A British educator born over 150 years ago discovered a clue to childhood learning that still rings true: “The duty of parents is to sustain a child’s inner life with ideas as they sustain his body with food.” Charlotte Mason lived well before computers and screens of all kinds, yet she developed a lifestyle of learning that not only delivered a broad and generous education to the children of her day, but continues to inspire today’s educators all over the world!

Mason’s philosophy of learning resides in the belief that a child is a person and we must educate that whole person, rather than just the mind via dry textbooks or perpetual commands and directions. In her words, “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.” While there are many concepts to unpack in Charlotte Mason’s pedagogy, this article will focus on the significance she saw in prioritizing the introduction and application of unique handicrafts to kids.

Her key discovery remains that learning is much more meaningful and long lasting when ideas are simultaneously coupled with hands-on skills such as: garden work, cooking, sewing, woodworking, weaving baskets, and crafting jewelry and gifts.



Charlotte Mason’s Advice for Selecting Handicrafts for Kids:


  1. The end product should be useful and considered a valuable resource. A child should not “be employed in making futilities such as paper mats and the like.”
  2. Teach the children “slowly and carefully what they are to do.”
  3. Emphasize the habit of putting forth their best effort. “Slipshod work should not be allowed.”
  4. Carefully choose handicrafts and life skills to challenge, but not frustrate. “The children’s work should be kept well within their compass.”

You may know a homeschool family or two, and you can bet they have incorporated bits (or more!) of a Charlotte Mason home education into their curriculum. Regardless of where your child goes to school, try some of our favorite, unique handicrafts for children! We combined Charlotte’s wisdom with our own kid-tested and approved handicrafts to create the following list to get you started. In our home we have one child who is more geared toward engineering, and another attuned to the arts—nevertheless the beauty of handicrafts is that they are appealing and satisfying no matter how your kid is wired! Peruse the list below, where we have included a brief description, an age range to consider, and affiliate links to arts and crafts that will encourage the practice of handicrafts in your home.


Top 5 Handicrafts for Young Children (age 3-6)


1) Lacing Cards


These lacing cards are unique in that they help simulate sewing a button onto a shirt—a skill Miss Mason would say is essential and useful for a child!


2) Fairy Garden


This set includes soil and seeds to introduce children to gardening and the garden is sown inside a little fairy cottage to encourage imaginary play. Children get to build a house and create a world while developing basic garden skills.


3) Air Dry Clay


Sensory development, creativity, and logical thinking all gets a boost with air dry clay! This product is non toxic and includes a book of ideas for children to sculpt with the clay—creating their own little treasures to use and play with after they dry.



4) Wooden Lacing Beads


Not only are these lacing beads extremely useful for fine motor skills, the smooth wooden texture offers a sensory experience for the young child and the animal and food shapes stimulate creative play!



5) Flower Press


Offer your child a simple bucket or basket and enjoy a nature walk together where you encourage them to gather some botanical treasures to bring home. Then use this flower press to gently preserve flower petals, leaves, and other tidbits of nature. The dried botanicals can then be used to make seasonal decor for their room!


Top 25 Handicrafts for Children, age 7 and up


1) DIY Bird House


This kit includes two unassembled bird houses for children to build and then decorate with paints. No tools are required so it is an easy yet satisfying build and an item that is really useful for their outdoor space as an introduction to bird watching.



2) Rainbow Loom


Rainbow Loom is the recipient of numerous toy awards and is a product that has received a lot of life in our home! The loom and bands allow the child to create jewelry such as bracelets, necklaces, rings, or even little gifts to give to their friends such as charms and action figures! The craft develops fine motor skills and logical thinking while also building confidence as they create their own treasures and toys to keep and share.



3) Ultimate Weaving Loom & Loops


This loom allows kids to learn the technique of weaving while creating unique projects. They can play with color and design patterns to craft a one-of-a-kind gift. My kids especially love the gratification of giving grandparents “real” and useful gifts for the holidays such as a potholder or plant coaster.



4) Multi Craft Weaving Loom


Melissa and Doug offer a more advanced loom that features easy-grasp knobs that make it simple to switch the frame and try lots of different craft projects—from bags to scarves to colorful animal picture tapestries.



5) Woodworking Carpentry Kit


This construction kit is suitable for kids 8 and up with materials to make six useful and fun projects: 80 pieces of real wood, two pencils, a ruler, nails, sandpaper, glue, a storage bag and hammer. This will appeal to older kids as it is more than just snapping wood pieces together—they get to use a real hammer and nails for woodworking!



