Being a parent does not always have to be tiring, you soon realise your job as a games master is key to keeping your little one occupied and it can be great fun. Often activities for kids are either based around television of television characters and you can easily fall into the trap of having your TV act as an unpaid babysitter. These three activities are all simple, teach your kids about recycling and also help them to use their own creative abilities. Ideal fun for days when the weather is bad or the schools are on holiday.
Activity 1 – Build your own animal
This is a fun activity that can utilise some spare rubbish you have lying around the house. Firstly find an old pair of socks, patterned socks works best.
- Cut the socks half way up creating strands of material at the bottom.
- Fill the top half with some lentils or other stuffing you have lying around.
- Place elastic band around the middle to create a bubble at the top
- Draw your eyes and mouth or use other items of cloth to make these and apply using glue
- You now have a fun and funky octopus
Ways to elaborate:
If you have a sewing machine you can make any number of animals using socks, from monkeys to cats. But remember for young children sewing is dangerous and should always be done with supervision.
Activity 2 – Create your own art
Art is a great way for children to build self-esteem, by displaying their art in the house they begin to develop a sense of pride and can also make them keener to keep the house looking good. Art is also a good way to help your child develop their own sense of imagination and draw upon their own surroundings. This art is easy to do and shows the difference between ordinary painting and more sculptural art forms.
Take a piece of paper and cut a small hole in the centre
Tear strands of the paper unevenly around the hole
Paste the cut out paper on top of a blank sheet of paper
Cut out from another sheet a space rocket with its fumes blasting from the back of it
Paste just the fumes part of the rocket to the back piece of paper in the centre of the hole
This now looks like a rocket coming out from the page.
Ways to elaborate:
Let your child choose the topic for your bursting art. Add more decoration to it and show them how they can add detail with stars and even space aliens.
Activity 3 – Design your own T-shirt
T-Shirt printing is accessible and cheap and letting your child design their own clothes is a good way to help them express themselves. Key to allowing them to express themselves means in later life they are far less likely to be demanding the latest designer clothes or going through phases of rebellious clothing.
- Using your laptop open a drawing application like paint.
- Make sure the template is set to 500 pixels minimum
- Allow them to draw a picture, or slogan using funky colours and fun fonts (fonts can be downloaded for free here)
- Once they are happy with this simply send it to a local t-shirt printer’s website and receive their t-shirt.
- Watch them wear their work with pride telling all their friends how they are a fashion designer!
Ways to elaborate
You can purchase blank t-shirts from a local store and some fabric paints. Have them practice their design on a blank piece of paper first (children are very particular so any mistake may mean you end up using lots of t-shirts). Once they have perfected their design using the fabric paints allow them to paint directly to the t-shirt, often cutting out silhouettes from paper is a good way to ensure a clever finish.
Use this time to bond with your children and share in their excitement, its often fun not to stick to rigidly to any guides and let them use their own powers of reasoning and creative skills to add extras to these simple activities.