Children working on a Kumihimo board. // Photo Courtesy of The Handwork Studio.
After weeks of non-essential business and school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be hard to find new ways to stay entertained and active, especially for those with children. Helping fill some of that time is Narberth’s Handwork Studio, which is offering weekday craft live streams at 10 a.m.
The studio, which has workshops and camps throughout the East Coast, is connecting with children and parents through a livestream on Facebook called “Creativity Time.” There, the studio’s executive director Julia Yosen guides participants through an easy-to-follow craft.
“I think in these uncertain times kids want to feel loved,” says the studio’s owner, Laura Kelly. “Doing these activities still feels very nurturing and very loving.”
Each project uses items commonly found in most homes—T-shirts, paper, yarn—and are sent in an email the night prior to crafting. Every weekday morning, participants log on from around the region. There have even been a few from as far as the Philippines. For those who can’t participate during the live stream, the videos are later shared on Facebook and YouTube.
“We tend to save the projects for our afternoons because they keep my kids busy, their minds active and away from TV,” says Nina Wickersham, an Ardmore mom of a 5 and 7 year-old.
“Creativity Time” projects include everything from T-shirt tote bags to paper flowers. Most take between 30 and 45 minutes. “It’s not so much what the activity is, it’s the spirit in which the parent and the child are engaging in doing it,” says Kelly.
Whether working with little ones or simply looking for a way to destress, crafting is a great outlet, says Kelly, who recommends the Japanese braiding technique, kumihimo. Its rhythmic and repetitive nature calms the mind and occupies hands, making it great to do while watching TV. Plus, it’s easy to learn at any age.
For more advanced crafters with a sewing machine at home, Handwork collaborated with Simplicity to create patterns, which range from comfy pants to stuffed animals, which are available to order online.