Kids have occupied and entertained themselves with some form of arts and crafts for probably as long as there have been kids. In America, we know that a popular toy for girls was handcrafted from corn husks, for example.
Corn husk dolls had been made by Northeastern Native Americans long before the Colonists arrived from England, but these simple toys caught on with the children of the newcomers.
Brittle dried cornhusks were softened by soaking them in water and small, faceless dolls were crafted from them for children’s toys.
Speaking of dolls, paper dolls are still popular today and the earliest paper doll made for children was produced in London in 1810. It featured a character known as “Little Fanny.” A few years later in 1812, a company in Boston put out a series called “The History and Adventures of Little Henry.” These paper characters were designed to act out various scenes as their narratives unfolded.
In the early frontier days of America, women and their daughters (Sorry, ladies! That’s the way it was then.) made rag rugs. These were often fashioned out of old household fabric and was a creative activity that also made sure that nothing was wasted.
By the late 1800s, although store bought rugs were readily available, the popularity of the Arts and Crafts movement made rag rugs more popular than ever, especially for young girls.
Arts and crafts for kids really began to take off in the 1920s and 30s. Girls were making crafts like cornstarch jewelry and clothespin dolls, while boys often occupied themselves by building stilts and fashioning slings. And both boys and girls were creating art with ink splatter leaf impressions and thaumatropes.
A thaumatrope is a small cardboard circle with a drawing of two things that go together on either side, such as a bird and a birdcage. The cardboard disk is attached to strings on opposite sides and, by twisting it around fast, the bird looks like it’s in the cage.
The 21st Century and Arts and Crafts are More Popular Than Ever
The venerable coloring book has evolved and spawned creative variations that appeal to every type of young colorist. Everything from relatively easy coloring pages to highly complex images, to dot-to-dot pictures that can be completed and colored can be had. Not to mention the hugely popular doodle pad books that allow kids to create their own artwork and then color them.
And kids love to draw. Remember the SpirographⓇ we had as kids to make all those cool designs with the geared wheels? It’s still here and still popular.
But arts and crafts are not limited to flat, two-dimensional projects.
Kids of all ages love to create pottery, for example. These products allow kids to paint their own porcelain creations and then bake at home. The results are beautiful, handcrafted artworks finished with a hard, shiny glaze.
Some kids prefer to just work with clay to make things, and then rework it to make something new. Newer clay-like materials like Plasticine are quite popular and can even be used to create home-made animated movies.
There are also yarn-based craft projects like Latch-KitsⓇ for making mini-rugs and yarn art kits for adhering colored yarn pieces to art boards. Both boys and girls can get into building wood projects such as birdhouses or airplanes. In addition, colorful creations can be made using foam pieces and glue, as well as folded paper using the ancient art of origami.
In fact, building, crafting, and decorating projects even come in the form of rock painting kits for making brightly colored “insects” and “flowers” with painted rocks, to wooden parts put together and decorated with stickers and paint to create wooden robots.
Finally, although plastic model kits may not strike some as belonging to the realm of “arts and crafts,” try telling that to an avid model builder! And the variety of kits is vast and growing.
Everything from planes, cars, ships, tanks, and spacecraft, to buildings and even people, can be found in the form of a plastic model kit. The range of difficulty includes simple, snap-together kits for little hands, to complex and multiple piece projects for more advanced modelers.
Kids, Arts, and Crafts: A Great Recipe for Hours of Fun
At Fundemonium, you’ll discover tons of great arts and crafts products along with toys, games, and hobby items. Fundemonium is more than a store – it’s a fun family experience, where families and artists and crafters of all ages can meet and play.
At Fundemonium we offer a safe and friendly place where adults and children of all ages can experience creative fun, a great selection of toys, games, and hobbies for your entire family, and a knowledgeable and friendly staff concerned with helping you have fun.
We do our best to quickly respond to inquiries about arts and crafts (and toys!) through our website, but you can also find an answer to your question by calling us.
If you’d like to speak directly with one of our Fundemoniacs during our business hours, you can call us at (707) 540-0701.
Thanks, and we hope to see you soon!