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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Craft Healthy Living

Article by Rebecca Ortinau.  I do not have any other info about when the article was published in the magazine though.

Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic... and Rubber Stamping?  If your child or grandchild is lucky enough to attend a school where the staff is aware of the many benefits of crafting, the three "R's" will have expanded to include this fun fourth- along with countless other hands-on, creative activities!

Crafting in the classroom, according to the Hobby Industry Association (HIA), does so much more for children than just give them a break from multiplication tables, grammar lessons and spelling quizzes.

One important lesson that crafting teaches a child is that he or she is capable of bringing an idea to life.  From scattered cotton balls, glitter and pipe cleaners to a beautiful bouquet of sparkly flowers, creating such a work of art, even if it's the result of simply following instructions, is an accomplishment.

In addition, children will experience a boost in self-esteem when their finished projects are admired and appreciated.  Seeing that something they've made excites someone or brings joy gives them a feeling of importance and a sense of purpose.

The HIA notes on their Teacher Zone web page (www.i-craft.com/teachers) that children who are struggling academically can really benefit from the lift in confidence that crafting offers.  Realizing they are successful in one area could give them the motivation they need to keep trying in other areas where they haven't had as much luck.

With back-to-school time here again, there are a few ways that you can play a part in getting children involved with crafting:

* Invite a child or small group of children to your home for a once-a-week craft session.  Demonstrate one of your favorite skills, or pick an easy project from a magazine or book for them to make.  If you can't do it every week, arrange sessions before major holidays so they can make gifts for their family members or decorations for their rooms.  Be sure to give them plenty of encouragement and praise, and allow them to learn at their own pace.  Reaching out to even just one child will make a difference!

* Offer to teach a children's craft class at a local elementary school, day care center, library or park district. Start with a simple phone call- ask if they can use your help for a short time each week, or even once a month.  Ask a friend to join you in teaching a class- this way you can share the work, and end up having a lot of fun.

*Donate supplies to any of the previously mentioned facilities.  Hospitals, emergency rooms and doctor's or dentist's offices are also good places to consider.

* Set up a subscription for a child to a kid's craft magazine, such as Crafts 'n Things sister publication, Pack-O-Fun.  Kids love getting mail, and they'll be supplies with great ideas and plenty of easy projects they can make themselves.  Call (800) CRAFTS-1 for information.

* If you can't get involved in any of these ways, pass this column on to someone you know who can.  This is just as wonderful a way to help!

 For more information on getting kids involved with crafting, visit www.i-craft.com/teachers.  To order a copy of kid's craft magazine, Pack-O-Fun, call (800) CRAFTS-1.  Do you craft with your grandchild?  Are you a teacher?  We'd love to hear how you've helped a child become involved with crafting!  Send letters (and photos) to Crafthealthy Living, 2400 E. Devon, Ste. 375, Des Plaines, IL 60018 or email rortinau@clapper.com.