Arts and crafts guide for small children

ARTS & CRAFTS ACTIVITIES TO KEEP YOU BUSY AT HOME

With many families staying at home as much as possible and the summer holidays here, entertaining our children has become an everyday mission.  Arts and crafts play a key role in a child’s development. In addition to growing their creativity, it expands their ability to interact with the world around them. By getting crafty, little ones acquire a new set of communication skills and can find new ways of expressing themselves. That’s why we’ve put together a list of arts and crafts activities for you to do with your little ones.  This summer may look a little different, but it can still be as fun and memorable as ever!

For tiny sculptors

credit: Jamie Harrington, Pixabay

  • Playdough

Ingredients:

– 8 tbsp plain flour

– 60ml warm water

– 1tbsp vegetable oil

– Food colouring of your choice

Steps:

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a separate jug, put the warm water, vegetable oil and a few drops of food colouring. Pour the mixture from the jug into the bowl and let your little ones stir it. Turn it out onto a floured surface and help the kids squish and roll it until smooth. Do not hesitate to add extra food colouring at this stage.

Find the full recipe, a video and some inspiration at 5minutefun.com.

  • Salt dough

Ingredients:

– 2 cups of plain flour

– 1 cup of table salt

– 1 cup of water

– Paints, glitters…

Steps:

Help children to put the cups of flour and salt in a bowl and stir. Next, your little ones can add the cup of water and use their hands to bring the mixture into a dry dough. Once mixed it’s ready to use.  After everyone has had their fun, and the creations are finished, dry the dough in the microwave (1 minute, to check every 10 seconds), oven (4 hours at 110C / 90C fan / 104 gas) or simply leave it to dry in a cool dry place for about 48 hours. When the dough creations are dry and cool they can be painted. This activity is perfect for splitting into two days, one day to make the moulds and the next day to paint them.

Find the full recipe and how to make a handprint ornament at 5minutefun.com.

  • Paper mache

Ingredients:

– Paper, newspaper or magazine ripped into strips

– 1 mug of plain flour

– 1 mug of warm water

– Pinch of salt

– A paintbrush

– Paints

Steps:

Mix together the mug of flour and water in a large bowl. The mixture should be smooth with no lumps. If too stiff, add a little tap water. Add a pinch of salt to stop the paste from going mouldy. When working on the creations, dip paper/magazine/newspaper strips into the paste and use the side of the bowl to get rid of excess. Stick the strips to your shape and use the paintbrush to smooth down the paper. Paper mache takes some time to dry so it’s best to spread the activity over a couple of days: one for pasting, one for painting.

Find the full recipe and how to make ice cream sundae and superhero bracelets  at 5minutefun.com.

  • Bath bombs (for children older than 3 years old)

Ingredients:

– 100gr bicarbonate of soda

– 50gr citric acid

– 25 gr Epsom salt (optional)

– 25gr cornflour

– 2 tbsp vegetable oil

– ¼ tsp essential oil (orange, lavender, chamomile)

– Food colouring

Steps:

Adults should be fully in charge when making this mixture with children. Put the bicarbonate of soda, citric acid, cornflour and Epsom salt in a bowl and whisk until fully combined. Mix the vegetable oil, essential oil and food colouring in a small bowl. Very slowly add the oil mixture into the dry ingredients, whisking between each addition. Once all the ingredients are mixed together, add a few drops of water and whisk again. It will fizz when you add the water so mix it in very quickly. Your mixture is ready when it keeps its shape when pressed in your hand. It shouldn’t be too wet. Pack your mixture tightly into a mould, pressing down and smoothing out the top with a teaspoon then leave it to dry in the mould for up to 4 hours.

Find the full recipe and what to use as a bath bomb mould at bbcgoodfood.com.

  • Edible slime (safe to put in the mouth although it shouldn’t be a meal :))

Ingredients:

– 200g cornflour, sieved

– 50g icing sugar

– 175ml coconut milk (from a can, stirred)

– Food colouring

Steps:

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon until you have a smooth and thick paste. Use your hand to roll a little of the mixture into a ball. If it’s too soft or liquid, add a little more cornflour and if it crumbles, add a little more coconut milk. Voila. 

