Be prepared for mess — and fun — when you teach your toddlers to do arts and crafts, says Kuiluan Seah.


MUM SAYS Kid’s crafts = Messy but fun

1. Young children have short attention spans. They’re enthusiastic because it looks like a fun project, but it should not take too long to finish. I’ve found that anything longer than 15 minutes is considered “too long”!

2. It’s best to print out and show them a picture of the finished project, so that they’ll have an idea where they should be headed. Don’t give your kids a list of instructions; tell them step-by-step what they should do, just before you let them do it.

3. Include a variety of colours and textures in the project. I usually cut out most of the things that need to be snipped beforehand and store them in Ziploc bags that I keep in my “Craft Box”.

4. Don’t try crafts that involves small parts. Or glitter (for your own sanity — your children end up glittery for days).

5. Use double-sided tape instead of glue to stick things together, as kids have no patience waiting for the glue to dry. When they’re at the preschool age, they may better be able to wait for the glue to dry.

6. Be prepared to let kids make a mess of themselves and their surroundings. To minimise mess for paint-related crafts, dress your children (and even the adults) in old clothes that can be thrown away. Also, use plastic or a thick layer of newspaper to line your floor and craft area.

7. Expect your kids to veer away from the instructions. Even if the piece doesn’t look like what you think it should…it doesn’t matter. Just go with where the kids lead!

Kuiluan Seah, 38, is mum to Ming Juan, 2, and Kai Chuan, 4.

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