We know that sometimes it can be hard to think of fun activities for the kids, especially as the weather cools down a bit and they’re stuck roaming the great indoors.
So, we’ve come up with five activities (with varying amounts of prep time) that will get the right side of their brains ticking over and keep their hands busy at work. You can either join in or put the eldest in charge and head off to the other room to recharge. And here they are (feel free to share any ideas you have in the comments below):
Think back to all the amazing cartoons you used to watch as a kid – we’re sure there’s a few in there that you haven’t thought about in a while – shows that the kids definitely wouldn’t have seen. Got them? Okay, so the game is: you describe cartoon characters from when you were a kid to your kids and and they draw them based off what you say.
This is fun for you all to do together and it brings back fond memories of Bananaman, Danger Mouse, Thundercats, Metal Mickey, Captain Planet or whoever else you can think of. This is your chance to teach the next generation about quality cartoons!
Metal Mickey as interpreted by someone who has never seen Metal Mickey.
Believe it or not, one of the best ways to learn how to draw is to copy; when it comes to your kids, them copying their favourite characters is a step down the road to being better at drawing. Now, when you copy a picture that is upside-down, you are more likely to get it closer to the original. Not only that, but it gets your brain thinking about drawing in a different way.
When the picture you’re trying to recreate is upside down, you use the right side of your brain, which thinks of lines, space and shading instead of the picture as a whole. Your brain can’t tell what it is, so it doesn’t go on auto-pilot and start drawing what it thinks should be there (ie. this is what a face is “supposed” to look like).
Looks like Mr. Squiggle was on to something…
There are so many tutorials and guides online, there’s something for every skill level and all you need is a few bits of paper!
Here’s a good starter:
Gotta love puppets! Kids are always going to love playing with them and, even more than that, making them. Puppets are also great for education and development; there’s a reason they’ve been around since forever. It allows kids to use their imagination, encourages creative play and are an interactive way to introduce narrative to kids who maybe don’t love reading yet. They can also be a great way to bring shy kids out of their shell a bit, allowing them to play through the characters they create.
Now, making the puppets…you can’t go past a good sock puppet.
What you will need:
Socks (which can be found HERE or fished out of the bottom of the clothes basket where all the rogue socks go to hide)
Glue (most craft glues are fine to use on fabric)
Googly eyes (buttons also work as eyes)
Needle and thread
Anything else you can find for decoration (felt, fabric off cuts, yarn or string for hair)
How to do it:
1. Get the kids to place the bits and pieces where they want them.
2. Sew down anything that can’t be glued (buttons/hair) for them then let them loose with the glue.
Or they could try something a bit more advanced…
Flying kites is a perfect activity for the windier months, and even better than that is getting your kids to make their very own kite to fly! For something a bit sturdier you can try making them out of Tyvek, which is a thin tarp-like material.
What you will need:
Tyvek (can be ordered online or if you have tradie connections you might be able to get off cuts)
Two wooden dowel rods (found at your local craft or hardware shop)
Paint (acrylic works fine)
How to do it:
1. Trace out a basic kite shape on the Tyvek, don’t cut it out yet though, then let the kids go nuts with the paints.
2. As you wait for it to dry prepare the rods – one needs to be shorter than the other – in a basic cross shape.
3. Tie the string firmly around where the two rods meet and tape it and the rods to the back of the Tyvek.
3. Fold the excess material over the back and tape it down – this can then be painted.
4. Use the off cut from the shorter dowel rod as the handle – tie the string firmly and then wind the excess around it.
What about you? Any favourite creative activities for kids?