It’s that point in the holidays that every mother dreads. For the past few weeks your daughter has enjoyed her newfound freedom, coming up with ways of filling up the days (how do they manage it?) Just when you thought the moment would never come, here it is:
“Mum, I’m bored!”
Fortunately we’re here to the rescue. Here are three of the best ‘crafty’ hobbies to keep the kids occupied. They have the following in common: they’re fun, they’re cheap, they involve a good deal of quiet and they’re incredibly moreish- in other words, they’re perfect!
Knitting is one of the most rewarding hobbies out there. Whether your daughter’s a total beginner or she hasn’t done it since middle school, it’s extremely easy to pick up.
If you want to start with the basics, you’re probably best off buying a knitting doll (they should be available at any good knitting shop). This will get her used to the motions and teach her the patience it requires; it’ll give her the confidence to start making small items, such as a funny snake or a crazy quilt. Once the knitting bug has taken hold, she’ll be itching to graduate from the dolly to proper knitting needles.
Do your research. When she buys her first set of wool and needles, it’s important that they go well together- and that they’re not beyond her level of ability. Bamboo and wooden needles are a terrific choice for beginners: not only are they lighter and less slippery than metal needles, they require less hand tension to keep them in place. In time she’ll soon be picking her own choice of needles, wools and patterns. Online shops such as Woolwarehouse offer knitting accessories at affordable prices.
Jewellery making is an excellent hobby- not only is it absorbing and fun, it leaves you with a gorgeous, unique piece you can wear yourself, sell or give as a gift. It’ll save your daughter from having to spend money on accessories- indeed, why bother when she can make something as attractive herself?
Like any new interest, it’s worth reading up on it, and seeing if there are any classes that your daughter can attend. She shouldn’t try anything too ambitious; making beaded necklaces or bracelets are a good place to start, due to the low cost of the materials and their availability. There are thousands of sites and videos online advising on the best techniques.
With the simple elements of wire, beads and clasps, she can make an ever growing variety of necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. It’s no accident that many jewellery makers who start out as hobbyists go on to do it for a living! Websites such as JillyBeads can start her off with a ready supply of funky wooden beads or even a dabble in real and affordable Swarovski crystals!
The ancient Japanese art of origami allows you to create fantastic designs from little more than slips of paper- which goes some way to explaining the craft’s popularity. Once you’ve mastered origami, it can be adapted for all occasions: to keep yourself amused, to give as presents, to make artistic decorations for special events. Requiring only paper and glue, it must be one of the most cost effective but absorbing hobbies out there.
The easiest and most popular designs include roses (a bouquet can look stunning), swans, butterflies, dragons and a frog (this can be made to ‘hop’!) Once your daughter’s picked it up, she’ll be able to turn her hand to decorations like snowflakes (a unique Christmas decoration), pinwheels and paper lantern. It’s not solely decorative, either: you can make boxes, photo frames and sweet holders using origami.
Although you can make origami using ordinary craft paper, it can’t be denied that you get the best results using authentic papers designed especially for the purpose. Sites such as Origami UK sell beautiful Japanese papers that allow you to make origami dolls and other classic designs.
We assure you that once your daughter discovers these hobbies, she’ll never complain that she’s bored again. Indeed, they could potentially open up a whole new world of opportunity for her.