After months of lockdown and summer holidays, ideas and supplies might be starting to run low - but fear not, we have compiled a list of creative things for kids to do, all with things you are very likely to have at home.
The following crafty activities are all super easy and lots of fun to make - perfect for young kids. There are so many things you can create with even the most basic of kits. When you are having a sort out or just chucking things in the recycling, take a second look. Kids are resourceful and when presented with random bits and pieces, you might be surprised with what they can come up with. Things like cereal boxes, milk cartons, bottle tops and cardboard will all come in handy at some point, we promise! Here are some ideas to get you started.
This is a super simple idea that can bring hours of fun. Hopefully, you have some loo roll tubes in your recycling or some kitchen roll tubes that you can trim down to size. You simply decorate the two tubes however you like, depending on what you have- you could use paint, stickers, washi tape, yarn, buttons, anything you can glue on or just stick to paint and crayons! Then you simply glue or tape the tubes together, hole punch the two outer edges, thread some string through (not essential if you don't have any) and voila, a pair of very beautiful binoculars. Now to spot some interesting wildlife, these could be taken out on a daily walk, straight into the garden or simply be used to have a look out of the window at home.
For this creative make, you will need some cardboard; corrugated works well but anything you have in the recycling is fine. Size is up to you but A5-A4 ish works nicely. Next, you will need a selection of 'nature treasure'! So if a daily walk is part of your quarantine routine, next time give the kids a basket or box to bring along and ask them to collect any cool (small) nature items that catch their eye. We are thinking- leaves of all different colours, petals, small flowers like daisies, interesting twigs, seedpods, pieces of moss- the list is endless! When you get home you will need- whatever craft supplies you have going, but mainly glue- if you don't have a glue gun then definitely steer the kids towards more glue-stick-able items like leaves and flowers. Then you simply take your card and get creative! You could use paint and crayons to colour the items or use the items themselves as the paintbrush for some exciting mark making. Encourage the kids to take care placing their nature finds onto the card and have fun arranging it all in interesting ways. Check out this blog post for some serious inspiration.
Cake Case Flowers
Cupcake/fairy cake cases are an amazing multi-use craft item. For this activity you just need the cake cases, plain ones are great as they can be decorated with crayons or whatever you have to hand, paper or card to stick them to and a glue stick, or tape. You simply take the case and glue the base. You can either stick it down 'right way up' so the flower is more 3D (although this looks good its slightly harder to decorate) or glue the whole thing and crush it down onto the page- fun for the kids too and you get a great textured collage effect. Then you can get to work decorating the flower- if you have any stickers, paint or glitter then great but if not crayon or pen looks lovely as well. For the stem you can use a pipe cleaner or lolly stick, or again stick to drawing- the main event is patting down the cupcake cases. These look great all layered up so make a whole bunch!
Weaving With Paper
This activity is great for concentration and fine motor skills, and you create a lovely piece of art along the way. You will need a few pieces of paper, and some scissors. Depending on your child's age/confidence they could help cut the pieces but this is a great activity to have set up already and the kids can just put it together. You simply fold your first piece of paper in half and make evenly spaced cuts all the way along, leaving a few centimetres at either end so you don't cut through the whole thing. Then you will need to cut up lots of strips of paper for the kids to weave through. This video shows the method, it is so easy and such a satisfying task for little hands. This could be done with lots of different colours- or it can also simply be a fun hands-on activity so if you only have newspaper or magazines to hand that also works really well. You could also make different shapes for your 'loom' such as a heart or a circle to be woven into.
Whatever kind of paper you have available at home, newspaper, magazine, printer paper or maybe even some colourful craft paper, you will definitely be able to make one of these origami items that will be sure to keep the kids entertained. You could make the fold lines for these yourself then unfold and re-do together, or let the kids decorate the paper themselves then you whip up the shapes- or you can make and the kids can take them off to play! You may already know how to make a paper aeroplane but just in case, check out this video for one that is super streamlined and easy to throw, have a competition to see who's will fly the furthest. This video will show you how to make a cute little origami boat, that really floats. Set up a little water play station or simply fill the bath or sink, and make a whole fleet.
This is the ultimate anything goes, at home craft activity. Have a look through your recycling and let the imaginations run wild! The CBeebies show 'Junk Rescue' is amazing for inspiration, check out their page here to have a look for some great ideas. Some of the ones we love are these amazing ways to use your old milk cartons, some fantastic ideas for cereal boxes and some serious newspaper up-cycles here!
For this, you will need paper, felt tip pens and a spray bottle of water. Time for some abstract art! This is so fun and creates an amazing tie-dye look. You simply draw shapes all over your piece of paper, wiggly lines, flowers, swirls, a rainbow, anything you like but the more colours the better, then take your spray bottle and spray all over the paper! The colours will spread out and blend. These dry best hung up or laid out on a drying rack, the kind you would use for baking is perfect. Once the paper is dry you could then cut shapes out, perhaps letters to make up the kids names for a cool sign for their bedroom door, or shapes like butterflies. These little artworks look great stuck to the window for the sun to shine through!
For more creative activities to do at home with young children, take a look at all our origami articles here, and for something more active, find out how to bring outdoor play for younger kids indoors here!
Freelance writer Amy lives in Hampshire with her 3 year old daughter, who is a super energetic, chatty child, leading to Amy’s interest in all matters to do with infant and child sleeping patterns and mindfulness for adults and children. Amy’s degree was in fashion design and she loves filling their beautiful home full of interesting textiles, tiles, art, ceramics, and houseplants or, alternatively, pining over them on Instagram. When they aren’t out exploring in the fresh air they can be found cosying up at home, painting, knitting, and dancing!