks where they must rely on each other’s skills and creativity to achieve a common goal. 
  • Reward Systems: Implement a reward system to recognize children’s achievements and progress throughout the handicraft learning process. Set milestones or achievements they can strive for and provide small incentives or rewards upon completion. This gamifies the experience, adds a sense of accomplishment, and motivates children to actively participate and excel in their crafts.

Strategy 4 when learning crafts: Encourage Creativity and Personalization

  • Encouraging Self-Expression: Personalizing crafts allows children to express their individuality, preferences, and ideas when first learning crafts. It gives them the freedom to showcase their creativity and make something that reflects their personality and style. Some ideas to add personalization to crafts can be with color choices and experiments with color. They can add different design elements they like with texture, shape, and patterns. When they get comfortable they can start to brainstorm their own ideas and projects whether they customize an existing pattern or create their own from scratch. Letting them experiment and explore is the key. 

Strategy 5 when learning crafts: Provide Positive Feedback

  • Providing positive feedback and appreciation for children’s efforts when learning crafts and completed projects is highly significant as it plays a crucial role in boosting their self-esteem, confidence, perseverance, and motivation. Positive feedback serves as a motivator for children to continue their creative endeavors. It reinforces their sense of achievement, making them eager to take on new challenges and explore further possibilities. When children feel appreciated, they are more likely to persevere through difficulties and strive for excellence.
  • Cultivating a Growth Mindset: By providing positive feedback, you can cultivate a growth mindset in your child. Acknowledging their efforts, progress, and improvements rather than solely focusing on the end result encourages children to embrace challenges, learn from mistakes, and view their craft projects as opportunities for growth and learning.
  • Celebrate Achievements: Celebrate the completion of a craft project by acknowledging their accomplishment. Display their creations prominently, such as framing artwork or showcasing crafts on a dedicated shelf. This demonstrates that their work is valued and deserving of recognition.
  • Encourage Reflection: When learning crafts, especially at the beginning engage children in conversations about their craft projects. Ask open-ended questions such as, “What was your favorite part of making this?” or “How do you feel about the final result?” This allows them to reflect on their work, express their thoughts, and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Strategy 6 when learning crafts: Foster Collaboration and Community Engagement

  • Shared Learning and Inspiration: Collaborating with other young crafters exposes children to new ideas, techniques, and styles. By engaging with peers, they can learn new skills, gain inspiration, and broaden their creative horizons. Seeing the unique approaches and perspectives of others can spark fresh ideas and push their own creativity.
  • Building Social Skills: Participating in collaborative handicraft activities cultivates important social skills in children. They learn to communicate, share ideas, cooperate, and work as part of a team. 
  • Networking and Support: Joining clubs, workshops, or online communities dedicated to handicraft learning connects children with like-minded individuals who share their passion. These communities offer a platform for networking, sharing experiences, and seeking support. Children can connect with fellow crafters, exchange ideas, troubleshoot challenges, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments.

While keeping your child motivated and engaged may be difficult at first the long-term benefits are worth the effort. As a recap, the 6 strategies that will help keep your child engaged and motivated when learning crafts are:

1. Let your child choose the crafts they are interested in.

2. Break Down Projects into Achievable Steps

3. Make Crafting Fun with Games and Challenges

4. Encourage Creativity and Personalization

5. Provide Positive Feedback

6. Foster Collaboration and Community Engagement

If your child is crafty (but maybe you are not) and you want a done-for-you, safe, kid-friendly platform that has a variety of age-appropriate projects to choose from where I break down each project into manageable pieces with video and written instructions, I encourage you to check out the Makers Club membership just for kids. Join today and see how your child’s confidence increases and they relax into learning a lifelong skill with other like-minded crafters just like them.

Happy Crafting!

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