6) Sewing Animals Crafts


Kids can craft tangible and adorable animals using this simple but appropriately challenging sewing kit. It can serve as an introduction to more complex sewing and felting projects, and provides kids a lot of satisfaction for all their hard work.



7) Beeswax Candles


This is a unique, all-inclusive candle making kit sourcing 100% natural ingredients. Petroleum-based candles can be hard on indoor air quality, but beeswax burns cleaner, longer, and helps purify the air. Rolling beeswax candles and adding their own aesthetic touches allows children to produce their own creative project for a pleasing addition to their home or an appreciated gift for a friend!



8) Paper Beads


When you give your child the tools to make their own paper beads, they reap the benefits of crafting materials to make their own jewelry and wares, while also learning the benefits of recycling and caring for the earth!



9) Paracord bracelets


What we love about this product is that it appeals to boys and girls alike, and guides them through a knotting technique that is both a useful skill and results in a functional, rugged bracelet.



10) Garden


Kids are invited to cultivate their own garden that will result in most things they need to prepare a pizza! Beginning with sowing seeds in an indoor mini greenhouse, children will learn about sprouting healthy vegetable starts before transplanting them outdoors to grow big healthy tomatoes, peppers, and basil for family pizza night!



11) Calligraphy & Paper


This hand-lettering tutorial and workbook teaches kids the basics of calligraphy while encouraging them to turn their own unique sayings and ideas into beautiful word art that can be displayed in the home.



12) Soap-Making Kit


This kit is equipped with everything your child needs to formulate 16 organic soaps. When kids make their own soap, they are then encouraged to use it and promote healthy personal hygiene. This kit uses all natural ingredients and dyes, and even includes little cloth wraps for children to gift handmade soap to friends.



13) Wind Chime


This is a wonderful project as it guides children through a multifaceted process of blending clay to create geodes and beads, baking the clay, and then assembling a whimsical and unique wind chime that will remind them of their hard work and creativity every time the wind blows!



14) Latch Hook Kit


This is a classic craft that guides children through a meticulous, satisfying process of hooking their own mini rug with yarn. This is a great project for older kids as it uses a sharp tool that they pull through a color-coded canvas with a loop, hook, and pull method.



15) Terrarium


A terrarium inspires Charlotte Mason’s emphasis on nature while also instilling the basics of gardening as kids design, plant, water, and observe their mini ecosystem. This terrarium also features some fun items that glow for a truly aesthetic project!



16) Quilting


Nothing says handicrafts like an old-fashioned quilt! Melissa and Doug are back with this no sew quilt-making kit. Featuring high quality, soft, fuzzy material, kids knot together pre-cut fabric squares in their own pattern and emerge with a 4 by 5 foot blanket that they make all by themselves.



17) Pottery


This kit is a wonderful introduction to the arts. It has everything children need to practice throwing on a wheel and then gives them an idea of how to glaze their piece when its finished. The product includes illustrated lessons that teach the history of different types of pottery and various pottery techniques.



18) Watercolor Set


Watercolors are a classic, open-ended choice for handicrafts for kids. This kit includes several brushes, watercolor paper, and vibrant watercolor cakes to get kids started!



19) Leather Tooling


This leather tooling kit designed for kids is a great introduction to a hobby that can last for years. There is a DVD with tons of ideas for adding their own unique twist on the leather wristbands, bookmarks, and coasters included in the kit.



20) Cross Stitch and Embroidery


This embroidery kit is perfect for older kids and teaches them 7 basic stitches that allow them to craft their own custom pieces. There is enough materials for six stylish keepsakes.



21) Acrylic Paint By Number Set


My kids have a number of these impressive paintings adorning their bedroom walls. They will pop on a kid’s podcast or audio book and grasp their paintbrush as they carefully fill in each little numbered space on the canvas with a variety of high-quality acrylics. They emerge proud, and I can really see the benefit of them learning to commit to a project until completion after working on one of these paint-by-number sets.



22) Beading


Kids take the classic pony bead and learn to weave them into satisfying shapes for keychains or toys! This set provides materials for 10 bead pets and they can easily add pony beads from their own stash to make each piece unique.



23) Crochet Kit


This beginner crochet set is a solid introduction to the world of crocheting and even lays down the foundation of how to knit. There are enough materials to crochet three pieces with seven different colors of yarn.



24) Magnet Tile Making


This handicraft allows children to create their own tiny art piece with tiles and paint, and then adhere it to a magnet for year-round display!



25) Model Car Building


This product contains 42 pre cut, sanded pieces for children to assemble, build, and paint three model cars. Kid learn some basics to engineering as well with the kit’s tiny axles and wheels that they get to attach to their models.



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