By Eric Schultz, Director of Global Communications at TheSoul Publishing

Eric and his daughters

Eric and his daughters

With much of the world indoors over the last few weeks and for the foreseeable future, most parents are spending a lot more time with their children at home than usual. To complicate matters further, many of us parents are searching to find the balance between school and leisure, while simultaneously trying to get our own work done. Arts and crafts offer a perfect way for families to learn new skills while having fun. And honestly, it can be a great alternative to screen time for the whole family.

Aside from being a proud dad to two young daughters, I work for TheSoul Publishing, one of the world’s fastest-growing independent digital studios. One of our most popular channels, 5-Minute Crafts, is among YouTube’s Top-5 channels in the world with more than 65 million subscribers. As more people are now seeking at-home entertainment, over the last few weeks, we are seeing even greater interest in the channel’s fun tips, DIY advice and craft project ideas. Mindful and creative activities, like crafting, are proving to be the perfect option for families looking for a productive way to spend time together inside.

Here are some of the most substantial benefits that I’ve seen since we’ve been spending more time in our home:

Keeping them creative

Crafting is great because it encourages creativity and allows families to use their imagination. There are no set rules, or rights or wrongs, and pretty much anything around the house can be used to get started, from cotton balls, to toilet paper rolls, to egg boxes. In this crisis we are all trying to be less wasteful and it is amazing what kids can give a second life to.

Meaningful indoor activity

The new reality is that playing with friends, hitting the playground, and going swimming are no longer options. Indoor entertainment can take a bit more thought, especially if you're looking to avoid the screen. Crafting is the perfect alternative. It’s a quiet, relaxing activity suitable for all ages and abilities. And there are so many options – you can always find something new and different to try. Kids will also appreciate having your uninterrupted focus for a few minutes.

Bedtime brilliance

Crafting can be the perfect activity to get ready for bedtime, allowing children to both wind down and burn off any leftover mental energy from the day. It’s already become a part of my family’s routine. You can even incorporate your kids’ favorite characters into whatever you’re making, using their colours, themes and concepts. My 5 year old loves sewing stuffed animals, and now some of them spend the night in bed with her and her little sister.

Learning new skills

While some crafting projects allow kids to follow their creativity uninterrupted, other projects do require precise steps to be followed. There are some useful life lessons to be learned, such as the importance of following the rules and taking your time to achieve the best results. Seeing something through from beginning to end can be a great benefit to children's self-esteem. It is a fantastic way for kids to learn that following their parents' guidance has a real tangible pay-off. 

Teamwork

If your child is fiercely independent, working together on crafting is a unique way of building teamwork. Unlike sports, there is no winner or loser, no competition, just two people collaborating towards the same outcome. Setting routines with your children may allow the whole family to look forward to crafting sessions and set expectations for when they need to entertain themselves as well.

If you're ready to get your family crafting today, here are some videos to get you started:

Brilliant art ideas for everyone 

Absolutely beautiful DIYs 

Colourful crafts for boring days at home

Easy DIY playhouse ideas for your kids

23 miniature barbie accessories you can DIY

About the author

Eric Schultz is a father of two, currently spending a lot of time in his 2-bedroom apartment in New York City. He and his wife are both working from home, while trying to entertain a two-year-old, teach a 5-year-old, and maintain their sanity. Every day presents its own challenge to them, and crafting is one solution that has paid dividends.


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