It is the season to be happy! Spring has sprung (I’ve been waiting a long time to say that) and there is that indefinable something in the air that makes you feel wonderfully alive. Still, it is also the season to be soggy as the spring rains tumble out of the sky and keep kids cooped up indoors.
One really good solution to stopping the sound of boredom in its tracks is to make things. No matter how old your kids are, making things can get them involved, make them laugh and stop them from feeling cooped up. There are plenty of ways that you can do this for free, or for at least only a teeny investment of your funds.
Raiding The Recycling
Yes, you’re very good for recycling all your bits and pieces properly and one day this will be rewarded in a shiny planet for your kids to inherit. But, for now, feel smug about the fact that you now have a treasure trove of awesome things that can be made into exciting craft projects.
Tin cans, cardboard, plastic bottles, yoghurt pots, toilet rolls and shoe boxes are crafting gold. Hunt through your sewing kit and nab tatty old buttons and forgotten slices of fabric too. These will come in handy. Then see if you can scrape together as many crayons, pencils, paints and markers as you can. Check the sofa...
You need: Tin foil, plastic bottles, yoghurt cups, straws, stickers (optional), cardboard, sticky tape and a toilet roll.
Start: Stick the plastic bottles and cups to one another to create a towering rocket body. Add the yoghurt cups to the base to stabilise it and to act as the thrusters. Stick the toilet roll on top of the bottle and stick a straw inside it.
Once your basic structure has been completed, wrap it in tinfoil and use the tape to seal off the ends. Then take your cardboard (or stickers) and cut them into circles for the windows or door shapes for the entrances. Colour them in and stick them on the rocket. Handing them a packet of stickers also works a charm – they get completely immersed in it and I’m still finding stickers in the weirdest places.
Reading the News
Newspaper is about to become your dearest friend. Remember that pile of Sunday papers you have beside your bed? You know, the papers you bought in a vain attempt to recapture the days of lying in bed and catching up on the news? Well they are going to be converted into the best stuff in the universe – paper mache.
Paper Mache Recipe:
You need: Newspaper, water, salt, bin bags and glue.
Start: Tear the 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 the newspaper and leave it to soak overnight.
If you’re of the impatient ilk, consider starting it at 7am and then returning to it at 4pm – the dreaded hour before supper but when everybody is getting crotchety – 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 such as the mask pictured here on the left.
There are some incredible craft ideas online and there are tons of sites that offer up brilliant ideas. One such site, All Free Crafts.com even has a range of craft products inspired by nature. You can transform an old CD into a turtle, make an ant farm, learn twig weaving and make pom pom caterpillars.
If that doesn’t float your boat then what about downloading craft ideas and colouring sheets that only need paper and colouring equipment? Investing in things like paints and crayons is well worth the cost and you can find really good discount deals online and through our sister site HotUKDeals.
Make A Magnifying Glass
You need: A bowl, some water and some gloves
Start: Stick a bowl of water into your freezer and wait until it’s completely frozen. Tap the ice out of the bowl carefully and use this exciting magnifying glass to peruse papers, cracks in the floor and other such magnificent mysteries. The gloves are for cold-sensitive little hands. (Source)