Here’s a fun and easy craft to make with your kid that she/he will love playing with.
All you need is:
An empty cereal box, a straw, Yarn/String, Couple of beads, scissors, Tape and Glue, color paper, googly eyes (optional)
Here is how to:
Draw and cut out the shape of a monkey(or any other animal/insect) from the cereal box. Stick color paper on both sides. Now cut two small pieces from the straw and tape it on the backside. Insert the yarn through the lower end of one straw piece and take it out through the lower end of the other straw to form a loop at the top. Tie the beads to the ends of the yarn so that it doesn’t come out. To complete the monkey, draw the face, and have your kid color over it and stick googly eyes.
Now hang the monkey using the yarn loop on any door handle and let your kid make it climb up and down.
My Kid and I have a never dying fascination for puppets. Anytime we read a new story, we make a puppet of our favorite character in it. With a few easy steps and materials available handy at home, you can make different kinds of puppets.
To make finger puppets: Cut out small piece from a thick paper that don’t tear easily. Roll it to fit your kids finger and stick the edges. Draw the face of the character and let your kid help color it.
Stick puppets can be made with cereal boxes and ice cream sticks, straws or even old pencils for handles.
- Empty cereal box
- Ice cream Stick or Straw or a pencil or a wooden skewer
- Color pencils/crayons
- Scissors and Glue
Draw the outline of the character’s face & body on the inside of the cereal box and cut it out.
Complete the other features and color it.
Stick the back to an ice cream stick or tape it to a straw.
To make a puppet that moves, cut out the hands and legs separately from the cardboard box. Punch holes and tie them loosely to the body with a thread. (See examples of the Frog and Monkey in the first picture).
Now hand the finished puppet to your kid and be fascinated by how your child can bring a story to life!
A great way to engage your child in free play is to make your own colored rice at home. This is a good alternative to play-dough, kinetic sand or other store bought items. Involve your child in the preparation of colored rice to make it more exciting.
- Raw Rice (any kind that you have at home)
- Food Colors
- Plastic bags/Cups
Add food color in plastic cups. Mix little water if it is a powder rather than liquid food color. Make sure it is not very diluted so that the colors come out bright. Add some raw rice to each cup. Shake it well and allow the mixture to air dry for a couple of hours. The fun begins now! Let your kid be creative and come up with different ways to play with it.
Here is a fun and engaging activity for kids – making their own name banners. Make it more interesting by printing each letter on a different patterned bunting.
- Card stock/Chart paper
- Kids safe paint
- Colored paper
- Yarn/Shoe lace
Cut out square or triangle shaped bunting from card stock. Let your kid paint different patterns on the card with her favorite colors. I let mine paint solid, stripe, spots, triangle and spiral patterns. Let it dry. Meanwhile cut out the letters of your kids name from the colored paper. Glue a letter to each card. Punch holes on the top edge of the card evenly. String the cards using the yarn or shoe lace.
Name banner is ready for display in your kids room.
Lacing not only helps your kid develop fine motor skills, but also kindles her creativity by trying out different patterns on the lacing cards.
Here are some easy to make lacing/sewing cards with old invitation/greeting cards that you have lying around.
- Old greeting cards/invitation cards (thick enough so it doesn’t tear, but not too thick to punch holes)
- Hole Puch
- Colorful Yarn/Shoe Lace
- Cut out different shapes from the cards.
- Draw shapes/patterns on the cards.
- Punch holes at the corners of the shapes for lacing.
- Hand out some colorful yarn and the cards to your kid to start lacing.
Sponges are great alternatives to finger painting for young kids, they are easy to use and less messy.
Cut out different shapes from an unused utility sponge.
Use any washable water based paint. Add little water to paint if needed.
Dab some paint on to the sponge and print the shapes on the paper.
Help your child to paint a simple picture using patterns like the X-mas tree below, or let your child create her own patterns using her imagination with various shapes and colors.
There is no denial that Kids love stories. And what better way to tell a story than put on a play with them. Its fun and kids also get a chance to showcase their talent in front of an audience (family, friends..).
Here goes an easy to make shadow theater with simple materials that might be readily available.
- Empty sweet box or any other cardboard box
- Butter paper, or any light white sheet that would make a good screen
- Black card stock/chart
- Any light source
- Ice cream sticks
- Tape, Scissors, Glue
To make the Screen:
Pick an empty cardboard box and cut out a window in the middle, big enough to make a screen. Be sure to leave an inch or two at the sides. I was lucky to get a sweet box that already had a window with plastic cover. Tape the butter paper along the sides and cover the window. Ta-da! your screen is ready.
To make the puppets (characters):
Pick your kids favorite story. Draw and Cut out the characters’ silhouettes from the black chart/card stock. You can even print out templates or cut outs from a damaged book in case it is difficult to draw the characters. Stick the characters to ice cream sticks to make the puppets.
Cut out the props/background you may want to be on the scene, like trees, grass, buildings from the black card stock and tape it to the back of the screen, so that you do not have to maneuver them during the play.
And Now its Show time!
In a dark room, place the screen on a table and keep a light source (torch or a phone back light) behind at a small distance. Move the puppets behind the screen and tell your story to amuse the audience!
Paper perforated in symmetric patterns is a popular Mexican folk art called Papel picado. Children can be taught to cut out simple patters on chart/card stock which can be used to decorate the windows.
- Black chart
- Colored Crepe paper
- Scissors/Craft knife
Cut out the black chart in to 8×8 inch squares. Draw different patterns on the back of the chart using a light colored chalk. Cut out the patterns using a craft knife. Patch up the patterns using different colored crepe papers. Let it dry. Now your Paper picado is ready to decorate the windows. It is a treat for your eyes as the sunlight/or light sources pass through the colors on the paper This could also be good as lamp shades.
Reference: ‘Art Around Us’ by Childcraft
Want to make your own colorful lanterns to decorate your houses this festive season? Do not throw away your empty jam/honey bottles. Turn them in to beautiful lanterns instead.
I used Yarn and some decorative stones to create my lanterns. Using yarn to wrap the bottom of the jar will help you handle the jar, especially when it is hot during/after use.
- Empty glass jars
- Yarn of different colors
- Fabric Glue
- Water for mixing
- Acrylic paint/Stones for decoration
Instructions to make glass Lanterns
Mix a little bit of water with the Fabric glue. Soak the yarn in the mix for a minute.
Wrap the wet yarn around the bottle in patterns that you may like. Its a good idea to wrap the bottom part well to help you hold he bottle when the candle is lit and the jar is hot.
Decorate it with acrylic paint or stones. The lanterns are ready for use once dry.
These beautiful jars could also double up as pen holders/flower vase to decorate your table.
- Empty Match box
- Ice cream stick for the neck
- Tooth picks for the legs
- Color craft papers (Yellow and Brown/Orange) or any colors of your choice
- Glue, Tape, scissors
Instructions for Making the Giraffe
Cover up the empty match box and ice cream stick with the craft paper. Stick the ice cream stick(neck part) to one short side of the matchbox (body of the Giraffe). Allow it to dry.
Tape two tooth picks to one face of the match box and another two to the opposite face(cover the sharp end of the tooth pick completely with tape to avoid kids pricking themselves accidentally). Continue reading “DIY matchbox Giraffe for Kids”