Friday, February 21, 2014

Imagine, Create, Inspire!

Today I'm going to talk about why it's so great to share your crafts for kids online, and the best ways to do it!

First off, crafting for little ones is so very important, because it encourages them to be creative and imaginative from an early age, makes for great messy play (also very important!) and can benefit them in a number of other ways, ranging from fine motor skills to learning counting, colours and shapes.

It can be hard to know where to start for new parents, so anything online that can help inspire moms and dads is a wonderful thing - it's where I started when I was a new mama! Reviews of books and kits, ideas for resource materials and basics, and step-by-step tutorials for different age groups are all so very helpful to your readers! And even when you're a crafting pro, fresh inspiration for your kids is always welcome, so any more complicated crafts and fabulous ideas you may have are perfect for young crafters as well!

Remember, everything that you do with your kids that makes them happy, could make other children happy too! Sharing resources with other parents means you are inspiring others to imagine and create their own crafts and fun ideas.

As the Little Crafty Kids Contributor, writing about kids crafts comes easy for me because, chances are, we'll be doing crafts weekly anyway, I'll be taking photos anyway, and I'll be wanting to share them online anyway! So it's really easy to find things to write about each week. Plus I love doing it, so hopefully that shows in the writing! Be inspired by the seasons, festivals and events, what you can find in your recycling bin, or the story you've been reading together at bedtime. What can you make today?



To write a great article or tutorial about what you're doing with your kids, make sure you take nice, clear photos of each step, as well as the finished result! It can help to have a not-too-cluttered background, but hey, this is parenting, so that's not essential! Take some colourful pictures of the materials you're using, too. Pictures of your children actually doing the crafts are fab, but if you prefer not to put pictures of them on the internet, then take back-of-head shots of them crafting, or shots of each stage on the tabletop. If you're a wiz in a photo editing program, then you could make a montage of some of the photos with a tagline like "How to make a Toy Oven out of an Old Box" or "10 Great Crafts to Make with Pine Cones"! You could use this as an intro photo and also to promote the article on social media, especially great for visual ones like Facebook and Pinterest.

Think about niches and keywords, and how to get traffic for different kinds of craft articles. Individual how-to's might not get many searches, especially if your tutorial is something unusual, but if you can slot it into a niche phrase that is searched for, then write a piece that incorporates it - for example, you might have a review of an Easter Make and Do book, a tutorial on how to make an Easter bonnet, and a how-to on different ways to dye and decorate eggs, and so on. Write a lens or blog post on "Fun Easter Activities for Preschoolers" or "Easy Easter Crafts for Toddlers" and link to each of your related articles!

How else can you help other moms and dads? Last time I talked about reviewing craft kits. Craft books are also great to review - most parents will want to buy at least one or two of these, but there are so many out there, a really good selection of reviews can help them choose. If you put effort into your reviews and really show your enthusiasm or passion for the book (along with things you've actually made) then your readers will turn into shoppers!

Share your thoughts on:
  • The ease of instructions for each craft
  • Age suitability
  • How clear/inspiring/beautiful the photos are
  • How many projects and ideas there are
  • Levels of difficulty
  • Do they work? Are they easy to make? Are there good challenges? 
  • And most importantly - do your children enjoy making the projects? 
 I created a list of craft books suitable for under-fives here, which you can use as a starting point for writing a book review. There have been some fantastic reviews written by Squidoo'ers in the last few weeks, such as this review of Show Me a Story by MeltedRachel, which shows the passion she has for the book as well as lovely photos of how she used inspiration from it to make story mats and maps from her leftover textiles. Meanwhile, tonyleather shared this bumper binder of books for making things from household items, which gets his granddaughter in the creative mood! Finally, CorrinnaJohnson gives a great example of how to review a seasonal crafts book with her take on Valentine Things to Make and Do.



Of course, when it comes to crafts for little ones, you don't have to just stick to basic crafts - you could also come up with recipes and ideas for materials (home-made paint, play-dough and so on), crafts to create toys and other items (we've been making rainbow rice for sensory play, and we've saved an enormous cardboard box to make a rocket out of!), and crafts for grown-ups to make things for preschoolers. The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity!

Next time I'll be looking at making recycled crafts from household items. Happy crafting!





10 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to seeing what your Crafty Kids create with recycled materials.

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  2. Wonderful guidance on creating a craft lens

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. I have always believed that when we find a good thing we should share it and you have certainly shown us exactly how to do this with your article writing tips for crafty folks and their kids!

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  5. WoooHooo, I love this! My kids loved crafting anything when they were little. Kids are so easy to please and have imaginations like no other. The tips for writing craft lenses is invaluable too! We all need to take note and apply to our chosen niches.

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  6. I have always loved crafts and playing with crafting materials. Hardest part for me is that I always wanted to keep everything that one of my children made. I simply did not have a big enough "warehouse". You have given excellent guidance and tips for tutorial writers. Even thought I don't have small children in my home right now, those tutorials often teach me something new and I store that information away for future use.

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  7. Makes me want to go out and borrow a child for the day. Such fun! How I love crafting with children. Such great ideas and tips here. Outstanding! I'll be sure to share.

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  8. Wish I'd had the internet and resources like you show here back when my children were small and also when I was a Cub Scout Den Mother (twice) and a Brownie Scout leader. Those scout troops always need craft project ideas!

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  9. As a grandmother of 2 under-fives, I can always use craft ideas and tips! And messy - woohoo can we make a mess. OK, the grandgirls do get messy, too!

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  10. Great tips for sharing kids crafts online and writing tutorials! I am looking forward to reading your next article on crafting with recycled materials!

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