I love making things with my kids, whether it's drawing pictures or making craft items. We always have ideas for this, so I'm going to share a few of our successes here.
1. Art Trading Cards.
While not strictly a craft, they can be a lot of fun for kids to do. All you need is some blank cardstock, cut into pieces the same size as business cards (2"x3.5") and something to colour them with. You can, of course, use blank business cards. I like the cardstock, because it's less expensive, the kids can help cut it up after I put the guidelines on it, and we can get it in any colour we want.
With the art cards, kids can draw whatever they want on them, then trade them with each other. This has been a hit at birthday parties in the past!
2. Popsicle Stick Stars
This is something that my daughter came up with on her own. She took some popsicle sticks and placed them into the shape of a star, then decorated the start with sparkles and put her picture behind it. Really simple! The stars could also be painted or have other decorations added.
3. Decorative Clothing
Yes, that seems different. My daughter picked a pair of my son's old shoes that were too small on him and decided that she could wear them if they looked more girly. So we took out the paints and she grabbed her sparkles and decorated them. She did all the work herself and came up with a fantastic pair of sparkle shoes! This could be done with a plain T-shirt or other piece of clothing as well. And this way the kids get to wear something that they said they made themselves.
4. Papier Mâché
Paper Mâché is pretty common and easy to do. All that's need is some flour, water, newspaper, some kind of frame for whatever it is you want to make (balloons are common), and a lot of tolerance for mess. Mix the flour and water in a big bowl until you get it about the consistency of porridge, tear the newspaper into strips, and blow up a balloon. Then take the paper strips, run them through the flur mixture, and paste them all over the balloon. This is the basic shape. You can then add clumps of paper maché to make body parts, such as eyes, nose, ears. Or get creative and see what you can do! Use the balloon as a body and add a head and limbs - maybe make an animal. Once dried, the paper mâché model can be painted and will last for years.
5. Paper Models
Not just for girls! We use construction paper and cardstock for this. The cardstock makes the bodies, and the construction paper can make custom clothing. You can even take pictures out of magazines, cut them out, and glue them to the cardstock to make paper models. Sometimes we can make these into murals or collages, so the kids get to make their own pieces of cut-out artwork.
Make sure you allow enough time for each project. Art Cards are relatively quick, whereas papier mâché or paper models can last a couple of hours or more, depending on your kid's interest level and your patience. Then it becomes tonnes of fun, and everyone has something to keep after each project.
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