As we approach Spring, play time with the kids can seem a bit more messy and stressful, but the payoffs far outweigh the benefits. In many households, mums are the ones who sit down to colour, paint and construct with the kids, but more and more dads want to do the same. Research shows that when dads spend time with their children, they are more in tune with their child’s abilities and personality and are better able to challenge them and nurture their talents and interests. This enhances a child’s self-esteem and makes them feel loved and valued. Doing crafts with the kids is one great way that dads can embrace the maker spirit with their kids. Here are some ideas that dads and kids will love.


1. Painting

For dads, embracing the maker spirit doesn’t mean pulling out the puffy paints and fabric scraps. It means getting the kids in on your latest projects too. Perhaps they can help as you touch up the paint on the side of the house. Or maybe you’re painting a bird bath for the garden. You could even do some family art together on a Tuff Spot outside, which allows them to play outside more, and gives you a chance to foster your relationship even more. If you’ll be working in an enclosed space, such as the garage, be sure to ventilate well and make sure your child is wearing clothes that can be ruined. After all, part of the fun in painting with Dad is getting messy!


2. Woodworking

If you’re a fan of building things out of wood, your kids probably will be too. You obviously aren’t going to give little ones power tools, but kids will certainly enjoy putting together a birdhouse or simply sitting with you pounding nails into wood while you work on your own project (make sure they’ve got all the right safety gear too of course!). The point is the time sharing a hobby, not what you’re actually putting together. You can design your own project, but most home improvement and craft stores sell kits that might be easier for kids who are new to woodworking.


3. Build Something

Kids are going to love building as much as dads do, so this is a perfect craft to do together. Try building a model airplane, making a swing for the back garden tree or putting together a new piece of furniture. Kids will love learning more about using tools and will get a lot out of the shared time finishing a project together. Plus, it gives dads the chance to share their skills and knowledge and perhaps you’ll both find a new passion as you go along.


4. Science Experiments

What kid doesn’t love making something explode or seeing a chemical reaction? Dads sure do! Science experiments are one of the first things dads seek out for things they can make and do with their kids. There are hundreds of ideas out there, but the simple reaction of baking soda mixed with vinegar is a great place to start. It is also a good thing when you can further extend the activity. For example, build a kite that you can then take to the park or build a bottle rocket. A fun indoor activity then becomes an extra outdoor activity you can enjoy together. The internet or the library are wonderful resources for finding new different experiments that you can try.


5. Arts and Crafts

Some dads can’t get into traditional arts and crafts, but many others don’t mind doing them if it means being with their kids. Luckily, there are so many great arts and crafts that it shouldn’t be hard to find something that the two of you can do together. Try painting with watercolours, filling in a colouring book, sculpting with clay or doing string art. Art is a great activity for dads with younger kids. Join thousands of proud fathers up and down the land whose kitchen doors proudly display handprints in multiple colours, potato prints, and houses and faces made from macaroni. Whatever you choose, the memories you make will be so wonderful.

The time that dads spend with their kids is never wasted, provided you are doing something that you enjoy and that lets you interact and get to know your kids. Arts and crafts are just one way to foster your child’s development and learn more about what makes him or her tick. Having a hobby or activity that you share creates a bond that will help you both as your child grows. A close relationship with parents is something that every child wants and deserves and it’s up to you to make sure it happens…one craft at a time!