By Fredrica Syren:
We have spent all summer pretty much outdoors and with friends, so the kids have been enjoying lots of play and have needed very little help and very few ideas. But now fall is here, so we have more time at home. They seem to crave for me to participate in arts and crafts with them. I have found that entertaining my children with crafts does not mean a whole lot of planning or even lots of supplies. Sometimes it’s simply just baking something together or drawing something together.
Children’s arts and crafts do not have to be very expensive, and it might just require some creative thinking. My children are very easy going about this, so sometimes I think it’s more about doing something with me and/or with their siblings. As well, I think they really dig making things from scratch. In general, my rule is that I like arts and crafts that do not require too much set up because the children will get impatient waiting. I also like things that are quick to clean up.
Homemade Soap Bubbles
- 6 cups of water
- 2 cups of Dawn dish soap
- 3/4 cup corn syrup
Slowly combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Let sit for at least an hour, but overnight is better.
Salt Dough — My mom used to make this for me and I have made it for my kids. It’s perfect because it does not take long to whip up and usually you have the ingredients at home already. The best part is that kids usually can entertain themselves with it for a while and, with a little imagination and cookie cutters, create all kinds of fun things.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup salt
- ½ cup water
- 1 Tbsp. oil (canola, olive or coconut)
Mix and blend until you have a dough.
Colored Epsom Salts — I don’t know how or from whom I learned this, but my daughter particularly loves this craft and has so much fun with it. Basically, you need a spoon, a glass jar, Epsom salts and food coloring. Blend the salts with a few drops of food coloring. You want to make a few different colors so the
child can mix them. Place each colored salt into different bowls, and give the artist a spoon to pour salt mixes into a glass jar and make fun color patterns.
Toilet Roll Bird Feeder
Now here is something fun to recycle — old toilet paper tubes — and I know we all have those!
- Peanut butter
- Toilet paper or paper towel tube
- Bird seed
Coat the toilet paper tube with peanut butter. Place birdseed on a plate and roll each roll in it until there is birdseed all around. Slide the roll onto a tree branch or, if you want to, just tie a string around it and hang it from a branch instead.
Most of all have spices at home which can be made in paint that has the added twist of fun smells. Besides pain I have also used matcha tea powder, blueberry powder and beet powder to make more fun colors and smells.