From masks, dress-ups, spooky decorations and more, Halloween is a great opportunity to have some fun with craft and it can deliver some great developmental benefits for children too.
“Getting creative with craft is a valuable opportunity for connection and collaboration. It also promotes all kinds of communication, as children have to describe and express their ideas, problem-solve and take creative risks, which can help build confidence,” says Shannon Wong-Nizic, craft expert and owner of Oh Creative Day, an online parenting resource.
Here, Shannon explains the benefits of craft and offers tips for parents to show how they can incorporate into craft projects at home:
1. Communication – working together on creative projects encourages siblings to discuss, negotiate and work together towards a single goal. It helps them learn the value of team work. Try and build-in a shared task, such as one child cuts, another colours and then they glue or string the finished piece together.
2. Creativity – crafting with a wide variety of tools and materials can help spark childrens’ imaginations. Try introducing a new material or canvas and inviting your child to create with it – it can lead to all kinds of creative possibilities. There is no right or wrong way to create!
3. Confidence – playing and creatively experimenting with craft is much more fun than aiming for perfection. Something we repeat a lot at my house is: “There’s no such thing as perfect.” Giving positive feedback on their work, without pushing them to attain a specific look or goal, gives children confidence in their abilities and helps them feel supported to express themselves in their own unique way.
To help explore the three ‘C’s of Craft’, Shannon has developed three unique Halloween craft activities which can be downloaded for free:
1. Cats and Bats Boardgame – inspired by Snakes and Ladders, this fun boardgame is designed to promote collaboration between children whilst celebrating creative play. “Boardgames are a fantastic way to get children off screens and are a perfect opportunity to learn through play whilst promoting connection. They encourage children to apply their numeracy knowledge whilst practising important skills like turn-taking and good sportsmanship,” says Shannon.
2. Arty Ghost Project – a fun (but not scary!) ghost costume made with just an old sheet and decorated with colourful paint markers. “Presenting familiar items in different ways is a great way to keep children engaged with art-making and being able to wear your own bespoke Halloween costume creates an amazing sense of pride in little artists! We used Pintor Paint Markers to create designs on a piece of cotton. The feel of the pens on the fabric created the loveliest sensory experience and novelty-factor was high! We all remarked about how vibrant the markers looked on the fabric. This is a grounding and absorbing activity as it provides sensory input which helps with emotional regulation,” says Shannon.
3. Neon Cat Bunting – have fun cutting out and colouring cats to string up to create cute cat
bunting. “Using scissors helps with hand/eye co-ordination to develop fine motor skills. Using bright Neons is a great way to have fun with colour and also makes a change from the usual Halloween blacks and greys which is less dark and scary for younger children,” says Shannon.
To download three free templates and instructions, visit Pilot Pen ink spot.
Pintor Neon Paint Markers are available from Officeworks and select independent retailers, Medium 6-pack, RRP $32.70; Broad 4-pack, RRP: $26.20.
Shannon Wong is a teacher, mum of three and avid crafter. An enthusiastic fan of pom poms, PVA and paint, she runs popular blog and online parenting resource dedicated to all things creative, Oh Creative Day and has over 30,000 followers on Instagram.
Pilot Pen is the largest pen manufacturer in Japan and has subsidiaries throughout the world, including Australia. The Pilot range is extensive, covering premium gold nib fountain pens to everyday ballpoint pens and markers. For further information, visit Pilot Pen.We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.