The Importance of Arts & Crafts at Home – How Can Your Family Get Involved?

The Importance of Arts & Crafts at Home – How Can Your Family Get Involved?

Here at Nickel Plate Arts, we believe in the power of art. Flexing those creative muscles and being inspired through art gives people an outlet to express themselves, taking a step back from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Everyone can benefit from freedom of expression, and art gives people the opportunity to do so. Truly beautiful works of art are born when people of all ages open up their hearts and souls to new creative opportunities. Nickel Plate Arts works to create these opportunities through the events and classes we offer, including our Second Saturday craft activities, where families can create something new together every month, and our other various art classes offered throughout the year.

We spoke with parents who bring their children to these Nickel Plate Arts events, and we learned why arts in general, and crafts at home, are so important to their child’s developmental process. They shared with us their messiest arts and crafts moments and why, in the end, it’s always worth it. Even the simplest crafting project can make a child’s entire day (no matter how much glitter is involved).

Katy Mann is the owner and publisher of Indy with Kids, an online Indianapolis magazine that provides families with fun, unique activities and interesting events in the area. Mann is also the mother of four children between the ages of two and seven keeping her very busy. Mann looks for activities to keep her children happy and engaged, and she found that in Nickel Plate Arts.

“[Nickel Plate Arts] is on top of what’s trendy and what’s popular, finding a way to get people interested and engaged in what no one else is doing,” she said. “They meet the needs of the community at that moment.”

According to Mann, those needs include superheroes with Comic Book in a Day, animal-themed exhibits and her family’s favorite – fairies! When it comes to Nickel Plate Arts events the Mann family loves Fairyville because of the creative spark it ignites. In fact, Mann’s entire yard has turned into a giant Fairy Garden!

Nickel Plate classes can fuel this imaginative spirit, as long as the conversation about the art continues after class. This brings our mission full circle – we introduce new creative concepts, you bring them home and let your little ones take the reigns.

With so many possibilities for your child to be creative, where do you start?

“I would say a good place to start would be the dollar store and just be inspired,” Mann said. “You’re going to find everything you need there, and for $6 your kid is going to feel like they hit the arts and crafts jackpot.”

Supporting your child’s artistic, whimsical side means more beautiful crafts to hang in your home. It’s a win-win! However, if you start to find there’s no more fridge space to display those works of art, Mann suggests giving the piece to someone. Whether it’s a grandparent, a teacher or someone who looks like they could use a smile, gifting your child’s artwork makes the receiver happy and will fill your little artist with a great sense of pride.

Similar to Mann, Nickel Plate Arts volunteer Alison Harlos strongly believes in the value of arts and crafts. Harlos has three children and has been taking them to Nickel Plate Arts since it opened. Now, Harlos’ 9- and 10-year-old daughters volunteer with us, as they are both very creative and love exploring new projects.

When her kids were learning with scissors, Harlos never worried about the messy scraps of paper that always seemed to accumulate on her floor. Instead, she thought outside the box and had her children glue the scraps onto other pieces of paper. And now, six years later, those crafts are still proudly displayed on Harlos’ wall.

“There are so many ideas and ways to get involved with crafting, even if parents aren’t crafty themselves,” Harlos said. “Kids can do amazing things with paper plates and glue, or rocks and paint.”

“Let them have the freedom to not worry about making a mess, and not worry about what the project is supposed to be like,” she added. “Just let them do it.  Let them open up their little hearts and souls and explore with different materials.”

This freedom to explore and try new forms of art is something Nickel Plate Arts strives to promote, and, as Mann and Harlos pointed out, it can start at a young age! This openness to new ideas fosters more makers and creators, and in turn gives our communities more unique expressions of art.

To involve your family with arts and crafts, check out our summer classes like Adventures in Art for kids or our Second Saturday craft activities to get those little ones inspired. For more information on how Nickel Plate Arts can inspire your home’s creative side, visit

Ailithir McGill