From time-to-time, those days come around when you’re stuck inside with the kids and have no choice but to figure out some way to keep them from succumbing to boredom. Or at least keep them from causing trouble and messes. One of the best methods I’ve discovered, that isn’t just plonking them down in front of a screen and finding a bottle of wine, is the tried-and-tested route of arts & crafts.
The therapeutic benefits of working with your hands are well documented, but making something together with your kids can be a meaningful and profound experience on top of that. This can not only give you some great memories to relive together when they grow up, but it can also help teach your children the value of working with their hands to make something permanent.
But, I hear you ask, what projects should we do? Well, I’ve put together a few ideas here which rarely need more than pens, some paper, scissors, glue, cardboard and maybe a printer (filled with paper & ink, of course!). Once you’ve got your toolkit sorted, it’s time to start crafting!
I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t like dressing up in an awesome costume and playing pretend, let alone a kid. I’m pretty certain that I had several dinosaur costumes when I was a kid, but your child might have their own obsession which they would love to dress-up as: be it robots, princesses, or anime characters. The first step to making a costume is sitting down with your kid and trying to figure out what outfit they’d like. Then, figure out what pieces of card and paper you can use to turn that dream into a reality!
Any child can draw the lines needed to mark out parts of the costume, but we obviously recommend that any adults supervise any scissor time. With a few splashes of colour and the right shape, almost any costume can be replicated at home, and I know that you can come up with some fantastic creations if you put your mind to it!
This craft can be recreated with almost any material, from foam to felt, and is another which encourages play as well as creativity. Once you’ve made your puppets you can make them play football, or perhaps you can even put on a mini-performance.
Here’s how it works: using a printed template (which you can easily find online, but make sure you have the supplies to print them out), everybody begins with a blank puppet to colour in and decorate to their heart’s content. Once the puppets are ready, go wherever your little ones’ imaginations take you: a Champions’ League semi-final, a grand space-opera, or a rescue mission to a deserted island. Who knows?
Tissue Paper Creations
All you need for this final craft is a lot of tissue/crepe paper, some glue and some card to stick the tissue to.
You can commission a tissue paper portrait from your kids or agree on something to recreate together, such as their favourite fictional character. Once you’ve got a vision in mind, simply tear, scrunch and stick until you bring it to life together! This one can’t be beaten for its simplicity, making it ideal for younger children.
So there you have some quick suggestions for fun projects that can be tackled together, and remember: you don’t have to pick just one!