Reading is important. Few people will disagree with that. To teach and encourage kids to read, we are advised to begin reading to them when they are very young—just babies or even before they’re born—and to keep reading with them as long as they will allow it, even when they are competent solo readers.
At Ari’s Garden, we believe that crafting and puzzling are also important, and to make lifelong crafters and puzzlers, to instill creativity in young people, the same advice applies: begin crafting and puzzling with kids at a very young age and keep doing it as long as they will allow it.
The upcoming holidays are an excellent opportunity to craft together. Kids are off from school, and it’s prime gift-making time. Some of my favorite childhood holiday memories are sitting around the dining room table making ornaments for neighbor gifts with my mother, father, and sister. Or making candles in the kitchen. We’d go door-to-door handing out plates of cookies, a candle or ornament, and our holiday card. Such fun! And we were often invited in to eat cookies, too!
This year, set up a table with craft supplies and put the kids to work. Distribute gifts to neighbors, family, or in a nursing home or hospital. Inspire creativity, make memories, and spread crafty cheer this holiday season.
While the glue is drying on your craft projects, pull out the puzzles for another great shared activity. Believe it or not, my favorite way to do a crossword puzzle is with my husband and sister-in-law, with either of them reading clues and filling in letters. One of my favorite places to do a crossword puzzle is in the car on a long drive, again with someone else reading clues and writing answers. I get motion sick and can’t read or write in a vehicle.
Try stashing a puzzle book in the car and another on the kitchen counter. Next time you’re cooking or doing dishes, invite a kid—or your husband or sister-in-law—to read clues aloud and solve a puzzle with you.
Whatever we want to teach our kids—to read, to think, to be creative—we need to do with them. Make time this holiday season to puzzle and craft with kids—nieces, nephews, grandkids, neighbors, or your own.