5 FUN IDEAS FOR ENTERTAINING LITTLE ONES AT HOME

5 of the best craft ideas for kids

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4 year old girl with long brown hair lying on the grass laughing wearing a cream jumper

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    1. Make Pinyatas together

    2. Make leaf hedgehogs

    3. Make homemade Modelling Clay & have hours of fun in the Arc Assistant Learning Tower

    4. Make a bubble stick and boost their visual skills

    5. Create Paint Art using Glad Wrap and Watercolour Paint 

 

1. Make Pinyatas together

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This is a childhood favourite of mine. Mum and I used to get a balloon, stuff it full of our favourite wrapped lollies, then blow it up. We would then make our own glue from simply stirring flour and water into a paste, then paste on small ripped scraps (about 3cm by 3cm) of newspaper, covering the whole balloon with one layer first. We would make sure to leave a slight gap around the top of the balloon where knot was.
Soaking the paper in the paste and then doing one layer at a time and allowing it to fully dry in between is key to creating a strong pinyata. We would do four layers. The last layer would be with coloured paper. Then we would tie a ribbon or string to the top of the balloon, hang it up outside somewhere safe.
All the children (old enough) would then hit it with a stick to make it burst causing a shower of lollies. This teaches perseverance and reward as this fun activity will take a hour across many days to create. Note, we were never as fancy as the below with our decorating, we'd just use coloured paper and then draw on it ourselves. 
Yellow pinyata with a smiley face

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2. Make leaf hedgehogs

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Crafting with leaves is much more fun than solely drawing with pens as with leaves you get to teach your children about nature too. One of our favourite, super simple projects are these leaf hedgehogs. How adorable are they! 

The materials you'll need

1. Access to a garden with lots of leaves
2. Glue (child friendly).
3. Felt tips (coloured pencils, paint or crayons) 

brown Hedgehod drawing made from leaves

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3. Make homemade Modelling Clay & have hours of fun in the Arc Assistant Learning Tower

This clay recipe can easily be made at home, and will provide hours of fun for your child at the kitchen bench in their Arc Assistant Learning Tower.

Children can make anything they like. It is a little early in the year (actually never too early)... We used to make Christmas Tree decorations together out of modelling clay when I was young. 

Recipe

  • 2 cups salt
  • 2/3 cups water
  • Saucepan
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Directions

    1. Stir salt and water in a saucepan over heat 4-5 minutes.
    2. Remove from heat; add cornstarch and cold water.
    3. Stir until smooth; return to heat and cook until thick.
    4. Allow the clay to cool, then shape as desired.
    5. When dry, decorate with paint, markers, glitter, and so on.
    6. If you like, finish with clear acrylic spray or clear nail polish.
    7. Store unused clay in a snap lock bag. Make sure you press out all of the air, before sealing the bag.

Toddler in red and white striped t shirt playing with red and yellow balls of clay at the bench girl in pink t shirt in her arc assistant learning tower at the kitchen bench

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4. Make a bubble stick and boost their visual skills

This is a super easy child craft to make at home, all you need are two rods and a piece of rope. Tie together as displayed in the below photo. Then grab a large tray of dishwashing liquid and you're ready to go. (Baking trays with edges work well as a dish for the liquid or a simple bucket)

The great thing about either blowing bubbles in the kitchen sink as Nathan Wallis is doing below opposite the little one in their Arc Assistant Learning Tower, or with blowing larger bubbles outside is it teaches your child visual tracking skills. They learn how to visually track the bubble as it slowly float through the air. Visual skills are needed for learning and these skills take practice develop. What better way than to blow bubbles and learn through play.

little girl blowing a large bubble outside with two sticks

Nathan Wallis helps child learn in the arc assistant learning tower


5. Create Paint Art using Glad Wrap and Watercolour Paint 

The materials you'll need for Watercolour and Glad Wrap Painting

  • Art Paper - thicker paper than computer paper as computer paper will warp. If you don't have art paper, a piece of cardboard works too, the backs of old notepads are work well.
  • Plastic board - larger than your art paper
  • Watercolour paints
  • Damp clean sponge
  • Glad Wrap 
  • 2cm tick tape

Directions

1. Place your thick art paper in the centre of your plastic board. Dip the sponge into the water and use it to wet the entirety your thick art paper. 

2. Dollop on different colours of watercolour paint all across your art paper. Make sure to leave gaps between each colour as the blending starts at step 5.

3. Using a sheet of glad wrap that is slightly larger than your art paper and place it on top of your painting. Make sure it goes to the edges of your plastic board. Scrunch up sections to add wrinkles to the glad wrap. Press it down onto your art paper.

4. Place tape around the glad wrap, taping it to your plastic board. 

5. With your fingers move these across the glad wrap, moving and mixing the paint under the glad wrap.

6. Once happy with your colour design, gently remove the glad wrap and allow to dry  

plastic child painting

watercolour tie dyed art in yellow, blue and red