Home school crafts are a wonderful way to teach your child a new skill for life. Children love to have a sense of accomplishment, and feel they are really contributing, so even young children love to be introduced to a new craft.
We incorporate crafts into our homeschooling in many ways. Some crafts are used to demonstrate what it was like in a place or time. So we may make candles to evoke a time without electricity.
But other crafts are just part of our life. In the winter, we love nothing better than snuggling down in front of a fire together, listening to an audiobook, and each working on our own craft project. And in the summer? In the cool of the afternoon we will gather around a picnic table, or flop down on rugs in the garden, and work on the 'messier' crafts.
Creative homeschooling using Home School Crafts
If you are not sure which craft to try, here are some ideas for you. For my recommended Home School Crafts Books to go with these ideas, go here.
Basket Making I always feel I should be able to show my children how to make beautiful grass woven baskets when we are spending the day by the river! But it hasn't happened yet! It would be great to include this as part of a bushcraft lesson. We would like to try basket making as part of our home school crafts this year. I know you can buy basket making kits, so we may start off with a raffia one.
Book Making We have made several of our own books, some of them with stitched binding. They are really handy to have around for story writing sessions, or for journaling for kids. I have yet to meet a child who can pass a blank book without wanting to scribble in it! The simplest form of book to make is just folded card-stock with several pages inside, and stapled down the folded edge. Check out my other making books with children ideas.
Candle Making We are planning a major candle making home school crafts session in a few weeks, so I will be able to tell you more then.
To make these attractive and easy Bees Wax Candles using beeswax sheets, see the step-by-step tutorial and photos on the How To Arts and Crafts.com website.
Cross Stitch/Embroidery My children have been sewing with a darning needle and yarn since they were quite small. They particularly enjoyed stitching buttons onto a sampler. Any random stitching can look pretty if you use lots of colored threads. A great way to display the work is to put it into a round embroidery frame and hang it on the wall.
Doll Making We began with simple dolls cut out of two pieces of fabric, stitched almost all the way around, then stuffed. Or try some nature crafts for kids and make dolls from sticks.
Dyeing Although messy, dyeing is quite simple to do, and the finished yarn or material can be used in another craft. If it is your first time - then dyeing with koolaid is the easiest method. Find out all about dyeing yarn.
Jewelry Making One of the most effective ways we have made jewelry is by using memory wire. This wire will keep it's shape well and is usually sold in a spiral. Cut off a length of it and use pliers to make a tiny loop on one end. Have the children fill the wire with beads, and turn over the second end. More details here.
Knitting Knitting is well thought of within Montessori education for developing children's neural networks. I have found that children need to be quite dexterous to manage knitting (my 8yo son still hasn't mastered it!) However, most children CAN either finger knit or crochet a simple chain. If you use thick yarn then the lengths of chain can be sewed together to make a scarf, bag, belt or mat.
Needlefelting Despite the sharp needles, I have found this to be an easy craft that children from about the age of six can manage. For more details, and our photo journal, see my Needlefelting page.
Pottery This is one of the messy crafts!! We have worked with pottery clay and had it fired, but it is just as much fun to work with air-drying clay. As well as bowls and pots, we have made aliens, garden statues and hand-print tiles. Check out my clay projects for kids.
Quilting This is one of my children's favourite crafts - especially when I let them use the sewing machine! The easiest method is to iron bondaweb onto the back of a selection of fabrics and let the children cut out shapes. Iron the shapes onto a large piece of cotton or fleece blanket, and stitch around.
Sewing Although I make quilts, I am not very good at dressmaking. But we have made simple bags either on the sewing machine or sewn by hand.
Spinning Another great craft to try when it fits with your history project. A simple spindle can be made from a CD and a piece of dowling. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but even the 'not very good' yarn makes great bracelets or belts. Or use your hand-spun in a weaving project.
Weaving Weaving is a great craft to try, especially if you are reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We are lucky that I was given an old loom that we use, but we have also woven quite successfully on a picture frame. Am just working on a seperate page for this craft, and hope to get it here soon.
Woodwork I did once get some very funny looks letting my then 7 year old pick out a saw and battery-powered drill in a hardware store! Both my children like to cut up chunks of wood and either nail or screw them together. They usually decide what they have made AFTER they have finished and seen what it looks like! I have learnt not to interfere - I supervise to make sure they are careful - but leave the design decisions to them.
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Blessings, Jenny (New Zealand)
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