Guest post by MaryAnne Kochenderfer
Creativation is the place to be if you want to spot new craft trends! The 2018 Creativation show featured a broad range of innovative products. Today I’m showcasing products that filled five trends I’ve identified in children’s crafts for 2018.
Animal themes are very popular for children’s kits right now! From dogs and cats to giraffes, elephants, and mystical unicorns and dragons, there’s an animal for everyone.
Companies are looking at fun ways to incorporate yarn into children’s crafting. From Big Stitch wood cross stitch kids to Craft-tastic wrapped yarn kits to Bergere dress an animal kits to Hoooked crochet animal kits, there is truly something for everyone! Hooked rug and yarn art kits were also on display, as well as tools for making pom-poms.
Low Stress Kits
Parents are overloaded with jobs. They want their children to get creative and unplug from screens, but messy play feels overwhelming. Brands are creatively working around this with products that minimize the mess and the amount of set-up that parents need to do. Coloring books have taken off, and Crayola upped the game with vanishing numbers color by number sets. Kits like the Craft-tastic Puppy Love Kit allow children to create a finished looking product with minimal set-up. Diamond Dotz will engage older children through teens without requiring the use of scissors or glue.
Companies are also creating ways to make traditionally messy materials less overwhelming. Sargent Art now offers their paints in six jar trays to make set-up and clean-up easier for parents and educators.
Safety is a top priority for parents. Products like Play Mais allow parents to allow even the youngest children to engage in creative play. This building material from Germany is created using corn grits and water. It is biodegradeable, and colored using food coloring. Children stick the pieces together using water on a sponge.
The Perler H2O line allows children to create from small beads that fuse with water instead of the heat of an iron. Perler Stixels use the traditional beads, but children place them in a no-iron silicone pegboard.
It’s no surprise that the resurgence of wooden children’s toys has also led to an increased interest in wood based children’s crafts. The Works of Ahhh…. Line from MasterPieces allows children to paint their own 3D wooden toys. They can also paint their project via an app, and enter to win a monthly contest. MasterPieces caught my eye for offering more kits that would appeal to boys, or come across as more gender neutral. This is an important gap that continues to need filling in the children’s craft world.
What I Hope to See More Of Next Year
As a parent and educator, I hope to see more and more gender neutral craft kits for kids, as well as more opportunities for children to customize their creations. I think that craft kits are wonderful for teaching skills and introducing children to new ideas, but I think there is still room to encourage children to get creative as they develop skill sets. Children surrounded by creative parents and caregivers and educators are typically given this opportunity. Thoughtfully created kits can open up this world of possibilities for first generation crafters.