"Creativity is intelligence having fun," said Albert Einstein - and fun may seem to be something in short supply at the moment. But it's important to remember that there's still a huge amount of enjoyable craft activities we can all do at home. Focusing on making things with our own hands helps to distract us from what's happening in the wider world and worrying about what we can't control.
So here's a few of our fun suggestions and handy resources, plus some creative craft gift ideas (even knitting beginners can make these fabulous Foxy Mittens!). And after all, who wouldn't love to receive a thoughtful present like this Cross Stitch Picture Kit in the post at the moment?
Embracing child's play
One of young children's favourite all time activities is messy play and Action for Children have some spot on suggestions, including how to make your own play dough. Junk modelling is also popular with all ages, plus it's a great way to recycle items. We love The Eden Project's inventive ideas, including making a marble run, creating birds out of recycled milk bottles ... and our favourite (albeit not junk related) is crafting vegetable "lego" figures!
You'll find lots more ideas for boys and girls in our Boycraft Book. Also, don't forget the joys of baking - and the bliss of eating your home cooked efforts (like those we made with our Monsters Cookies Activity Set) later ...
If you've got access to outdoor space, kids love collecting leaves, sticks and wild flowers to create collages. Running out of room at home? Then take photos of their work and create a home gallery. Making dens in the garden is also a perennial favourite - especially if it's an adult free zone! Here's a few tips from the National Trust, although an old tent or couple of sheets will suffice - just add imagination and some stories round the campfire.
Learning a life skill
This could be the perfect time to learn how to crochet, cross stitch, knit or sew. Not only are these practical skills back in fashion but you'll get a real sense of satisfaction at being able to showcase (and maybe even wear) your finished work - like my lovely Crochet Hat below or the super cute Foxy Mittens above!
And it doesn't matter what kind of craft you turn your hand to, or how wonky your work may turn out to be, which is good news for all us beginners. The process of learning itself is just as important as the final creation, as this Telegraph article on "Craftfulness" explains.
Many of us may have more time on our hands than we're used to, which is ideal for taking up arts and crafts activities, either on our own or with other family members. How about getting out that jigsaw puzzle that you never quite got round to finishing, or the abandoned oil paints and easel, or the unopened candle making kit you were given for Christmas?
If you simply want to put your feet up and browse for inspiration, you'll be spoilt for choice online. Here's just two of our suggestions ... the Crafts Council's site for everything craft related - from podcasts to books, and from event highlights to home school resources. And you can always rely on Crafts Beautiful for all kinds of craft tips, articles and giveaways.
We hope we've inspired you to try out a few new crafting suggestions and resources, and you enjoy getting even more creative over the next few months as well as staying safe. And do take your time to browse through all of the lovely gifts in our Craft Shop!