Those of you planning summer youth camps are undoubtedly thinking about what activities you’ll offer in your programs this year. You’ll want something fun and engaging, something parents will talk about favorably and youth will remember fondly.
Why not teach life skills that will equip them to find their own sense of peace and calm in their lives, as well as serve as an outlet for personal expression? Why not teach crafts that have helped people make useful items for centuries? Here’s ten reasons to teach tried and true crafts – like knitting or crochet – this summer:
Ten Reasons To Teach Traditional Crafts To Young People This Summer
- You’re teaching something young people can practice and enjoy for the rest of their lives.
- You’re teaching “real” life skills, not an “arts & crafts” project they’ll trash as soon as they get home.
- Crafts help young people calm down and get away from their phones.
- It’s perfectly acceptable for both boys and girls to engage in crafts we previously thought of as “women’s” or “men’s” crafts. Boys can knit, and girls can do woodworking.
- Finishing a challenging craft project gives you a huge sense of accomplishment and self-esteem.
- You can make your own clothes, hats, scarves, and blankets, furniture, kitchen items, or other useful things you’ll treasure always.
- If you all-natural materials, you’re introducing a sustainability lesson, too.
- You can engage members of your community as teachers and create bonds between generations.
- Local crafters might donate a lot of the materials you need. All of us crafters have “stashes” of leftover and spare materials and tools we’d like to share.
- Your young people will remember “the summer I learned to knit/whittle/basketweave/crochet” as one of their best memories of summer camp.
Cindy Coe is the author of two resources to help children and youth engage with nature during summer camps. Her latest book is “The Prayer Shawl Chronicles,” a collection of interrelated short stories set in and around an Episcopal Church in Tennessee.
For more information and ideas about knitting, visit Cindy’s knitting blog at www.sycamorecoveknitting.com.