With the summer months upon us, it is the perfect time to work on your creativity and get involved with arts and crafts with your kids. Whether you have a garden, a balcony, or want something for inside the house to keep your children busy and engaged, you will find something to do here.
Paper windmills are a great craft task for kids as they can be carried around or planted in a flowerpot or garden. They can be customised using different colour paper, stickers, or colouring pencils. They are also a great way to teach kids about renewable energy when they see the windmills in action!
What we need:
- Sheet of A4 paper
- A pin
- A straw/stick
Steps 4-7 may require supervision with cutting and sticking with a pin. The use of the pin can be replaced with glue if your child wants to carry the windmill around with them.
- Take one corner and put it on the opposite edge of the paper. Cut off the excess to form a square from the A4 paper
- Fold the top right corner to the bottom left diagonally, and then unfold
- Do the same with the top left corner to the bottom right. This will leave you with an X-shaped crease on your square
- Cut along these diagonal creases towards the centre of the paper, stopping about 2 to 3cm from the centre
- From the 4 corners of the square, take the side to the right of the cut and fold that corner into the centre of the paper
- Hold the corners in as you go and when all 4 have been put into the middle, push a pin through the centre to secure them
- Push the pin through a straw or attach to a stick, and you have your paper windmill!
With 620 species of bird in the UK, having your kids make a bird feeder can help develop their creativity and give them a chance to see some birds they usually might not be able to. Supervision and some help will be needed for this task.
What we need:
- An empty plastic bottle
- A pin
- 2 wooden sticks/dowels
- A pair of scissors
- Bird seed
- Get your empty bottle and place two holes about 5cm from the bottom of the bottle using the pin, on opposite sides of each other
- Use your scissors to widen this whole slightly, so that it is a bit smaller than your wooden dowel
- Push the dowel through the two holes, and this is your first perch for the birds
- Repeat these steps, now making your pin holes slightly higher, and at a right angle to the previous holes. Push your dowel through and this should make a cross when looking from the bottom of the bottle
- Make holes above each perch, about 1cm in diameter, this will be your feeder hole
- Make two holes on opposite sides of the bottle neck, and feed your string through, then tie a knot at the top
Now you can fill your bottle with bird seed, close it, and hang it outside!
Paper and string spinner
String spinners are a fun and inexpensive toy to play with, made even better when you make them yourselves!
What you will need:
- Compass/anything with a circular bottom
- Colouring pencils
- Use your compass or circular shape to draw 2 circles on a sheet of paper, and one on the cardboard, all the same size
- Cut out these circles, and decorate one side of each of the paper ones however you wish
- Glue the plain sides of the paper to the cardboard circle to form the spinner
- Make two holes separate holes in the middle of the spinner, about 1cm apart, going through the paper and cardboard
- Thread your string through each of the holes and tie so you can hold the string in your hands on both sides
- Spin the spinner so that the string becomes intertwined
- When the twisted string is almost at your hands, stop twisting and pull on both sides
- And enjoy spinning!
What better way to have fun in the summer than snacking and cooling down at the same time? Making these fruit ice lollies is a quick and fun activity that can help introduce your child to the kitchen and maybe even inspire the next MasterChef! Feel free to experiment with the fruits!
What we need:
- Ice lolly mould
- Lolly sticks
- 100g of strawberry
- 70g of raspberry
- 130ml of water
- Take off the leaves at the top of the strawberry carefully (a fun trick is using a straw and ‘hulling’ the strawberry by pushing it from the bottom to the top of the strawberry through its centre)
- Wash your fruit
- Blend together your fruits and water until it forms a smooth puree
- Pour this into your moulds and place the lolly sticks through the middle (most moulds will keep the stick in place, but if not, you can anything in your freezer to prop them up
- Leave to freeze for at least 3 hours
Bonus lolly tricks
- For mini-ice lollies, fill your ice tray with the mixture and freeze as normal
- As a fun game, you can use food colouring in different flavoured lollies and try to figure out the flavours with your child as you enjoy them
- Yoghurt based lollies are also great and convenient, just place a lolly stick in your favourite yoghurt and freeze
A fun activity for the outdoors, made even better by the fact you can customise your kite however you like!
What we need
- Lightweight paper, plastic bag, or plastic tablecloth (sail of the kite)
- 2 long wooden sticks (as long as the material you use for the sail)
- Long stretch of string or yarn (ideally about 100m)
- Piece of cardboard
- Duct tape
- Place one wooden stick vertically and one horizontally across your material, with the vertical one along the centreline and the horizontal one slightly above centre (about 1/3 of the way from the top)
- Draw diagonal lines so that the ends of each stick meet, and a diamond shape is formed, then cut this shape out (supervision and assistance may be needed here)
- Tape the sticks to the sail at the corners of the diamond, and tape the two sticks at the centre where they meet but not to the sail
- Poke a hole next to the ends of the horizontal stick next to the corners
- Using a piece of string twice the length of one of the sticks, feed one end through one hole and tie to the stick, and do the same for the other
- Tie the end of your remaining string to this shorter string
- Take outside and happy flying!
With all these crafts, those dreaded “I’m bored” days are at an end. Try as many as you can and feel free to add your own spin and flair to any of these and make them personal!