With the amount of iPads, tablets, and smartphones being used by kids nowadays, the old skill of arts and crafts is not used much anymore, which is a big shame. It's a great way to spend time with your kids, and it really helps them get their creative juices flowing. The great thing is that it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, you can use things that have been lying around the house to make some great items for your kids to play with! Here are a couple of things
Pipe Cleaner Crowns
No doubt your daughter is still going on about Frozen, so why not get her involved in making her own crown so she can be her own Queen Elsa!
You will need: pipe cleaners, a hairband, gems, pom poms of different sizes, scissors, and hot glue, you may need to invest in some cordless glue guns if you plan on making many more crowns!
- To make your base, wrap the pipe cleaners around the hairband. If you want to get that glitzy effects use metallic pipe cleaners.
- Fold the pipe cleaners in half, and then bend another pipe cleaner into a U-shape.
- Wrap the ends of those pipe cleaners around the hairband at the top of the triangles.
- Glue on the pom poms and glue on the gems at the bottom of the triangles.
A very project for the kids and yourself! Building a kite takes a lot of effort, but once you see the look on your kids’ faces when the kite takes off, it will be worth it!
You need the following:
Between 2 and 3 mm wide basket weaving reed (which you can get from general art supplies stores)
String (strong and very thin preferably)
Carpet tape (double-sided)
A sheet of coloured vinyl which has a sticky back
15 cm sized wooden dowel (which has to be narrow enough to fit through your spool centre)
- Measure and cut your reed. You use the reeds to form the frame of the kite and tie the reeds together with string. One end should form an X shape, and the other end should form a bend.
- Place the tablecloth down on a flat surface and place the frame on top of the table cloth, using a marker to trace around the frame, but leaving a border on all sides of roughly two and a half cm.
- Remove the frame and then cut it out.
- Apply tape to the tablecloth along the border, but just outside of the frame, you then fold the plastic around the reeds and press them together.
- Using the vinyl, cut out vinyl shapes, such as eyes or stripes. Using the leftover tablecloth cut it into strips and tape to the body to make a tail.
- On the middle reed, tie a piece of string and place the dowel through the spool.
Cardboard Race Car
If making crowns is somewhat girly for your son, then try and get them interested in making something they can zoom around in!
You will need: a large rectangular box, duct tape, hot glue, and paint paper or coloured tape for personalisation after building the car.
- To make the body remove the top and the bottom flaps, as well as one of the short sides of the box and put these five pieces to one side.
- To fashion the shape, cut out a car silhouette on both of the long sides of the box, with the open end at the front.
- Make the hood by using duct tape. Join two reverse flaps together and then shape this piece over the front part of the car. This is your hood, use hot glue to keep it in place.
- To make the spoiler, cut a rectangle from the back of your car approximately 10 cm wide.
- To make straps to go over your kids shoulders layout two 1 metre lengths of duct tape with the sticky sides inwards. Do the same again to make another strap.
- Using tape for hot glue attach each strap to the insides of the car at the back, and with your child in the car bring the straps over their shoulders, and then tape to the inside of the front of the car.
- You can then decorate the car as you would like by cutting out circles from the leftover bits of cardboard to make wheels, and using anything like paper, coloured tape, or paint to give your car a personalised design.
A very enjoyable and simple craft that the kids can use outside with the kite!
You will need: paper, scissors, a glue stick, tape, needle nose pliers, pins (either ball or map pins), seed beads, a ruler, pencils (unsharpened ones) or cookie pop sticks.
- Choose some patterned or coloured paper and cut out two squares of paper of an equal size. Glue them together, making sure the colour or pattern side is facing out. The bigger you make the square, the bigger the pinwheel will be.
- Fold the square in half, going diagonally so the two tips meet each other. Unfold these, and do the same to the other half of the square. Unfold them again.
- Using the scissors, cut along the creases. Cut from the corner to around ¾ of the way in. Fold in all of the other points to the centre of the square and push a pin through the centre point.
- Push in a seed bead on the pin, on the back of the pinwheel. Push it into the stick (use a push pin to fashion a hole in the sticks or use the soft eraser point at the end of the pencil, whichever you decide to use).
- Alter the end of the pin to let the pinwheel spin, and using the pliers, bend the pin back.
Here are some ideas to get your kids into the arts and crafts mindset. The more we can get younger kids away from tech and onto being creative, it will set them up for a more resourceful childhood.