With summer now a distant memory, darker evenings and rainy days can make you wonder how you’re going to keep your little monsters entertained. But, fear not! there’s a whole host of fantastic craft projects just waiting to be discovered online. Navigating through the endless options can be slightly overwhelming even for the seasoned crafter, so here are my top crafting finds to keep everyone happy and encourage young creative minds to explore and learn new skills:
This apple print paper from redtedart.com shows how a simple print can be transformed into unique wrapping paper for your presents. Apples are cut in half and then dipped into poster paint and pressed flat onto the printing area. Make sure you cover your work surface and wear old clothes as this can be a messy activity, but great fun too! You can use other items to create interesting prints, such as string, bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard, why not experiment with different patterns and textures?
Paper Plate Dinosaur
Paper plates can be made into a whole variety of quirky animal craft projects: one of my favourites is this scaly dinosaur project from crayonboxchronicles.com. Two paper plates are cut into the body, neck, tail and leg shapes, then the dinosaur is assembled, painted and decorated with lentils. I love the idea of adding a scaly texture as kids will enjoy the sensory experience.
This leaf garland project from alisaburke.blogspot.co.uk is a brilliant group activity for children and creates a piece of art that will also look beautiful in your home. Kids will enjoy foraging for different colours and shapes of leaf, and decorating them is simply achieved with a brush and some paint. Once dry, the leaves are glued onto a length of string to display them and create a stunning garland. Leaves are also great for decorating paper crowns, collages and creating leaf people pictures.
Building your own puppet theatre is a great project for children to do together. You can make a small theatre that fits onto a table top like the one above from ikatbag.com, or a huge floor standing version from a refrigerator box. The curtains for your theatre can be made from old sheets, t-shirts or even plastic carrier bags. Cardboard can be coloured with felt tips, paint or tissue paper and PVA glue. You can also make a “next performance” clock from cardboard or paper. The two clock hands can be held in place with a metal split pin; they are usually available from your local stationery supply shop.
Now that you have your very own theatre, you should try making your own puppets so you can put on a show. Sock puppets are a great way to learn sewing skills and encourage role play. This fantastic project from Makezine.com repurposes an old musical greeting card to make a “talking” puppet. You don’t need a long list of materials; just a sock, greetings card, buttons, scrap felt and hot melt adhesives or a needle and thread.