March: Craft Month

Did you know March is Craft Month? Crafting projects come in different shapes, sizes, and styles. Basically, crafts are the simple process of making items with your own two hands. Requiring only your imagination to begin, crafting activities is a hobby for all ages to enjoy.

Benefits of Crafts for Children

As adults, you make crafts with a specific outcome in mind. Perhaps you are following a pattern or trying to mimic a creation from the Pinterest site, your crafting process is a unique journey. Keep in mind, for children the process may not produce a specific outcome or recognizable piece. And that is okay. Allow your children the chance to create a one of a kind project. Introducing various crafting materials for your children to use actually has numerous benefits.

  • Improves eye/hand coordination
  • Increases fine motor skills
  • Expands communication skills
  • Boosts self-esteem
  • Expands the imagination
  • Increases valuable family time

Two Easy Ways to Introduce Crafts to Your Children

Introducing crafting activities to your children or even yourself is simple. Materials and time are your two key components for craft projects.

1. Craft Box

Creating a craft box or basket is a wonderful way to store materials. Crafting materials do not need to be expensive. Check out your local dollar store, hobby shop, and recycle some materials around the house. If you are uncertain about how to start your craft box, many stores offer buckets or jars of materials ready to go.

Materials may include:

  • Glue
  • Glitter, sequins, beads
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes, sponges and other instruments for paint applications
  • Crayons, markers, pencils
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Yarn
  • Pompons
  • Construction paper or drawing paper
  • Child scissors
  • Paper punch
  • Paper towel tubes
  • Rocks
  • Googly eyes
  • Dried beans, macaroni, or other kinds of pasta
  • Modeling clay

2. Making Time

After you get all your materials in place, next is making time for your crafts.

  • Raining or snowy days are great for craft days.
  • Host a craft night for the entire family to enjoy.
  • Invite friends over for a crafting party.
  • Create holiday crafts to decorate your home (St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, and Easter is just around the corner).

Having fun is the most important part of crafting. Enjoy the process of making something new. Ask your child to share the details of the final crating product. Often a story about a craft is a great memory making moment.

Happy Crafting!

Unplug: The Benefits of Being Outdoors

In today’s technological world, everyone spends time plugged in. Playing video games, working online, computer use, or checking mobile devices, the use of modern technology is the norm. In many cases, work or school requires the widespread use of devices to succeed.

Have you ever thought about the long term effects on your overall well-being? Sitting at the desk or being immobile for long periods of time has both physical and mental consequences. Consider taking the time each day to unplug and go outdoors.

Benefits of Being Outdoors

When the weather permits, spending time outdoors is essential to your health. Even a short 20-minute walk has numerous benefits for you and your loved ones. In order to get the most out of your walk, you should leave your devices to home. Don’t panic; always carry a cell phone for real emergencies. Consider placing the phone on vibrate for the duration of your walk.

  1. Increase Natural Vitamin D Intake

Short periods of time in the sun allows the natural intake of Vitamin D. Helping your body function properly, Vitamin D helps maintain a healthy, strong immune system.

  1. Improve Sleep

Being outdoors can actually help improve sleep patterns. Exposing your body to sunlight helps regulate your internal body clock. Allowing your body to welcome rest at night, you will be able to regulate your sleep patterns.

  1. Exercise

Being outdoors gets your body moving. A walk around the block, trip to your local park, walk through a public garden or hiking a nearby trail helps keep your body fit.

  1. Reduces Stress

Being outdoors allows your body to relax. At times, daily schedules are hectic. Little league, dance classes, business meetings, school and family commitments may quickly become overwhelming. Going outdoors helps restore your mental clarity. In nature, you will relax and enjoy your surroundings. Reducing your stress levels helps promote both physical and mental well-being.

  1. Learning Experience

Being outdoors is a great way to increase your knowledge about the natural world and your local environment. If you are walking or hiking with your children, introducing flowers, birds, insects and other natural wonders will increase curiosity for further learning. Children who are curious about nature will explore subjects further.

  • When walking with your children, use the time for quality interaction. Ask your children open ended questions.
  • Introduce your children to wildlife
  • Remind your children the importance of respecting nature. For example, picking up an insect may cause the creature to bite. Or being off the path may create a dangerous situation.
  • Create a photo journal of animals, flowers, and other forms of wildlife
  • Create a keepsake box for special finds. Remember to follow all rules for hiking in parks and other public areas.

Upon returning home, ask your child questions about the walk. Consider writing down the response for younger children. Older children may write or draw their own favorite park moment. Keep the responses for future memory keepsake. Simple walks may turn into a lifetime of memories.

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