To some people, the idea of crafts brings up an image of your gran’s latest cross-stitch project or some rather scary felt bags. However, things move on, even in the world of crafts so there are plenty of great ways to fuel your children’s imagination and help develop their artistic side. The best thing is there’s no need to buy expensive craft materials because the most amazing things can be fashioned from a bit of old cardboard, tin foil and paint. Here are just a few money saving tips for ways to get crafty.
Make a Parachute
You know all those weak plastic bags you end up with after a day’s shopping? Well, they can be recycled into fun by using them to make parachutes. All you need is some cardboard, felt-tip pens or paint, cardboard, scissors and tape. Let your kids choose a character they would like fly the parachute and then encourage them to draw the person on a piece of old card before cutting around the silhouette. Alternatively, you can bring out some old magazines and they can construct a figure from magazine cut outs stuck on to card. Make sure the cardboard character has two arms in the air so you can punch holes in the hands and attach string to them. Then use tape or tie the string ends to the carrier bag handles. All you need then is somewhere safe to launch your parachute from.
Paper plates are a great resource for making masks. Look for a budget pack of the thin, white paper plates which can be easily cut into with scissors. Once you have the holes cut out for the eyes, nose and maybe the mouth, the rest is only limited by your kid’s imagination. You could try adding some cotton wool or fabric to make yourself a cuddly koala or scrunch up tin foil to make the scaly skin of a lizard or crocodile.
Why not make use of all those odd socks lying around the house? Socks or mittens can easily be transformed into little hand puppets. All you need is some glue, an assortment of things to decorate with, like buttons, old fabric, ribbon and marker or fabric pens. You can use marker pen or buttons to create the eyes, mouths and eyebrows. Once they’ve finished creating their characters you can encourage your kids to create a story based around them. Maybe they could even use other materials to build a scene for their play. Most children relish the chance to hear a story. Here, the roles are reversed and their imagination can be fuelled by acting out the characters’ lines in different voices.
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