I recently sewed a fairy with my niece. And I learned three reasons why it is worth the time and effort to engage children in crafting gifts (even for themselves!)
1. They make their own choices.
Their ideas of color and design may be very different from what we would choose for them. Sewing together gives them a chance to explore their own ideas. My niece got to build visualization skills as she tested one swatch of color with another. And her selections were not what I expected at all. And they were lovely!
2. They see the value of a handcrafted gift.
By engaging in the craft, they see all the effort and decisions that go into handcrafting a gift. From exploring my many supplies to undoing mistakes, she got to see the behind-the-scenes magic that makes a handcrafted gift so special. Unwrapping a gift is easy compared to creating a gift from bits of wire and felt. Yet, the process is so rewarding!
3. They treasure their creation.
Between the felt and sequins, magic happens. I shared with my niece that no matter how many fairies I create, they all end up different. Even if I try, I cannot make two that look exactly the same. She saw this for herself as she put her fairy together. She couldn't believe that she could create magic, too. "I know just where she belongs in my room," she said, "On my special nightstand." Creating something beautiful is empowering. And the 'voice' that a child gives her or his creation makes it unique in all the world.
The gift goes both ways. She enjoyed her fairy. I enjoyed spending time with her. Which is the best gift of all. Time together :)
Enjoy your crafting!