So it's that time of year again... school's out for summer. Six weeks of the little ones 24/7. I'm sorry if reading that last sentence is giving you heart palpitations. Don't worry you're not alone, it's a scary prospect for all parents. You might be the type that has planned each week meticulously, football club this week, gymnastics that week or maybe you're the type that likes to go with the flow and take each week as it comes; either way I'm sure you'll appreciate a few little activity ideas.
My eldest, Grayson, is starting school this September so we haven't had to plan around the summer holidays just yet, that joy awaits us next summer! However he's only in nursery three days a week so we still have four days of the week when we need to keep him out of trouble.
As you may have seen previously on my blog I do love doing some craft activities with my two, for example making fruit and veg print monsters.
Apart from being a great way to kill time, my two always love doing craft activities. Not only are they fun to do, they are also great for improving children's dexterity and hand to eye co-ordination plus creating their very own masterpiece gives them so much confidence in their own abilities.
So with that in mind I've hand picked 5 activities from across the internet that are easily achievable, even for a complete craft novice, but yet produce great results that kids will proudly display for years to come (if you're anything like me and find it almost impossible to part with anything that they've made!)
OMG how cute are these guys? Since real cacti and children's hands don't mix very well this is a great alternative (They are also easier to look after). I mean what kids wouldn't want a pet cactus rock, I know I would have loved one! The link above takes you to a great tutorial from 'The Best Ideas for Kids'. This activity requires only a few materials. If you don't have any mini terracotta pots to hand then you could make your own by painting little yogurt pots or anything similar. Also, going out into the garden/park/beach to choose the rocks beforehand can make this activity fill an entire day if you want it to. You can thank me later for that later!
Psychedelic and colourful, you may think it only belongs in the 60s but like all good fashion trends it's come back around and in 2021 tie dye has returned to the fashion runways. So help your fashion conscious kids stay ahead of the pack and have some crafty fun at the same time. The link above takes you to 'The Sewcial Circle', a lovely indie website run by the amazing Katie. The tie dye kits she sells come with everything you need, gloves, rubber bands and full instructions for achieving the different patterns. You just need some white T-shirts, jeans or even canvas shoes and you're good to go!
Are the grandparents, or other family or friends, going to be helping you out with child care over the holidays? Maybe they have been crazy enough to volunteer to take the kids off your hands for a few days! If so then lucky you, and I'm sure you'll want to thank them profusely (after all you'll want them to offer again!). Made by yours truly, this set of hand illustrated colour in thank you cards is a simple but perfect crafty activity for your kids. We've given them to lots of family members to thank them for birthday presents, putting us up for the night and many other reasons and they've always gone down really well. You just can't beat that personal touch, hit the link above to see my two, hard at work with these cards.
Chances are you'll be lucky enough to visit a beach over the holidays and this is a winner of an activity to have in mind while you're there. If you tell them about this activity beforehand I can guarantee they will spend hours hunting down the very best shells on the beach to bring home. This tutorial from 'One Little Project' is super cool but it works just as well without the glitter. The simplest way to do it is buy some cheap wooden picture frames but if you're felling really crafty you could make simple frames from balsa or other wood. The website is American and so if like me you are wondering what the hell 'Mod Podge' is on the list of things needed it's basically just PVC glue.
These beautifully put together art boxes from Make and Wonder, an indie website run by the fabulous Nicola, aim to encourage children to be curious and experience new ideas all whilst learning through play. Each contains 4 cards detailing the chosen projects and are sent to you along with any art materials that are needed to complete them. There are also helpful tips included for parents so their children can get the most benefit possible from the boxes. They can be bought individually or as a monthly subscription. We get these boxes every month and Grayson can't wait to get started every time the next one drops through the letterbox.
I hope that there's something in there that you think you might give a go this summer. My top tip for enjoyable kid's crafting activities is to set your expectations low, then whatever the result you're be pleasantly surprised! Oh, and also check you have everything you need before you start. There's nothing worse than disappointed children when you realised you don't have the key material/tool to finish the project!
As always if you give any of these activities a go please tag me in any pictures you upload to social as I'd love to see what you make.
Lots of love,