Paula Milner is a UK-based craft enthusiast and fabric designer. She goes by the name of The Crafty Lass on Instagram, where she shares craft inspiration and snippets of her home life with over 6,000 followers. Paula's eldest son Freddie is autistic and awaiting an ADHD diagnosis, which means he requires additional support – something Paula talks openly and honestly about on her social channels.
Crafting has always been a big part of Freddie's childhood, and though he can find it difficult to concentrate for long periods, Paula finds ways to keep him engaged. "Freddie is really interested in what his mummy and daddy do," says Paula. "His dad is an engineer and very number driven, so Freddie is interested in number toys and games too. If he sees me crocheting or sewing, he'll want to learn how to do it – he can already sew on a button, and he's made his own patchwork quilt. He's very interested in anything that shows him immediate results."
Paula has recently discovered Canon's Creative Park, which is helping her to keep Freddie entertained by providing countless easy-to-make papercraft projects. Papercraft fidget toys are a great alternative to plastic options and Freddie finds the whole process, from making his toys to playing with them, very calming. Fidget toys aren't just for children, either – having something to occupy the hands also makes it easier for adults to concentrate if you're feeling restless or agitated.
If you'd like to make your own fidget toys, here's all you'll need, plus a little inspiration from Freddie and Paula.