Benefit of Art and Craft for children

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Benefits of Art and Craft

I remember the look on the face of my kids when they accomplished a fantastic painting. My adventure in art and craft started with painting, when my first little girl took a fork and pretended to paint at 18 months. So, I got some poster paints, which I bought from an art supply shop, an art easel, paper and off she went. She painted 20 paintings in 10 minutes. It was so cool to see her smile and enjoy the different colours. As she got older, the detail in the paintings started, I could recognize shapes and then people emerged. She started formal art classes at 5 and loved every second of them. So why should we put up with all the mess. Actually, it is very good for lots of academic reasons.

Some of these include,

1.   Math (shapes, spacial awareness, geometry, numbers),
2.   Fine motor control (writing),
3.   Science (procedures and mixing colours)
4.   Attention to detail.

And some not so academic reasons but really important;
1.    Self confidence
2.   Self worth
3.   Perseverance
4.   Creativity and Imagination

It’s not just painting though. Drawing, beading, threading, gluing, glittering, folding paper, paper construction (cards), and knitting, wool craft, sewing, play dough, and clay are also great.

If you are looking for ideas you can find them on some facebook sites and youtube such as craft for fun, or 5 minute craft for kids. TV shows and internet sites such as Art Attack, ABC Kids, Playschool, and even going to Spotlight is great to find out ideas. You will need some supplies. There is a long list but here are some basics to get you started:

Poster paint          Paper            Scissors        Glue       Pencils       Pastels               Watercolours        Brushes         Beads          Glitter     Wool          String


Good behaviour while shopping

Printable version:  Good behaviours while shopping

Have you ever seen those kids who are walking beside their parents and just waiting quietly while they go about their business and wondered how can I get my kids so well behaved?  Well it just doesn’t come naturally and it definitely isn’t personality.  It comes from a consistent approach to discipline and developing their social skills.  So what can I do?  Here are some tips to help.

  1. Keep calm
  2. Have simple rules for them to follow
  3. Practice the good behaviour for short trips
  4. Reward good behaviour (not with purchases or food as this will have the opposite effect)
  5. Let them know that it matters to you
  6. At first, keep focused on the mission – praise good behaviour (I love how you are standing quietly while I buy this apple), ignore bad behaviour.
  7. Pay attention to the behaviour you are looking for

If you follow these tips you will find that trips to the supermarket can become a joyful experience with discovery and treats.  If they are expecting you to buy things for them everytime you go to the shops, you are creating a ‘rod for your back’. This will cause behaviour such as “Why can’t I have it?”, “You don’t love me”, “That’s not fair” and “I want it nowwwwww”.  You really don’t want this, but by ensuring that they are not expecting you to purchase something everytime, they will be surprised with the occasional treat.  I remember my aunt saying to me

“Even the most special treat can become mundane if you have it every week or daily. Waiting for things and learning patience is half the fun”

What rules should I use?  It really depends on the age of the child.  Here is a quick guide.

Rules for 1-2 year olds

  1. Keep within 2 steps of the adult
  2. No touching things

Rules for 3-4 year olds

  1. Keep within 2 steps of the adult
  2. No touching things
  3. Only use inside voices
  4. No running

Ways to help them succeed:

  • Keep the outings short
  • Don’t go when they are tired or hungry
  • Bring snacks to eat
  • Don’t use screens to keep them busy
  • Show them interesting things around to look at
  • Ask questions and talk about what you are doing eg. This is an orange, can you find any other fruits which are orange?
  • Give them something to do or look for eg. Can you find the eggs and bread in the shops for me while we are walking around?
  • Don’t buy treats for them while at the shops – that will create issues
  • Wait out tantrums and keep a calm voice (Ignore any other people’s judgements as you are teaching your little ones about social skills. Just pat them on the back and keep saying the same thing. “When you have finished we are going to finish our shopping.”)  It’s really worth it in the long run.
  • Keep talking to them.

By Amanda Just

MEd, GradDipTeaching, BSc, Suzuki Violin
Copyright Amagination Pty Ltd 2018

Helping kids make good decisions – Parents Guide

How can we help our kids learn to make good decisions?

There are a few things we need to remember when helping kids to learn how to make a good decision.

  1. Good decisions are based upon knowledge.
  2. It takes practice to make good decisions.
  3. Emotions shouldn’t guide your decision.
  4. Know the decision process.
  5. When we explain the outcomes of each choice we are teaching them – not negotiating the decision.
  6. Children need to learn to comply with the good decisions you make for them.
  7. Children need to practice making good decisions.

Good decisions are based upon us knowing the facts and outcomes of each choice. How can children understand all the outcomes of each decision?  That is why we need to model this skill.  The more they see us making good decisions, the easier it is for them to learn to make their own.  It doesn’t mean that you need to explain every decision, but you will need to put the time in to explain some of the processes you go through for decisions which they can understand, eg why you wear a long sleeve shirt and not a singlet on cold days.  Helping them to understand consequences of each decision.  It is imperative however, that your children know that when you explain how you came up with your decision, it isn’t a negotiation.  You are teaching.  For example, you decided to go to Mc Donalds instead of KFC as there are gluten free options at Mc Donalds so everyone in the family can eat, even though they might have wanted KFC.  These sorts of decisions are excellent examples of making good decisions.

Once you have modeled good decisions, then your kids need to take baby steps and start to make decisions on their own.  The most important thing is to let them make mistakes on their decisions which won’t matter to their future.  This means that they start to understand consequences of decisions. Some examples of practicing good decisions.

  • Choose if you wear a long sleeve shirt or a short sleeve t-shirt. Explain that it is going to be cold outside because it is winter or if it is summer it will be hot today.
  • A jumper or an umbrella. If they choose the wrong one, let them get wet or go cold for a while and then bring out the jumper.  They need to experience the consequences of their decision.  If you save them, but they don’t learn, then maybe they need you to not fix it next time.
  • What ice-cream to choose.

Decisions you should never let your child make:

  • What school they are going to go to. Remember that they can be part of the decision, but they are not aware of all the consequences that this huge decision can impact, therefore cannot make the final decision.
  • Life decisions such as;  What car to buy or Where to live. Children will have very different perceptions on where they want to live based up their immediate need, and as this changes so quickly for kids, they shouldn’t make these types of decisions.  Remember that children have a small amount of life experience compared to yourselves.  Children need to live a little before making these big life decisions.
  • Colour of the outside of your house.
  • Decisions effecting the Budget.

Remember that children will push your boundaries. Make your life easy by teaching your kids that your decisions are based upon reasoning and that once your decision is made, it is final.  They will try to change your mind and nag at you,  but the less you give in, the less they will try in the future.  Consistency in parenting is of the utmost importance.

Good decision making is built upon experience so let them experience the consequences of their decisions.  That’s what good parents do well.


Amanda Just


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