Mama OWL Blog: Creative kids - Half term at home

Creative kids - Half term at home

Friday, 21 February 2014

Half term can be hard work when it's chucking it down with rain, but keeping kids entertained at home doesn't have to be expensive or difficult.

Take a look through your cupboards, and you'll probably find a whole host of things to keep them busy without having to rinse your debit card at the craft shop. As long as you have some PVA glue & a pair of kid friendly scissors, maybe a bit of glitter if you fancy it (at your peril - you were warned, don't blame me), then you'll find you already have the makings of crafty opportunities just sitting at home.

pasta and rice art
Pasta is fabulous. Macaroni is fantastic for necklaces if you have some thread or string to hand, or get a piece of cardboard (just cut a piece off an old box or an empty cereal box) and let them go mad with the PVA and stick on whatever pasta shapes you have floating about in your cupboard. E had great fun with some spaghetti, fusilli & macaroni - I even let her sprinkle on some pink glitter!

Another good way to use pasta for messy play is to cook up some spaghetti with various food colourings and let them squish it around in a bowl for great sensory play fun.

See 'pasta'. E sprinkled some risotto rice that had been lingering in the back of the cupboard (for longer than I care to remember) on to her pasta picture. Now, it's art!

cloud dough
Got some shaving foam? Then you can make your own cloud dough! Get a bowl, pour in a bit of cornstarch and spray in some shaving foam, smooshing it together with your hands until you have a mouldable dough. No weighing or measuring, just add as much as you like/need. I would recommend keeping the hoover handy, but it kept E busy for ages. When you're done, just store it in an airtight container (I've put ours in an old, clean pickle jar) ready to use another day.

See 'cornstarch'. Bonus - it'll smell nice too.

Alternatively, you could try out Tiaras & Prozac's recipe if you want to make your own cloud dough but don't have shaving foam or cornstarch!

You can either cut them into shapes to stamp with paint, or cook & mash them (um, let it cool too...) to let the kids get stuck in and play with. Okay - so it's a bit gross, but it's great fun.

Pour some out on to a piece of coloured paper on a tray, and let them draw it in with their fingers. So simple, but so much fun.

I still had the Christmas catalogues sitting in the utility room waiting to be recycled (yes yes, I know it's February), however E found a much better use for them - cutting out pictures of things she likes and gluing them on to some paper. She's made a lovely collage of all things Disney Princess and just about every dolly she could find.

If you have empty toilet rolls and cereal boxes (or anything of that ilk), why not try some junk modelling? Make robots or vehicles, or a jet pack! There really is no limit to the things you & your littles could come up with.

We had great fun making our tin can tealight holders, it was so easy to do and a great craft idea for older kids in particular, but the littles can draw on their own designs for you to finish off for them.

When you've finished the peanut butter or the pickle or the jam or whatever, pop the jar through the dishwasher (or you know, just wash it up) & you've pretty much got a ready-made craft. All you have to do then is glue some coloured tissue paper or old sweetie wrappers all around the outside of the jar and you've made your own pretty tealight or candle holder - ready to pop out on the table after a BBQ this Summer (wishful thinking maybe, but I'm holding out for a decent Summer after all this rain!).

Do you have any fun rainy day ideas to keep the wee ones busy at home? Please feel free to share them in a comment!

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