Jenny Parker, Play and Learning Manager at Eureka! says put the hi-tech gadgets away and let your child’s creative juices flow

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Everyone can make something. You don’t have to be an expert artist, musician or sculptor to create something unique - something which children prove every day.

They love trying things out and making stuff up. It’s fun and is fundamental to their learning and development. But in a world full of hi-tech gadgets, with a multitude of apps featuring their favourite TV characters, it’s easy for children to get caught up in digital media at home. And whilst tech plays a fundamental role in modern society, sometimes it’s nice to put the gadgets away and simply allow the creative juices to flow!

As a child, I remember making loads of things at home with my mum, usually for a school or Brownie project but it nearly always involved a shoebox which was turned into all manner of things. A bit of paint, some leftover wallpaper, matchstick boxes, bottle tops and anything else I could lay my hands on, and I’d recreated my bedroom in miniature form! My mum even taught me how to do simple sewing and embroidery, and at one point I even owned my very own toy sewing machine.

Now that I’m a mum, I get to experience it all over again with my son. Just before Easter his school had a ‘decorate an egg’ competition with a fairy tale theme. We choose the Three Little Pigs and set about having great fun painting and sticking (perhaps me more than him). He didn’t win, but the experience of creating something together was more than worth it.

Get making at home!

Low-tech making doesn’t have to be confined to just cutting and sticking-based crafts. There are loads of things you can try out, which will fire your children’s imagination and get them expressing themselves creatively. Here are a few quick ideas:

Create a cardboard city in the garden using leftover boxes, duct tape, marker pens or paint.

Use old clothes and scrunched up newspaper (or straw if you have it) to make a scarecrow.

Allow children to use tools (with supervision) to create their own sculpture out of leftover bits of wood.

If you struggle for ideas try turning to the internet - there’s loads of inspiration to be found, particularly on sites like Pinterest.

Create it: Make it

This May half term at Eureka! we’re devoting the whole week to making stuff, so you’ll be able to pick up ideas from our team too. We’re also hosting the second annual Halifax Mini Maker Faire on Saturday and Sunday, May 30-31. Maker Faires take place all around the world and are family-friendly festivals of invention, creativity and imagination. They celebrate the maker in all of us and bring together tech enthusiasts, crafters, tinkerers, engineers and artists of all ages.

Makers believe “if you can imagine it, you can make it” and I think most kids believe that too. Their imaginations are endless and with a little help and guidance from the adults in their life there’s no reason why their creations can’t be too. Go on, get making!