Friday, 25 February 2011

Crafty ideas for children (or grown ups!)

We are on the last day of our schools half term, and in true UK fashion it has rained pretty much all week.  So we have had to be inventive with things to do to keep the children occupied.

Yes, we have computer games and DS games, but thankfully both my children also love arts and crafts.  In fact, no spare cardboard box is safe in our house - it is either made into a bed for a teddy or a castle for the Gormitis!

I thought I would share some of our ideas and activities for all those struggling parents out there!  Or even to keep us grown ups occupied too ;-)

Floor pictures - my eldest likes to make huge 3D pictures on the living room floor using scarves, ribbons, hats, gloves, necklaces, string, and even pots and pans!   It keeps her occupied for ages creating different pictures, isn't messy and takes minutes to clear away.

Pebble painting - we have a box of pebbles collected from various beaches, these we use to paint pictures on.  Sometimes animals, sometimes flowers, and sometimes we decide what the spirit of the stone would look like and they become beautiful (or ugly!) faces.

Modelling - we have fimo clay, plasticine and Play Doh.  All these mediums can be created into animals, people and even pretend food!  Daddy doesn't know it yet but for his birthday next week, yesterday both the children created fimo characters for him, one of them looks just like him...;-)

Wands - making wands is fun and easy.   We usually have a stock of 'wand shaped' sticks that we have collected on various woodland walks.  Decorate them with ribbons, string, small stones and crystals and glitter.

Meditations - both my children love to have a meditation before they go to sleep.  Spend some time with them writing their own ideas for meditations, maybe even including pictures that they have drawn of some of the ideas they have.

Altar - make a family altar, or an altar in each of their own bedrooms.  Explain the concept of an altar and then ask them to put things on it that are special to them, see what they come up with.  Decorate it too.

Story telling - sit with your children and read or tell myths and ancient stories to them, then depending on their ages, ask them to write their own mythical story or if they are younger, draw a picture of a mythical being.

Garbage creations - we save yogurt pots, cardboard boxes, cereal packets etc and they then get transformed into all sorts of things!

Button pictures - my grandmother always had a large jar of buttons, as a child I used to spend ages playing with them and making pictures.  I now own that same jar of buttons, and have added my own to it.  Button pictures can be made on a tray and then rearranged, then put back in jar for next time.  Or use the buttons and stick them to a piece of card.  You can also just pick one button and ask each child to create a create/picture/person around it by sticking the button on a piece of paper and the child then draws the images around it.

Plays - we are lucky enough to have a dressing up box, it contains all the various Disney outfits that the children have received along with old bits and pieces of our clothing and nannas old hats!  They use the dressing up box to inspire a story, then they work out a play to act out.

Faery House - using an old shoe box, decorate the inside and out with pretty paper, stickers or paint.  Inside put sparkly beads, shiny coins, pictures of faeries - anything you fancy to attract the fae.  If you have the weather to venture outside you could also make a faery house with twigs, pebbles and foliage.

Collages - collage pictures can be made from all sorts of things - leaves, sticks, shells, petals, dry pasta, dried pulses, have a look through your cupboards and see what you can find.

Vision board - I love vision boards and there is no reason why children can't make their own.  Using pictures cut out from old magazines or printed from the net - explain the concept of the vision board and ask your child to cut out pictures they like, give them a free hand and see what they come up with.

We would love to hear your ideas too!


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