Looking for some new activities to share with your kids other than watching your daily routine of cartoons? Making sure they are staying busy and learning something new can be a hassle at times, but you’d be surprised at how inexpensive activities can keep both you and your little ones entertained. It can bring the two of you together, and make the hours melt away on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
Every child has an endless amount of pictures rolling around in their heads, and it is fun to find a new way to put those images on paper. This is actually very simple to do with a few bottles of tempera paint, normal sheets of construction paper for the canvas, and a cheap box of Q-tips playing the role of the paintbrush. Kids can have fun with this either by drawing out their own shapes and designs or by trying the “dip-and-dot” method. Either way, it’s a nice twist on the normal painting techniques.
Fun with Fleece
There are hundreds of fleece prints available for children online such as race cars, dinosaurs, princesses and various animals. Let them choose their favorite print online, wait for it to come in the mail, then spend the afternoon making fleece scarves, hats or blankets. Have a few extra pieces of fleece lying around from your last activity? A nifty idea is to cut those pieces up into strips ranging anywhere from 12-18 inches in length. Tie three of them at the top and then show your kids how to braid them all together. In minutes they will have turned a few unwanted scraps of fleece into a homemade chew toy your puppy will enjoy.
Pressed Flower People
Do you want to find a unique way to show off what is blooming in your front yard? With this project any basic garden flowers such as geraniums, petunias, or daisies will do the job. Take the flower and place the blossom on a sheet of paper, arranging it in a body-like fashion. Use a heavy book to push down on the flower, pressing it into the paper. Take the book away and voila, you have your own flower character.
If you think you just might have a future engineer sitting at your dinner table, why don’t you put his creative skills to work with a box of toothpicks and a small edible item? You can use any small food such as grapes, marshmallows or even Swedish fish to be the anchor points for the toothpicks to be placed in. Show them how to use these items as anchor points and more than likely they will have built an entire city within a few hours.
Another fun way to keep those little ones busy with a paintbrush is to try out the paint-popsicle method. Simply purchase the basic popsicle molds you would get at any dollar store, and fill them with tempera paint. Let them sit in the freezer for a few hours and then bingo, you have yourself another unique and creative paintbrush.
All you will need for this is some construction paper, a box of markers and a bag of balloons. Kids will want to tap into their imagination for this as well. Inflate the balloons and let them go to work drawing eyes, hair, horns, or whatever they think their balloon character looks like. This is a simple craft that allows them to create a three-eyed friend with horns, or a Cyclops with a smiley face who will keep them company floating around the house.
Popsicle Stick American Flags
A festive craft that will get your child excited about the patriotic holidays is to create a homemade American flag out of popsicle sticks. Simply paint the sticks red, white and blue, and then cut the blue ones in half to make up the corner portion of our flag. Glue them in order onto another few popsicle sticks for backing, add a few small star stickers, and in minutes you’ll have a homemade knick-knack they can proudly wave on the fourth of July.
There are hundreds of ways to keep a child’s mind and hands busy. But, some simple yet innovative crafting ideas will be sure to unlock their creative talents and break up the monotony of any weekend or summer vacation.
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