The summer holidays are here, and that can mean weeks of trying to meet cries of “I’m bored!” with inspired suggestions. But the best ideas don’t have to be expensive, and don’t take hours of preparation – all you really need is some felt, fabric, card and their imagination. We asked two designers on Folksy.com who specialise in crafts for kids to share their super simple tips for unplugging children from screens and getting them crafting.
Ruth Bagnall, A is for Alice
Fancy keeping the kids entertained for the afternoon using some cheap and cheerful craft items and a sprinkling of imagination? Why not get them to design and make their own costume accessories? How about a pirate’s eye patch to sail the seven seas of the paddling pool? Or a superhero mask to help save the world, one garden at a time? Or perhaps a golden crown for that royal parade round the park? Here’s how…
Using thin card as a base (an empty cereal box is perfect), cut out the shape of a mask, crown, eye patch or anything else that takes their fancy. (Check out Pinterest for free downloadable templates.)
Get creative with stickers, pens, feathers, glitter… you name it! Raid the craft box, the recycling bin or the sewing basket for interesting things and let their imagination go wild!
To finish, use a skewer or hole punch at either side, and knot in a length of thin elastic to fit round their head.
Send them off ‘in character’ to perform to their hearts content!
Ruth Oliver, The Make Arcade
To get creative with your kids fill up a ‘craft box’ with all kinds of craft materials that children will be instantly drawn to (ie. loads of glitter!). Discount stores and supermarkets sell little packs of buttons, pipe cleaners, felt squares and stick-on motifs that you can use make your box irresistible.
One of my favourite easy craft project is making sock creatures. It’s super simple to make a sock snake. Just take an odd sock, stuff it with scrunched-up paper, and add googly eyes (a favourite in our house) and a paper tongue. Older children can have a go with a needle and thread and sew on buttons or tails too.
Another great and low-cost project is to get them making their own bunting, which they can use to decorate bedrooms, the garden, tree houses and even campsites. Here’s a simple ‘no sew’ method:
- Cut out fabric or paper triangles using a template.
- Decorate the triangles, or leave them plain.
- Use a hole punch to make a hole in the two top corners.
- Thread the triangles on to a long piece of string.
- That’s it, you’re done and ready to decorate!
Remember that children don’t have the same ideas of perfection when it comes to creating projects and aren’t bothered if what they make isn’t an accurate representation of what it’s supposed to be. So just let them get stuck in and enjoy being creative!