Sunday, April 13, 2014

Learning through Crafts




Crafting with little ones is perfect for bringing out their creative side, nurturing their inner artist and exercising their imagination. But crafts can also be a wonderful learning tool in other ways as well.

As an unschooling home educator, I use play and art as part of the learning process. We learn and craft with the seasons, the things we see and do daily, and whatever interests my children currently have. 

Of course, right now it is coming up to Easter, so there are lots of beautiful spring, egg and other Easter themes in abundance! We have been making these chick in egg cards (left) to send to my daughter's friends and pen pals, a prime example of learning as we craft. The activity led to a discussion about the life cycle of the chicken, farms, and whether there are chicks in the eggs that we have in the fridge! 

We also belong to a home educators book club on Facebook, which has a different book to read every week or fortnight, and we incorporate lots of crafts and similar activities alongside the reading of the books. We've made stick people in the forest for Stickman (below left), play dough aliens (below centre) and a washing line full of colourful cut-out pants for Aliens Love Underpants (below right, which prompted a mini science lesson on the weather, how clothes get dry, and what we could use to "dry" our craft by representing the wind and sun). Not to mention Jack and the Beanstalk stick puppets, Room on the Broom peg dolls, Three Little Pig houses made of smoothie boxes - well, you get the idea! 




So, when you craft together, think about what other elements you can bring in to teach your child, to make learning fun! Even simple concepts like cutting paper or lacing beads (motor skills), counting out or measuring materials (maths), or trying out a new way of painting (art) are teaching key lessons.

Here are some ideas for the season for you! hlkljgk shows you how to dye eggs naturally for Easter in her Natural Egg Colouring lens. This activity combines craft with science, as you can explain the dyeing process and so on.

You can also get inspired by general craft ideas and apply an Easter theme. Here I show you How to Make a Shadow Puppet. You can teach children a basic history of shadow puppetry or the science of reflection and shadow, and create an Easter puppet show at the same time! 

Finally, why not inspire further crafting this Easter by popping a crafty gift egg inside your child's Easter basket? CorrinnaJohnson has some beautiful examples of these in her lenCrafty Non-Candy Easter Egg Surprises

Happy Easter, and happy crafting!  

  

6 comments:

  1. Great ideas! I love how you are so involved with your kids. It's inspiring!

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  2. What a good example of learning through crafts. Making a cute Easter chick and learning about chickens and animals. Good teacher there.

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  3. Love your ideas of 'learning through crafts'. As a crafty person, I think in that vein myself! :) One of my most fun afternoons was spent teaching my 10-year-old grandson to crochet. He made a simple potholder, which turned out a bit lopsided due to dropping stitches at the end of rows, but he got the basic idea and learned some good motor skills. He was also quite pleased to be able to 'finish' his first project, while learning the satisfaction of completing a project.

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  4. I adore the chick and egg cards and I want one! I love it when children are taught while having fun.

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  5. Crafts truly are a wonderful opportunity to teach while having a ton of fun! I very much remember the many conversations I had with my children when they were little and we were working on a project.

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