Childhood Unplugged: Making crafts out of nothing at all

Filed under: Activities: Babies

Welcome to the dog days of summer! For many parents, the family vacation is but a distant memory, the kids' swimming lessons over and summer camp is done, yet there are still MANY, MANY days before the blissful sound of that morning bell at school!

How about whiling away an afternoon with the kids in the shade of a tree (or even better, a makeshift shelter created from a clothesline and old sheets or blankets!) creating crafts out of ordinary household items, MacGuyver style? It's inexpensive, easy, and best of all- children of nearly all ages and skill levels can participate.

  • A box of tin foil can provide kids with hours of recyclable fun. Besides covering leftovers, this shiny material can be twisted into chains, crowns, snakes, mini sculpted people, alien-repelling hats, Mardi Gras masks, or with the popularity of Wall-E, be used to transform cardboard boxes in robot costumes.
  • Duct tape is another one of those indispensable products that also has many crafting applications. Older kids can make duct tape flip flops,a wallet, or purse, or get inspiration from the online duct tape art gallery. Younger people could make duct tape hiking gear or just have a great time winding it around to make a customized walking stick for the next nature hike.
  • Yarn or string can be used to make a God's eye,an octopus, a string egg that looks straight out of Anthropologie, or perhaps even fashion a replica of a Kamibashi string doll.
  • Do you remember the facial tissue flowers that used to adorn bridal party cars and prom floats about twenty years ago? Even though it's not currently in style, it's probably a good idea to train the next generation in flower-making, just in case. The flowers could be attached to bike baskets, straw hats, or attached to a tin foil crown.
  • Save interesting, cleaned out items from your recycle bin (toilet paper tubes, cereal boxes, aluminum cans without sharp edges, plastic containers, etc.) as well as assorted nuts and bolts from the work bench and see what your kids can create. Some possible suggestions include making rockets , robot dogs, or piggy banks, but it's so much better for kids to let their imagination and materials they find guide their crafting.

So don't let a lack of money for available for purchasing supplies ever keep your kids from crafting! Sometimes all that's needed to make something amazing is two paperclips, a piece of chewing gum, half a dozen twigs, and an empty bottle of dish washing liquid!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.