Thank you to Artterro Art Kits for supporting Creative With Kids by sponsoring this post!
Arts and Crafts for Boys – Connecting While Creating
I love arts and crafts dearly and doing them with my sons and daughter is one of the main ways we connect. However, it hasn’t always been easy to find arts and crafts that get my boys interested. My oldest boy would rather go build with Legos. My second boy gets frustrated with me and thinks I’m bossy unless I present the project right.
Over time I’ve changed my thinking about arts and crafts with my kids and figured out how we can enjoy creating together.
Doing Arts and Crafts is Like Chores – why that’s a good thing
When I asked my oldest boy what he likes about doing arts and crafts with me he told me, “I just like working with you. Like when we fold laundry together or load the dishwasher.”
Doing arts and crafts is like chores? HUH – that wasn’t what I expected!
When I think about it though, he pinpointed what makes our arts and crafts time enjoyable – it’s that sense of side by side connection. When we create together it takes the pressure off the interaction; we can have conversations or enjoy working together in companionable silence.
Tips for Choosing Arts and Crafts for Boys
Here’s how I choose arts and crafts for my boys that allow us to connect:
Try something you haven’t done before. – if I am learning alongside my boys, it saves us from me being the know-it-all mom. This is when I love things like the art kits from Artterro. I can get an activity that’s new to all of us and we get all the tools and supplies to explore together. Often one of the boys will discover things about the art project that I haven’t yet, and they love being able to teach me.
Try arts and crafts that create a toy or useful object. – For instance, with the Artterro felting kit we were making coasters – we were making something we would use, and the kids got positive reinforcement later for their efforts when we all were using our customs coasters under our drinks.
For toys we enjoy making paper airplanes together (this is our favorite paper airplane) and then decorating them and holding flight contests.
Choose something that involves motion. – Things that fly, fling or bounce are fun. We also enjoy making Big Art together as it gives space to move while we’re creating.
Choose something you are actually interested in. – This way you can get started and entice your child by being interested in it yourself, but you’ll be less likely to pressure your kids into doing the art. Even if they don’t decide to join you, at least you’ll have something fun to do and won’t wind up feeling resentful that you set up this whole art project that they never got into.
Connecting During Arts and Crafts with Boys:
Don’t worry if he isn’t in LOVE with the project. – I was surprised to hear my son compare doing arts and crafts with me to folding laundry. Ha! But he wasn’t saying he doesn’t want to do arts and crafts – just that he sees it as something I want to get done, and he enjoys working with me, so he will sit with me – he is craving the connection. Having a craft in front of us gives us “work” to do and this work is good for our souls.
Have conversation topics ready. – My boys are usually running, wrestling, busy. If I have that moment when I’m working sided by side, it’s a perfect time to open up conversation, but I need the right questions – ones that won’t close down our communication. Our creative conversation starters work well.
More Resources for Arts and Crafts for Boys:
- Red Ted Art has a big list of arts and crafts for boys here. Of course the ideas are all great for girls too – they just may be exciting for boys in particular.
- I love the toys and crafts in this book by from a toy making dad: Made to Play!: Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations (affiliate link).
- We’ve gotten a kick out of trying Artterro Art Kits. One of the favorites that we did together was the Wool Felt Bug Kit. My six year old is pushing for the Canvas Storybook one next. Go take a look – their kits are high quality and Artterro has been a great supporter of CWK, I’d love if you’d pay them a visit as a thank you.
What are your tips for doing arts and crafts with boys? Do you feel it’s different than with girls?