How to Teach Life Skills with Handicrafts
You can help your kids learn real-life skills while creating meaningful projects when you teach life skills with handicrafts.
In bygone days, children learned valuable life skills by working alongside their parents. Most young girls learned to sew on buttons and make quilt patches along with their mothers; boys often learned things like farm skills and carpentry by working with their fathers.
Remember Laura Ingalls Wilder? She writes in her Little House books about learning to piece a nine-patch quilt square as a very young girl. She also learned to churn butter and do a variety of household chores from her earliest years.
Eventually, though, there was a major shift in the American lifestyle, mostly due to industrialization and more opportunities for education.
As factories began producing many necessities, some skills that had been essential for survival were no longer as crucial. At the same time, children began to spend more time away from their families to attend school, giving them less opportunity to learn life skills from their parents.
Over time many valuable and meaningful skills have been lost. Many people no longer even know how to sew on a button or mend a ripped seam. (Gasp!)
Thankfully homeschooling provides us with more time and opportunities to teach our children some of these skills that will benefit them for a lifetime.
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A Meaningful Way to Teach Practical Life Skills
My favorite way to teach life skills is through simple but engaging handicrafts. In my experience, kids are much more excited to learn new skills when they are working on a project that is meaningful to them.
If you’re not familiar with the term, handicrafts are creative projects or activities that produce something useful or beautiful–something worthwhile. Most handicrafts use simple materials like paint, yarn, fabric, felt, or wood.
With handicrafts, kids can make something meaningful while learning real life skills like sewing, knitting, carpentry, or pottery-making. (You’ll notice a theme here: All these skills were necessary for survival just a little over 100 years ago.)
An Easy Way to Get Started with Handicrafts
It’s obvious that handicrafts are a great way to teach life skills, but how do you get started–especially if you’re not crafty?
Our family recently joined The Makers Club Membership, an online membership from Elevation Handmade.
My girls are absolutely LOVING this membership! They have several projects in process, and every project has taught them a real life skill.
The projects included in this membership aren’t just everyday kids’ crafts. You know the kind of crafts that I’m talking about–projects that are just busywork to fill up extra time, things that end up in the trash can when the kids aren’t looking.
Instead, these projects from Elevation Handmade are things that kids will enjoy making AND be proud to show to others. They even make great gifts to give to family members or friends.
So far my girls’ favorite project has been the felt stuffies. Kendra made a stuffed fox, and Kiera is working on a felt dog.
Both girls are planning to make more of these adorable stuffies to give as special gifts to their best friends. (Shh! If you know my girls well and know who their best friends are, don’t give away the surprise!)
This project has helped my girls learn some basic sewing skills, including cutting out a pattern, pinning pieces together, and using a running stitch and whipstitch. I’m thrilled that they are learning some real life skills that they can continue to build on!
When you make handicrafts from The Makers Club, you don’t have to worry about drawing designs or trying to find patterns online.
Projects include a downloadable template that you can print and use–no stress, no fuss! (Some projects don’t need templates, of course. But they are included for every project that needs them.)
One of the best features of The Makers Club is their amazing video tutorials for each handicraft. Older kids can watch these and craft mostly on their own, while younger kids can watch with an adult or older sibling to help.
The videos are professional quality and well presented. And they make everything so much easier–no guessing or trial and error!
There are even videos demonstrating the basic stitches or other techniques required for the projects. It’s such a big step up from trying to learn from drawings or written tutorials.
Bottom line: These videos can make the difference between kids having success or giving up in the middle of a project. They’re truly that good.
Get a Discount on The Makers Club Membership
If you’re ready to help your kids learn skills through handicrafts, you can join The Makers Club and get 50% off your first month! (Use coupon code MAKERSCLUB50 if the discount is not automatically applied at checkout.)
This special offer expires July 31, 2023, so don’t wait to join!
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