Crafting might seem like a divergence from the digital world, but there are ways to use technology in art projects. Blending the two is a great way to get gadget-obsessed kids into crafting, and can even help you save time and money. Check out our tips below:
Free printables are ripe for the picking online, and the ways these can be used in crafting are almost endless. Print-out 3D models and paper dolls are extremely popular at the moment – just print, cut and fold or stick to create great toys. The CBBC site has options like these Arthur Paper Pals.
You can also print out craft papers – usually a cheaper option than buying them pre-made. There is a huge range of colours and patterns available, so you can start with a simple piece of white A4 and end up with the paper that’s ideal for your project. Activity Village has a range of free scrapbook papers.
There are also colouring sheets that can be printed off for free, such as those available from Crayola. Kids can also simply print out clipart pictures or photographs to create collages.
There are plenty of ways that kids can create art using computers. You’ve probably already seen them draw on Microsoft Paint, but there is other software, websites and apps that let little ones express their creativity.
Tux Paint is a great alternative to the Windows programme: it is made especially for kids aged three to 12, boasts an easy-to-use and fun interface, and is free to download. Why not get a kids’ computer mouse so that drawing on screen is easier with small hands?
For keeping children entertained on the go, it’s a good idea to have a tablet loaded with plenty of apps. Viking stocks a large range of tablet devices from different brands, so you can find the computer to suit your family. It even stocks cases so you can protect the gadget.
Apple tablets offer access to the App Store, but many tablets run Android, which is compatible with Google Play. You can browse the categories to find arty apps for kids – we recommend Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat Color & Create!, which is like a digital colouring book.
Craft help and inspiration
Perhaps the most useful function of technology when it comes to crafting is the ability to get help and inspiration from the web. Our blog alone compiles great kids’ craft ideas, hosts a library of video craft tutorials and provides a place to communicate with other crafty parents.
Whenever you need ideas for a rainy afternoon or a reminder of how to make a particular stitch, you can simply start surfing for everything you need. Plus, the plethora of online stores means you can buy almost any equipment and materials you require.