Some of my fondest memories I have as a child was the time I spent with my mum making different kinds of arts and crafts, from Halloween spider webs using hot glue gun to curling gift ribbons simply using a pencil, and my very own Pinata in the shape of the Rainbow Fish. I never really noticed but I suppose that part of me always stuck, hence why I love making crafts so much.
So much so my gift ideas, like the mini pinata, and the beer cake tower, as well as my home decor ideas are still very much craft based. This is something I would do with my little cousins, and hopefully in the future with my own kids.
It's not only a way to keep them still without making a mess all over the place, but also a great way to encourage a child's imaginative mind. For parents who don't have much of an idea on what they can make, here are some suggestions that you can easily do!
Kids (me included) love the idea of space, it is such a magical place with all the stars and wonderful mixtures of purple and blue hues. What if you can capture your own galaxy within a jar?
All you need are:
- A few empty jars
- Cotton (preferably cotton balls)
- Different Food Colouring Colours (Galaxy Colours: black, blue, purple, pink...etc)
And here is how you can do it:
1. Mix each food colouring with water, you can decide how strong you want the colour to be. Dilute it more if you want it to be lighter in colour.
2. Pick an empty jar and carefully line a thick layer of cotton at the bottom. You will have a few layers of cotton in and each layer colours better if it isn't too thick.
3. Pour one colour in and dye the first layer of cotton, add glitter in once done. Repeat with the next layers of cotton until full. It looks better with different colour with each layer of cotton.
You can leave it to settle or enjoy as is as soon as you’re done. give it a nice shake to see your own little galaxy form. It’ll be a cosy addition to your little one’s bedside table, sitting next to their nightlight.
Build a Costume Together
I wanted to be absolutely everything and everyone when I was younger, from a spider, to a strawberry, to all the princesses, to a vampire. It became clear that costumes has to be a part of my childhood life, so rather than buying outfits my mum and I would make our own costumes. This not only saved money I was able to shape a character the way I wanted to.
It’s easy to do, seeing as you can just pull your clothes out of your wardrobe and customise wherever you want, but if you want to be more professional about it, one of the best materials to use is some foam, which you can melt and shape as need be, so see more of your options with costume making here. It’s something all the professional cos players you see on Instagram use, and there’s plenty of very technical tutorials out there that you can make simple.
Here are a few very creative costumes that you can try and create:
1. Toy Soldiers
If you want to create a toy soldier costume, all you need are some old clothes, a cheap plastic helmet, some military boots and toy binoculars. Spray everything with green spray paint, leave to dry and paint face in green. That's done!
2. Loofah Costume
You'll need a large roll of tulle, fold it up and sew it together to create the scrunchy look. You can choose all sorts of colours depending on what you feel like. To perfect the look get a large string and tie to your loofah, wear some flip flops and you're ready to go!
3. A Hershey Kiss
This is a fun one to do, all you need is a hula hoop, some wire hangers, a party hat, toilet paper and silver duct tape. Make a small hoop to fit your head with a wire hanger and duct tape, use several pieces to connect the small hoop you just created to the hula hoop. Duct tape to secure everything in place. Once done, cover the whole thing with a roll of foil. Don't forget to wrap your party hat in duct tape and foil too. If you want that little strip of 'paper' on the top, string a stream of loo roll paper through the top. All set!
Minions are simple, all you need are a pair of dungarees and a pair of goggles and some yellow face paint. If you are going for the full outfit, get a yellow sleeved top and work gloves, as well as black shoes!
Bake Something Colourful
Baking is one of the easiest things to do, seeing as you’ve got all your ingredients ready in the cupboard and the oven does the hard work for you. All you need is a bit of elbow grease and a willing helper, and you’ve got both of those in spades! If a kid knows they get to eat something yummy by the end of a process, they’re going to be very happy to stir the mix and shape the dough when you get tired of doing all the work!
You can very easily bake some normal cookies or a chocolate cake here, but why not throw a little more magic into the ingredients list and go a little exotic? Pizza is a very obvious choice here, as there’s so many ingredients you can lay out on the cheese base and end up cooking up a kaleidoscope of toppings. Or you can add sprinkles to everything that has a layer of icing on it, which adds another taste of sweetness to your cheat day!
Or even bake yourself up a stained glass window out of candy and lay the treat out for a summer party with all your friends’ kids in attendance too? It’s a simple, yet impressive, maneuver, and your child is going to love smashing up (albeit, very gently…) the ‘glass’ to make the window look more realistic on the tray.
Fill Up a Pool and Get Throwing!
Seeing as it’s summer, you’re probably going to want to get outside more, and so are your kids. No one wants to be cooped up too much when the sky is clear and blue, and you’ve got plenty of chances to run around with your shoes off and with some armbands on. Yes, it’s time to fill up the paddling pool and get to having some real fun in your hours in the sun.
We mention this here because it’s a good chance to make some more art of your own, with water balloons and paint, or to fill up the pool with some slime and have a splash and squelch about in. The kids will absolutely love getting their toes sunk into some green, blue, or pink slime and grabbing as much in their hands as they can to throw around! And it’s completely harmless, so you don’t have to worry about where it gets.
Alternatively, set up an easel or balance a canvas against a piece of wood and have some target practice with those paint filled water balloons: you’ll never know if you’ve got a mini Picasso in the house or not if you don’t! Not to mention, creating random art is some of the best fun you can have as a family, so put your own throwing skills to the test here.
When it comes to having some fun with your kids, when all you have is your house at your disposal, make sure you’ve got some project plans to fall back on! It’s creative and takes up a lot of attention, so anyone involved is unlikely to get bored; have some real family fun over the summer. Hopefully these ideas could help!