Trender Research™

Technology meets people.

How Your Kids Can Become Techy Crafters (and You Look Cool)

Crafty doesn't lurk in these parts. Though I'm an at-home mom to two daughters, the craftiest I get is crayoned drawings on wrinkled computer paper, stickers, and glue sticks. In a desperate attempt to stretch her creative wings, my daughter recently drew an artistic desert scene, glued tiny pebbles to the paper, and then embellished it with toothpaste. Craft-o-meter result? Mom: Zero. Kid: Three.

So, I have relied on the technology at hand to provide me with crafty training wheels. When I began to discover the plethora of kids activities online, I racked up link after link in my bookmarks page. Suddenly, I transformed from Craft Zombie to Martha Stewart in a matter of days. "Yay, scissors! Fun!", my oldest daughter would cheer as she watched me lay childproof scissors and glitter next to her spot at the table.

First, I'd like to share a few general arts and crafts websites that provide fun and easy ideas and games for kids. I only pick websites that are user-friendly and I find that these four are nicely categorized and offer a variety of craft ideas.

Kiddley

Kaboose
Artists Helping Children
ActivityTV

Early on, I got sick and tired of purchasing stacks of coloring books, only to have her rip pages, color one eye on a character, and then call it done. She'd toss the coloring book quickly when browsing through it and seeing all her "completed" works of art. So I got sly and found coloring pages I could print online. Suddenly, she was interested again, sitting on my lap as I let her choose her most favorite color page EVER! "McQueen! Buzz! Sleeping Beauty! Tom and Jerry!" Check out Crayola's website for tons of great crafts, including printable coloring pages or simply create a customized search for a coloring page of your choice and you're sure to find one.

During election time, we spoke often in our house of a certain candidate. Check out a creative and fun craft here that was a hands on way to get our daughter's acquainted with Mr. President. Along the same vein, since paper is in abundance around our house, nothing beats the ease of origami, paper airplanes, and paper dolls. Here are some fantastic resources for each of those crafts: .
And here's a paper doll that even Mom and Dad may end up enjoying. May the Force be with you.

Finally, when your kids just won't leave you alone, and all of the toothpaste is gone in your house, it's You Tube to the rescue. I've mastered the trick of minimizing two Firefox windows and letting the kids watch videos in one while I write a blog post in the other. So, this website has been a life saver in collecting kid-friendly You Tube videos all in one spot. No more searching for kid videos only to find shady ones in the mix.

In the meantime, enjoy all that the internet has to offer in the craft realm. While you do that, I'm headed out to stock up on glittery toothpaste. Just in case.

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