There are lots of things that come under the heading of arts and crafts that are both entertaining, and fun for kids to do. Not only that, many of them are not just fun but educational also.
Learning to draw and paint should be on the curriculum of every child, but this can be extended into modeling, pottery, and making other practical objects which are not just for amusement, but can also serve a useful purpose around the home or the school.
Salt dough is very easy to make, and is soft and squidgy in the hands – kids love it. All you need is half a cup of salt, half a cup of water and a cup of flour. Mix them all together and you have a lovely dough which the kids can use to create anything that comes to mind. You can make hanging decorations (useful at Christmas) and you can cut the dough using cookie cutters. Add buttons, small coins, colored glass pieces – anything at all, simply by pressing them into the surface.
If you are going to hang the end products as a decoration, don’t forget to poke a small hole in the top through which you can thread some wool or string.
The dough can be baked in the oven for 2 – 3 hours on a very low heat, or you could microwave it for around 2 minutes. When dry and baked you can then paint it in any way you wish. Salt dough can keep kids occupied for hours.
Tree In Blossom
Create a small tree in bloom in the spring by getting a few twigs together (hunting these can all be part of the fun), then crunch up small pieces of colored tissue paper and stick them to the “branches” creating the effect of blossom.
Make A Ladybird
Make a ladybird out of an old egg box. Mom or dad can help by cutting out the “holder” part for one egg. Turn it upside down (open end on the table) and paint it red. Paint a small area on the base black to form a face area, and paint a white smiley mouth and two eyes above it. Paint black spots over the “body”. You can create a whole family of ladybirds if you wish.
Salt painting is great fun. All you need is some black or dark colored card to use as a base, some glue, some salt, and paints.
Paint glue in a variety of shapes, twists, and turns on the card. Sprinkle the glue with salt. Shake off excess salt. Now take your paints in different colors and paint over the raised salt. Watch as the colors spread and fizz. Great fun (for adults as well as kids!).
Here is another idea – marble painting. Take a piece of card and place it in a shallow tray. Now squirt in a fair amount of paint of different colors, anywhere you like. Place some marbles at one end of the tray and tip it gently letting the marbles roll around in the paint creating magical effects all by themselves. Don’t forget to wash the marbles afterwards if you want to use them again.
Make finger puppets (this is for older kids, not toddlers). Take some felt and cut it into a rectangle. Round off the top edge by cutting with scissors. Sew up the sides. Cut ears and nose shapes in any way you wish and sew them on to the to the top of the puppet (ears) and front (nose) Alternatively, you could glue them on with fabric glue. Draw on a mouth with a felt tip pen and add googly eyes or draw on with pens. You can add whiskers or a moustache or anything else you fancy.
With a bit of imagination you can use various themes for your kids to work on during the school holidays. For instance, you might decide to model dragons or dinosaurs, planes or trains, build a model castle, make gifts and cards for relatives and friends, teach your kids how to use the camera on their phone to take unusual photos, and dozens more ideas.
Of course, don’t just tell your kids what they should do next in the way of arts and crafts. Ask them for their own ideas. You will find that they very quickly come up with all sorts of amazing possibilities that you would never have thought of.