Arts & crafts bin 2.0
A professor once told me, "For a craft to really be a craft, a child must be able to personalize it in a way that makes it easy to find among all the others." I often have this sentence in mind when I create, suggest, and present arts & crafts projects for little ones. I truly believe the best way to tap into children's creativity is to give them the freedom to explore a variety of materials.
Arts & crafts activities are often animated in daycares. The early childhood educator introduces an idea and children follow a series of steps to complete the proposed project. In my opinion, this type of activity is essential. Step by step arts & crafts projects provide children with the opportunity to practice following a plan, listening to instructions, and concentrating for certain periods of time. For some children, arts & crafts represent a pastime, a true passion. Unfortunately, arts & crafts are often presented only during group activities. Why not make it possible for children to enjoy arts & crafts during free play too? Here's how you can create a special arts & crafts bin children can explore independently.
First of all, you will need a large plastic bin or container. Ideally, use a clear bin so children can see its contents. Deposit all the material children may use during free play periods in your bin. Keep any material that is reserved for more structured activities and projects in another location, away from little hands.
To simplify storage and avoid a complete mess building over time, purchase small plastic pouches that can be used to sort and store material in your bin. I simply use Ziploc bags and identify the contents of each bag with a permanent marker. If possible, you may add a picture on each bag so that children are able to quickly recognize what they are supposed to contain.
Here are a few items that are sure to satisfy your little crafters:
- Scissors and glue
- Strips of construction paper
- Various shapes for cutting, pre-cut shapes for younger children
- Newspaper, magazines, catalogues
- Rubber stamps
- Tissue paper
- Craft models (for inspiration)
Of course, you may also add anything else you have on hand you think the children in your group might enjoy manipulating. Encourage children to follow their imagination. Your arts & crafts bin 2.0 will surely lead to many impressive creations!
Specialized childhood educator