Find the full recipe at bbcgoodfood.com.

 

For little artists

credit: Svetlana Konstantynova, Pixabay

  • Potato stamps

What you need:

– Large potatoes

– Shaped biscuit cutters

– Sharp knife

– Paint

– Paper or fabric (why not an old tee-shirt?)

Steps:

Halve a potato and pat the cut ends dry with kitchen paper or a tea towel. Press your chosen cutter into the cut end of one of the halves. Carefully use the knife to cut into the potato and around the cutter to create a stamp. Remove the cutter from the potato: your stamp is now ready to use dipped in paint and pressed onto paper or fabric.

Find the full method and top tips for potato stamps at bbcgoodfood.com.

  • Rock painting

What you need:

– Smooth and fairly flat rocks or stones

– Acrylic paint, glitters, stickers… and paintbrushes

Steps:

Wash and dry the rocks, then paint it white all over. Once dry, paint the rocks in your chosen colours, add glitters, stickers. 

Find the full method and how to paint ladybird rocks at bbcgoodfood.com.

  • Toilet paper roll animal

Redtedart.com compiled a collection of toilet paper roll animal crafts for little ones. These DIY toys are wonderful props for storytelling and pretend play. From lions to koalas, there’s plenty to make with a just few crafting items such as: paint, googly eyes, felt and pipe cleaners.

 

For small adventurers

credit: Vikvarga, Pixabay

  • Funky Grass Heads

What you need:

– Old nylon stockings

– Grass seeds (or chive seeds, cress or clover)

– Sand or potting compost for stuffing (or just soil from your garden)

– Yoghurt pot

– Decorations: googly eyes, pipe cleaners, paint…

– Waterproof glue

Steps:

Cut off a 20cm section of stocking that includes the toe then stretch it over a large mug and put in 2 teaspoons full of grass seeds. Pack in some sand or potting soil, aim for the head to be roughly tennis ball sized. Tie a knot to close the end but do not cut off the dangly bit. Decorate the face and the yoghurt container, make sure that the glue used for the head is waterproof. Pop your grass head in a bowl of water to wet the sand/soil and half fill the yoghurt pot with water. Put the head on top of it, with the excess stocking dangling down into the water. Put your little head on a windowsill and check regularly that the head is moist (add a few drops of water onto it if needed).

Find the full method and at gardenplotters.org.uk.

  • Fairy house or garden

What you need:

– Soil or compost (you can also do it directly in your garden)

– A small container or box (if you are not doing it in your garden)

– Things to put in the garden (twigs, little plants, flowers, pieces of wood, little houses made with cans or boxes and painted…)

– Decorations  for the garden (little toys, pebbles and fairy glitter)

– A trowel or a big spoon

Steps:

Trowel or spoon the soil in your container. If you are doing it in a corner of your garden directly just arrange a patch there. Ask your little one(s) to think about what they want to put in their mini fairy garden and how they want it to look. Why not ask them to draw it first? Once you’ve gathered everything you need, plant the garden. Once the plants are in, water the mini garden and add the ‘furniture and decorations’.

Find the full method and some magical inspiration on saga.co.uk and schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk 

  • Flower crowns

What you need:

– Flowers (ideally ‘weeds’ such as daisies and dandelions and fallen blossom) and leaves 

– Paper

– Tape

– Glue

– Some teddy bears or dolls

Steps:

Pick flowers and leaves during a walk or in your garden. Cut bands in the length of your paper, tape them together so it fits around your child’s head. Remove the ‘naked’ crown from his/her head and together stick your leaves and flowers to it with the glue. You can also colour the band before sticking the flowers and add glitters. Once it is dry, tada! Your crown is ready to be worn. Now it’s time to make some matching ones for the teddy bears and dolls and then why not organise a fancy tea party?

Find some inspiration on redtedart.com.

COVID-19 UPDATE. Due to the coronavirus outbreak Home-Start Northampton is unable to accept any new referrals until further notice. We apologise for the disruption in our service.