Monday, July 21, 2014

Craft for Kids: Decorating a Photograph

Back in May this year I talked about the Benefits of Craft Activities for Developing Children which included benefits for developing Fine Motor Skills, Hand-eye co-ordination, Concentration, comprehension and more. 

Expanding on that concept I am sharing a few specific craft activities that address the benefits discussed in the original post.

Materials Used: Laminated photo of your child or loved one, PVA Glue, Sequins, shells, wool scraps or pressed flowers, magnet if desired  with double sided tape to attach to the back.

Skills developed: Fine motor skills, concentration, empathy and making things for others, positive self image, shape and colour recognition, sense of self.

From around 2 years children begin to recognise their own photograph and reflection as belonging to them, and if your 2 year old is anything like mine, they very quickly learn their way around our wonderful new devices. There is no 'Queen of the Selfie' that can out-do a 2 year old with a smart phone! I wanted to create a craft for littlies that encourages slightly more permanent things; I love photos, and I wanted to foster an enjoyment of the old fashioned photograph, among other things.

This fun little idea is perfect to encourage your ego-centric two year old to start thinking about what other people like too; teaching them to make something wonderful to give as a gift can never start too early! Face it, most of us love crafting gifts, the look of pleasure on the face of the recipient is priceless, and your child will love being able to make something special for Nanna or Grandpa that is appreciated because they made it!!

I used a photograph I'd taken at the Kindy Christmas party, that my lovely boy really liked, and prepared it by laminating it. If you don't have a laminator, simply sandwich it between two layers of clear contact paper, or glue to some coloured cardboard and cover with the clear contact paper. I put a line of PVA down one side of the photo: PVA is messy but lasts longer, if you would rather use a Gluestick or glitter glue, that's also fine.  Whatever works and is easy to access for you! Then I just let Master Two heap on as many sequins as he liked!

This project actually occupied him for nearly 20 minutes on one side alone; we talked about colours, shapes and how cool he looked in the elf costume, while I told him how much Nanna would love this as a birthday present! Birthdays are pretty cool at our house at the moment, I keep getting shoes and remote controls given to me wrapped in T-shirts! This is a great age to encourage making things for others as gifts, as they are really starting to appreciate the joy of giving. Giving shouldn't just be a quick trip to the shops, I really think teaching kids the value of making things with love can never start too young!

After doing the same thing to the other side, and if you like the top and bottom as well, we left it to dry overnight and I attached a magnet to the back with some double sided tape. If you have an older child, use a hole punch to punch holes around the edges and let them thread ribbon or wool through as an added fun feature; this can turn your photo into a hanging decoration, perfect for the wall or a Christmas tree!  I hope you enjoy this fun idea, we certainly did, and Nanna really loved her birthday present.

Craft activity instructions and photos by Liz Jones, freelancer and photographer.

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