Rainy afternoons can be hard on everyone. The next time you’re cooped up with the kids, don’t get cranky, get crafty! Craft projects are a great way for your kids to unleash some creative energy, and if you play your cards right you might even end up with something worth saving for years. Try one of these crafts for a fun, and functional project.
Publish a Book
While you may prefer leather bound editions, kids love to make like the grownups and write their own books. Set out some lined paper and help the little ones form their letters. When you have finished the story, add a few illustrations. Ready to publish? Punch holes in the side of the pages, tie with some pretty ribbon and viola, a new bestseller! (Hint: asking your kids to autograph it for you during a “book signing event” can also be fun for the whole family.) For this literary lesson, make sure you have:
- Lined paper.
- Crayons, coloured pencils or markers.
- Hole punch.
Paint a Herb Pot
Children love to watch things grow, and whether you have a huge garden or a simple window box, everyone has room for a few herb pots. Simply wash out a few old tin cans, poke holes in the bottom with a screwdriver, and let your kids loose to paint their chosen designs. When the cans have dried, spread small pebbles across the bottoms, fill with soil and plant the herbs. Keep the pots on the windowsill to watch them grow! To test your green thumb, stock up on:
- Several tin cans, washed and with all jagged edges smoothed (by an adult).
- A small screwdriver for adult use only.
- Acrylic craft paints.
- Stencils, if desired.
- Stickers/glitter/ribbons/glue, if desired.
- Acrylic sealant spray.
- Small rocks for the inside of each can.
- Potting soil.
- Herbs for planting.
Little girls will love the chance to create their own necklace. For the very young, lay out some dry penne pasta, paints and string. Let your child paint the pasta pieces, and when they are dry string them into a necklace. An instant classic! For older children, set out some beading wire, a bag of beads and let them get to it. You’ll need to have on hand:
- String or beading wire. Dental floss could also work in a pinch.
- Dry pasta.
- Multicoloured beads.
- A mirror for modelling the fantastic new necklaces!
If your kitchen is looking a little bare, liven it up with a few homemade magnets! Simply allow your children to create a small (button-sized) design on a piece of poster board, attach it to a clothespin and affix a small magnetic strip across the back. You wouldn’t find better at the stops! Give your little designers free reign with:
- Several wooden clothespins.
- Paint for the pins.
- Poster board.
- Magnetic strips.
Put Together a Time Capsule
Your kids may laugh at your old childhood toys, but remind them that in the future Bob the Builder could seem a little bewildering too! Help them put together a time capsule packed with small treasures for “future generations” to find. Pile these items into a small steel or wooden box, find the perfect burial ground and hold a special ceremony for the interment. Then, help your children make a treasure map complete with “X marks the spot” in case they want to peak in a year or so! To put together your own time capsule, gather:
- Small items that your children will not miss if unseen for a while.
- A small steel or wooden box.
- Duct tape to make sure everything stays safe and dry inside the container.
- Paints, stickers or markers to decorate the box as desired.
- Pens and paper for making the treasure map.
- Small shovels for digging the perfect hole in which to bury the time capsule.
As always, adult supervision is advised for all of these projects. Enjoy!
More About Scrap Booking
If you’re looking for more ideas on creating a family scrap book, including stories, themes, genealogical information and friends, then take a look at Family Scrap Books on the Explore Writing website.