One of the things we absolutely loved this month was the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton’s, one on one interview with the Happy Baby, Happy mum podcast (which you can listen to here: http://aca.st/045608)
It’s a really wonderful interview where Kate talks about a lot different things, her experiences of childbirth, of being a mum, her views on the importance of the early years in development, her new survey on looking at what the key factors are for health and happiness for the under-fives (take part here: https://5bigquestions.org.uk).
However, for us there was one really special moment that stood out, where Kate was talking about the importance of family relationships and shared family time:
“So those moments that you spend with people that are really around you. I think I remember that from my own childhood. I had an amazing granny who devoted a lot of time for us, playing with us, you know, doing arts and crafts, and going into her greenhouse, doing gardening stuff, and cooking with us. And I try to incorporate a lot of the experiences that she gave us at the time into the experiences that I give my children now.”
I’m sure you can guess the bit that caused our ears to prick up: her memories of doing arts and crafts with her granny.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: arts and crafts activities are a great way to spend time with children, be they your own, your grandchildren, nieces, nephews or just friends. They are fun and creative activities – for you and for the kids – really memorable (as Kate testifies!) and a great way to build those relationships and life skills that carry forward into a healthy and happy adulthood. They are such a great way to build bonds.
A friend told us that their 9 year old son of a friend has recently taken up cross-stitch after seeing his granny do it. She got all the materials together, organised the threads, drew the Pokemon he wanted to make on the cloth, and showed him the basic stitches and how to select the right coloured thread to build out the design!
There is so much you can do with kids from the very simple for the young, like painting some of those stones that miraculously end up in little pockets (and are actually really valuable, so don’t throw them away mummy) to making pop-up valentines cards from coloured paper (maybe next year!), to the even more advanced crafts like dress making, knitting, or cross-stitch like our friend – activities that you enjoy doing yourself. One favourite of ours is to help the children make their own soft toys. Children can become so attached to their favourite toys, especially when they made them themselves with the help of someone special.
So, please, as always: share with us your ideas and experiences of crafting with the little ones in your life.