Get the kids creating and learning all at once (and all from the comfort of your own home) with these tips from artist and Officeworks ambassador, Beci Orpin!
Known for her inimitable style – which is instantly recognisable thanks to its geometric designs and gorgeous use of colour – Beci is the perfect person to share lessons in creativity at home.
Set up a permanent art station
Having an at-home craft station is a great way to encourage imagination, creativity and independent learning in your child. You don’t need an elaborate station to get your kids’ creativity flowing, all you need is an established setup in the corner of a room.
Pair up with your child to make setting up your art station an activity! You can both ensure the craft station is filled with all the basic craft supplies by heading to your local Officeworks or craft store. You should be good to go with just a cutting tool, an adhesive, markers and a sketchbook but feel free to go wild in the arts and crafts aisles. Let them pick what they want to play with and decide together on how they’re going to keep it organised at home. Making your craft station as self-sufficient as possible is a great way for kids to have fun while challenging and developing their imagination!
Creating graphic tees
“An activity I used to love with my kids was helping them create their own t-shirt graphics,” says Beci. “All you need is an old plain t-shirt or you can grab a cheap one from an opportunity shop!”
“My kids would decide what they would like to create on their t-shirts and if it was tricky I would mark out the graphic in pencil first and they would trace over it,” says Beci.
This is a great activity your kids can take pride in by wearing it outside and showing their friends what they’ve made. It teaches kids fine motor skills as they are working with different textures and cutting out fabrics, as well as building their confidence and self-expression.
Create memory cards
Memory games are great learning activities. All you need are cards cut into uniform sizes and markers or pencils. The Officeworks Born range has heaps of fun materials such as glitter markers and watercolour pencils that are great to make the cards bright and colourful for these games!
Once you have your materials simply colour the cards however you like with different shapes and pictures, making sure you create two identical versions of each card. You can then use the cards afterwards to encourage memory skills such as attention, focus and concentration, along with recognition of different shapes and colours.
Make pet rocks
Pet rocks are a really simple activity that is always a big hit with the kids… and parents too! To get started you need to gather some small to medium size smooth rocks, – see if you can find some in your garden or local park. Look at each rock and see what the shape might resemble. Could the rock become a sleeping cat with a curled up tail? Or perhaps you just want to add a funny face!
Paint pens are great for drawing on rocks, or you can also add other materials like felt, pom poms and foam stickers. Making pet rocks can encourage a child’s imagination and creative thinking, as well as assist in developing their fine motor skills.
“Slime making was definitely a favourite with my kids when they were younger!” says Beci. “Although I was not a fan (mostly due to the large amounts of slime-filled containers around the house afterwards), I did love that it followed a recipe, taught my kids about measurements and had a science element to it.”
There are some great slime making kits out there now, or if you’d prefer to DIY you can find some good recipes and tutorials on the internet. If you’re worried about the mess there are also some really easy ways to keep things tidy, such as putting down a mat that’s easy to wipe down and making sure an art smock is always put on before starting any crafty task.