There’s no hiding from technology today. It’s everywhere and there’s a new generation growing up who won’t know life without it. In 2018, the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom found that 19% of three-to-four-year-olds owned a tablet and 52% went online for nearly nine hours a week. Many of the children surveyed, aged three to 15, were looking for “content and creativity” online and often used vlogger sites to find it.
Lindsey Newns has harnessed the power of digital technology to make a name for herself in the world of craft. Yet she’s still passionate about spending as much time as possible crafting in real life with her little ones. She’s the creative talent behind the inspirational Instagram account @lottieandalbert, and the commissioning editor of Mollie Makes magazine. Lindsey is mum to Rosie, aged five, Charlie, three, and baby George and, despite a busy schedule, she always finds time to craft with her children as she says the benefits for them – and her – are huge.
A shared learning experience
“I’m always amazed when we craft together,” reveals Lindsey. “The children give me so many ideas for projects. They think outside the box and approach things in a way that adults don’t necessarily do.” Craft is a great activity for groups of any size, Lindsey enthuses. At Center Parcs, instructors understand the importance of shared learning so while some sessions are designed for parents and children to attend together, at others you can drop off your child and let them craft under supervision, as well as make new friends.
Exploring and expressing creativity
Although Lindsey loves the convenience of craft kits, she reckons the best craft activity is to give children the freedom to express themselves. As we get older we put labels on ourselves, she says – whether we’re artistic or not. But as a child you’re uninhibited. “Let them explore materials and what they want to make,” she advises. “I like to mix it up, sometimes bringing out a bag of fabric scraps – which they can cut up and stick down – then the next time, a jar full of buttons.”
Educational and fun
As well as helping to improve basic mathematics through counting and measuring, craft can be educational in other ways. Lindsey often enjoys combining woodland walks with her crafting, which gives her little ones opportunities to learn about nature. “We take an egg box out on a walk and look for treasures or sometimes do a nature trail,” she reveals. “Then when we get home we stick them all onto paper with glue and it creates a kind of record of our day.” Center Parcs Nature Detectives sessions are designed to help little ones enjoy nature as well as learn about the wild world outdoors and its inhabitants.
Developing problem-solving skills
Using limited resources to create a sculpture or picture requires a lot of innovative thinking. It’s great to watch children in action, says Lindsey. “I found it amazing to see my three-year-old stick things down in the shape of a car. I wouldn’t have even thought he would be able to think of the shape of a car, let alone find the pieces and then replicate it. Craft feeds their imaginations and encourages them to think freely.”
Book your next Center Parcs break today