Five free craft ideas to keep the kids busy this term

Half of the semester is upon us, but have you planned enough activities to keep the kids busy?

Buying craft supplies can be costly, but a new book from blogger and mother-of-three Sydney Piercey has more than 60 ideas for making your own fun at home using empty crates, jars and toilet paper rolls.

Portrait of cute little boy carefully cutting paper in preschool arts and crafts class

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Portrait of cute little boy carefully cutting paper in preschool arts and crafts classPhoto credit: Getty

Natasha Harding picks five craft projects from Sydney’s book Sustainable Play (Greenfinch, £14.99, Available Now) that might come in handy next week.

BIRDHOUSE

I ONLY made this in the fall, so playing with it was more of an opportunity to talk about birds than to see them.

When we went back there in spring it was amazing. It invited so many birds into the garden. My girls loved it and it shot up their list of favorite cardboard toys.

My girls loved it and it shot up their list of favorite cardboard toys

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My girls loved it and it shot up their list of favorite cardboard toysPhoto credit: Michael Wicks

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • cardboard box
  • 2 toilet roll tubes
  • egg carton
  • Scissors (and craft knife if you have them)
  • Glue and glue
  • Optional: tissue paper, ruler, yarn, birdseed (bread or toast crumbs, seeds, and even cooked rice work very well)

WHAT YOU ARE DOING: Start by creating the pointed roofline of a house. Remove a right triangle from each corner of the top of the box. You can carefully cut these off with scissors or a craft knife.

Next add a peep hole for the birds. I use one of the toilet roll tubes as a guide. Lay it in position and trace it lightly with the blade of your scissors or craft knife before cutting it out completely.

The open top of the box allows you to add shredded cardboard or tissue paper to the bottom of the box. From the scraps you cut out for your pitched roof, cut a wide strip of cardboard and fold it in half. Position these over the exposed roof area of ​​your birdhouse and tape in place to create your roof.

If you have some twine, tape a piece of it to the back of the house for hanging outside on a fence or tree.

FOR THE BIRD SHELLS: Take an egg carton and cut out pairs of cups. Cut close to the cup shape making the cartons natural. Cut a piece of yarn and tie it in a knot around the bridge of your bowls. Leave the yarn lengths long so you can hang them in your garden.

LOLLIPOP STICK PUPPETS

This is a lovely craft for your little ones to create their own unique characters.

Decorate the shapes with faces, clothes and paint

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Decorate the shapes with faces, clothes and paintPhoto credit: Michael Wicks

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • cardboard sheet
  • Lollipop sticks (or straws or cardboard strips)
  • scissors
  • tape

WHAT YOU ARE DOING: Cut silhouettes of your choice from the cardstock sheet as instructed by your young theatrical producer. We created sea creatures for our underwater theater theme.

Decorate the shapes with faces, clothing, and paint. Glue the finished creatures to the bottom of the lollipop sticks, strips or straws and start playing.

BOTTLE CORK BOAT

There are many variations in the method, but here’s how we do it.

Secure the corks in the center with rubber bands or tightly tied twine or string

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Secure the corks in the center with rubber bands or tightly tied twine or stringPhoto credit: Michael Wicks

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3 x corks per boat
  • Twine, string, or rubber bands
  • scraps of paper or fabric
  • cocktail stick
  • Glue (superglue if you are using material for the flag)

WHAT YOU ARE DOING: Put three corks together in a line. If one of your corks is a champagne cork and the others are wine bottles, then place it in the center to ensure balance.

If you have two champagne corks and a wine, place the wine cork in the middle. Secure the corks in the center with rubber bands or tightly tied twine or string.

Take a piece of scrap paper or fabric to prepare the flag. Cut a diamond out of the paper or fabric and fold it in half to make a triangle. Place a cocktail stick along the folded line and glue the two halves of the triangle together.

Finally, stick the cocktail stick through the middle cork in the boat. Now it is ready to set sail.

TAMBOURINE

For this you need ring pulls from cans or cans. If you don’t have enough, you can always expand your tambourine as you find more over time.

You need ring pulls from cans or cans for this

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You need ring pulls from cans or cans for thisPhoto credit: Michael Wicks

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • cardboard sheet
  • Ring pulls out of soda cans or tin cans (we used 12)
  • twine or cord
  • scissors
  • A glass
  • pencil
  • Perforator

WHAT YOU ARE DOING: Cut a wide strip of cardboard from the sheet and roll it up in a circle (I wrap mine around a jar to achieve this)
Then open it up again and poke a hole at each end of the strip.

Poke or poke pairs of holes at intervals around the strip. You want two holes next to each other, but not so close that they merge into one hole.

Cut some short pieces of yarn – as many lengths as you have pairs of holes. Thread a piece of yarn through two ring pulls. Very young children may be able to do this, but be sure to check for sharp metal edges beforehand.

Next, thread each end of the string through each hole of the pair. Pull the string through and tie it to the inside of the strip.

Then tie the two ends of the strip together to hold the tambourine together. Cut off any overhangs and give this a little clinking. Repeat this process until you have no more ring pulls or holes.

AIRPLANE

Our planes are played with endlessly

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Our planes are played with endlesslyPhoto credit: Michael Wicks

THREE empty loo rolls can make a beautifully detailed airplane with plenty of room for your little one to add designs and decorations. Our planes are played with endlessly.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3 x loo roll tubes
  • scissors
  • tape

WHAT YOU ARE DOING: Cut a toilet roll tube straight open. Open and flatten. From this, cut out a piece in the shape of an airplane silhouette. Next, take a second loo roll tube and fold it in half and flatten it.

Cut a small semi-circle down the middle of the longer side, then open it up again. Place this second tube on top of your cut out airplane shape and glue or glue in place. Take a third loo roll tube and cut it in half horizontally. Take one half and cut it in half vertically.

Roll it tighter to make a narrower tube shaper and secure with tape. Make four slits in this narrower tube as if you were cutting on the north, east, south, and west parts of a compass.

Take the other half of the third loo roll and cut it in half vertically. Open and flatten. Cut out two oval shapes. Insert an oval into the west-east slot in your narrow tube. Cut a slit in the center of this oval.

Slip your remaining oval into your north-south slit and through the slit of the oval you just cut. This is the rudder of your plane. Glue or tape this to the side of your pipe.

https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5439343/five-free-craft-ideas-kids-half-term/ Five free craft ideas to keep the kids busy this term

Jessica MacLeish

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