It’s the summer holidays and you are probably having moments where you want to chew on the sofa as the kids shout about how bored they are and you carry on trying to juggle work and life and all the other things that come with being a parent. Well, here are some great crafting ideas for those times when you can sit back and relax with the kids and just have fun.
We like the recycling. It lets us make rockets and lamps and even weird household decorations. Don’t believe me? I recently read a magazine that asked me to save all of my large milk containers, the ones with handles, and then use the plastic to create the most extraordinary clock. Just click here to see how to do it and enjoy making something utterly unusual with the kids.
You can also grab a pile of cardboard tubes from toilet paper and hand towels along with plastic bottles, yoghurt cups, straws, cardboard and tin foil. Some of those items are not necessarily in the recycling, of course, but you can improvise as you go along. Time to make a toilet paper rocket!
Stick the plastic bottles and cups to one another vertically to create a huge rocket. We went as high as my tot. At the yoghurt cups to the base to stabilise it and to be your rocket thrusters and then wrap your entire creation in tin foil. We cut the cardboard into shapes for the doors and windows and then put stickers all over it for fun. It’s brilliant and it doesn’t matter how it looks because the little kids will love it.
Newspaper makes paper mache. That’s it’s entire job because you, like me, probably never get to lie in bed on a Sunday morning and read the paper anymore. For years we bought the paper in the vain hope that we could curl up and read the paper and drink coffee. We are still waiting, but we’ve cut the paper out of the routine. SO what did we do with all that paper?
We made things out of it using the basic paper mache recipe and having a bit of fun. Start out by tearing your newspaper into tiny pieces and put these into a large bowl. Kids will love doing this but it’s about to get messy so lay down those bin bags so you can scoop it all up quickly when you’re done. Once you’ve finished tearing your newspaper, add in just enough hot water to completely cover it and leave it to soak overnight.
If you are impatient start at 7am and then returning to it at 4pm – the dreaded hour before supper but when everybody is getting irritable – to knead with your fingers. Play with it as much as you can until it starts to look like porridge and is as lump free as you can get it. If you’re having a problem with lumps then add a bit more water and leave it for longer.
When you’ve finished with your messy playing and squeezing, add two to three tablespoons of salt. Mix it all up again, squeeze out the excess water and add a few tablespoons of glue. Store it by putting it in an air tight container in the fridge. Next, get online and find any one of thousands of guides to making paper mache objects.
I am constantly amazed at how creative other people can be, their ideas are nothing short of genius. Sites with cool and funky creative ideas abound and all you need to do is put them into action. Visit any one of the sites I have found on this link to enjoy hours of play with the kids. Who knows, you may even be able to put some of them up around the house as decoration!
The most important thing with most crafts, especially with the younger kids, is to have fun and not worry when things don’t go according to plan. You never know what you might end up with instead of the original creation and it could be even better. I also recommend parents visit the Ideas site regularly as they have some astonishingly good ideas in there.