Creative Crafts To Keep Children Occupied Without Emptying Your Wallet
By Dan Gilbert;
Submitted on behalf of Primrose Schools; providing
preschool students with a balanced learning curriculum helping them grow mentally, physically and socially.
The boredom bug can strike at any time. Rainy days can create the cries of having nothing to do, as well as weather that is simply too cold or too hot to really enjoy. It’s important for parents to have something planned for those inevitable days when the children are looking for entertainment that doesn’t involve sports, bike rides and other outdoor activities.
In addition to providing children with the entertainment that will keep them happy and drive away the complaints of boredom, providing them with activities will also stimulate their imagination, encourage learning and boost their self-esteem. While activities like fort-building and telling stories can help pass the time, they don’t leave your kids with something they can proudly show their grandparents. Arts and crafts are entertaining, educational and will leave your children with a fantastic sense of pride.
Letting your child be artistic and creative doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here are ten ideas for arts and crafts that can be done throughout the year to help your children learn and grow while having fun.
1. Holiday Cards – Give your children some colored construction paper; show them how to fold it into different sizes for cards. Let their little imaginations run wild as they cut various shapes and sizes to decorate the card. They can make cards for their classmates, their friends or their family. Pick up some inexpensive stickers for added decorations. Paper doilies are an affordable way to add some delicate lace to the cards. This activity is so enjoyable that the kids could easily spend an afternoon on it, and it won’t put a dent in your wallet.
2. Sugar Cookies – They aren’t just for the winter holidays. Cookie cutters are available for every holiday and you can also make cookies in animal shapes. Set the kids up around the table with their rolling pins and cookie cutters. If they’re too little to roll out the dough right, you can do that step for them. Some kids prefer to treat the dough like clay, rolling it into snakes and other critters. Remember that encouraging creativity is part of the process and let them have fun with it.
3. Rope – Older kids also get bored, and they are always looking for something that has the cool factor. Buy some Para cord and then let your kids learn how to make some cool knots. Directions can be found online for doing the half hitch, two-hitch, slipknot and rescue knot. Learn how to make a patrol rope, bottle holder or cool survival bracelet and then let your pre-teen fill a Saturday afternoon making amazing and useful things with rope.
4. Puppet Show – Pull out some old socks, buttons, glue and markers to let your kids make some puppets. Let them use up old skeins of yarn for hair and add uncooked macaroni for eyes or mouth. When the puppets are crafted, encourage them to make and put on a puppet show for you.
5. Bird Feeders – Some arts and crafts are meant to be shared with nature. Take a pinecone, roll it in peanut butter and drop it in a bag of birdseed. Tie a ribbon around the pinecone and you have an easy bird feeder that will draw colorful songbirds to your window.
6. Water Scope – All you need for this warm weather project is an empty potato chip can, a glass jar and some duct tape. Cut the end off the chip can and put it over or in the glass jar. Tape the two together and then visit a stream. The kids can put the glass jar in the stream and then watch the water critters through the chip can.
7. Travel Memory Box – A cardboard box with a lid and imagination are the primary requirements for this craft. Ideal for making before a road trip, the box can be decorated with stickers, personal designs and postcards. Your child can then take it on the trip to gather treasures they find along the way like maps, new postcards, shells and even small rocks.
8. Painted Christmas Ornaments – Clear glass balls and acrylic paint will make beautiful ornaments that you can enjoy year after year. Skip the brushes because the paint will not be painted on the outside of the glass balls. Carefully remove the hangar, exposing the opening for the glass ball. Pour in a small amount of the paint and swirl it around for a permanent, awesome design.
9. Spyglasses – There’s no easier craft than this one. Use an empty paper towel holder and tape plastic wrap over the end. Your child can dress it up with crayons and markers before heading outside to look for enemy ships on the horizon.
10. Paper Airplanes – Show your child how you made paper airplanes when you were little. Encourage them to make their own. Have contests to see if one design will fly farther than another.
There are excellent crafts that are affordable, enjoyable and certain to please the entire family. Let the kids be imaginative and remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect. The goal is to encourage their imaginations, help them learn and watch them grow.
I love all of these ideas. We will definitely be trying these out in the near future. Thank you so much, Dan!