8 Ways to Get Creative with your Grandchildren
For many of us, our relationship with our grandparents proves to be one of our most formative. While parents may be occupied with work, younger siblings and many other responsibilities, grandparents are often relied upon for extra support. This provides the ideal opportunity for quality bonding time, so why not make the most of it with fun, educational craft projects?
Crafting with grandparents can give kids a fantastic opportunity to learn traditional skills, explore their creativity and forge strong cross-generational relationships. For grandparents, it’s the perfect way to rediscover a love of their craft through the eyes of children – plus, it’s never too late to learn a new skill!
Knitting and crochet
Knitting and crochet prove to be as popular as ever, and inspiring a love of all things yarn from an early age offers the opportunity to develop an amazing life skill and discover a relaxing creative outlet. From granny squares to novelty knits, there are endless projects to enjoy with these classic crafts.
Knitwear designer and Hobbycraft’s very own Yarn Master, Emily Platt, credits her great-grandmother with inspiring her love for the craft. “She’s the reason I got into knitting and crocheting,” she explains, reflecting on early memories of countless colourful knitting projects. “It’s lovely to now have the skills to surprise her with designs I make. I recently completed my first CAL project and gifted it to her for her birthday – it made her so happy!”
With knitting and crochet, even as the grandchildren grow up, their skills will grow with them. It’ll help form a special connection that will last long into their adult years.
The best thing about baking is that it’s accessible for everyone, whatever age your grandchildren are. Bond over a shared love of brownies, cupcakes and more, and make treats that everyone can enjoy.
Baking with young children is a great way for them to learn what goes into creating the food they enjoy, with the added reward of taste-testing when it’s all done! There’ll be no need for extra incentives, and little ones will love showing off their masterpieces.
Hobbycraft colleague, Jenny North, shares the importance of baking in her family: “When my daughter spends time with her grandparents during the school holidays, there’s a lot of time to fill and they always bake together.” She continues to say that it brings them closer together as “she feels really at home with them in their kitchen, working alongside each other.”
If you’re after recipe inspiration, whether you want to make something sweet or savoury, browse the mouth-watering range of free Hobbycraft baking projects.
If you’re game for getting stuck in, slime making is the perfect hands-on activity to entertain the whole family – with plenty of creative ways to put a spin on your colourful slime.
One of the newest craft trends to burst (or perhaps ooze) onto the scene, slime making can be fun for all ages! Why not learn how to master your mad method together?
From the process of making the slime (which can include throwing in all kinds of extras, such as sequins, glitter and a vibrant variety of colours), to tactile play with the finished product, kids will love this unique craft. For grandparents, it’s an easy project. Check out our simple guide to find out how it’s done, and let your little one steer your style. They can then stretch and mould the malleable goo into any shape.
Flower arranging and terrarium making
For grandparents who’ve mastered arts and crafts for their own enjoyment, one of the great joys of grandparenthood can be passing on those skills. If you enjoy getting to grips with nature through floristry, why not share that love for beautiful botanicals by flower arranging and terrarium making with the kids?
This can be a relaxing activity that requires very little expertise for a lovely finished piece. View our guide on How to Make a Terrarium for inspiration, with everything you need to know to get started.
For young children, you can even create a special terrarium that they can transform into their very own fairy garden.
Why not use quality time with the grandkids to transform school projects into fun activities? Whether learning about the geography of the world or travelling back to another time, practical learning has proven to be one of the most effective approaches for kids. It’s also a great opportunity for grandparents to pass on their expertise!
For ideas on popular projects, visit the Hobbycraft Kids’ Projects page – but it’s all about being resourceful with simple household items and craft essentials. Create costumes, models and more to take a crafty approach to 3D school projects.
The findings from the 2018 Hobbycraft Report showed that there was a significant uptick in the numbers of young people lacking any sewing skills. Between ages 18-24, 31% cannot sew on a button compared to 5% of over-55s, revealing a remarkable generational knowledge gap. Given that in the same survey, family and friends were found to be the biggest influence on our crafting habits, being taught sewing skills by grandparents can often be the perfect way to learn.
Whether it’s sewing and embroidery or haberdashery and dressmaking projects, pick up a needle and thread and see what amazing designs you can create! There are great starter kits available for young kids to get started with plastic needles, or you can even spend time bonding with older children as you work on grander designs.
Projects like quilts are perfect for making a family treasure by hand – especially if you’re picking out personal pieces to incorporate with each quilting square.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out the Hobbycraft Great British Button Challenge for ideas and inspiration!
From starter kits that require the perfect combination of adult expertise and youthful enthusiasm to outside-the-box model making, this hobby is great for grandparents to get involved in. There’s a huge range of replica model kits available, ideal for anyone with a keen interest in aircrafts and cars, and you can choose the appropriate skill level for you and your grandchild.
As well as this, model making can be limitless! It can be about assembling three-dimensional designs with any materials you like – just see where your imagination takes you!
Hobbycraft colleague, Karen Hollocks says, “My son and his granddad disappear into the garage together for hours on end to create models from scraps and leftover wood. They’ve made everything from robots to little miniature scenes.” Proving the impact of the grandparent-grandchild bonding time, she adds, “Now he wants to be an inventor when he’s older! I think Granddad has definitely sewn a creative seed there!”
Box frame making
For a picture perfect project, why not create something to treasure with a handcrafted box frame? There are lots of creative ways to make personalised designs – whether you add photos, paint custom details or even create crayon art!
You can even design a unique family portrait with your grandchildren with the How to Make a Peg Doll Family Box Frame project. This will be ideal for surprising other members of the family with a handmade gift, featuring tailor-made touches that bring every generation together.
With lots of ways to put a personal spin on your craft ideas, enjoy making the most of every minute with your grandchildren! Create special memories and keepsakes to treasure with every project – and perhaps even try something new yourself in the process.