Do rainy days spell indoor doldrums for you and your kids? If you can’t get away from it all, why not stay indoors and enjoy some crafts? Here are two projects that help kids hone their artistic skills while having a ball.
Your family can have hours of fun creating artistic mobiles and hanging them from the ceiling. You can start your kids out on simple mobiles, and once they get the hang of it, they may start building more and more complex creations.
Assemble your materials, you’ll need some drinking straws, several paper clips, and some construction paper. Let’s start by making some shapes. Colored paper cutouts can represent letters of the alphabet, planets, stars, animals or whatever your children love to make. Have your kids draw and decorate the shapes on the construction paper, then cut the shapes out for them unless they’re old enough to do it themselves. Is there anything colored paper can’t do?
Now turn your attention to the framework. Start by slipping a single paper clip along a drinking straw until it reaches the center, pointing upward. String paper clips together until you have a chain of them attached to this center clip. (You’ll attach the free end to the ceiling.) Attach two more paper clips at each end, both pointing downward. Now take a second drinking straw and do the same thing; this time, however, string two paper clip chains from the center clip — one going upward, the other going downward. Attach paper clip chains of varying lengths to each end clip.
Now you can assemble the parts of your mobile. Start by connecting the center chains each “level” to one end of the level above it. Once you have at least three levels of drinking straws, you can clip your shapes so that they hang down from each level at different heights.
Miniature Puppet Theater
Kids of all ages love puppets, so imagine how much fun you and your children can have creating your very own puppet theater for indoor entertainment on those rainy days. Crafting these little individuals and giving them a beautiful home can prove just as enjoyable as the show itself!
First, ask your kids what kind of story they want to tell. Do they love medieval tales of knights and wizards? Do they want to create their own jungle populated by loveable animals? Anything is possible in the world of puppet theater, so encourage them to let their imaginations run wild.
Ready to make your puppets? Simply draw the basic shapes for the heads, limbs and torsos onto different colors of construction paper and cut the shapes out. Glue the heads and limbs onto the torso and draw any little details that you need to bring the characters to life. Once the glue has dried, take your assembled paper puppet and attach it to a popsicle stick or drinking straw. You’ll use the stick or straw to manoeuvre the puppet. Express yourselves through your puppet creations!
Now it’s time to create the theater, using a rectangular cardboard box. Cut one of the smaller sides away; this will serve as the “floor” of the stage. Next, make a large window in one of the larger sides; this open area gives you a proscenium. Draw or paint a festive background on a sheet of paper and tape it to the inside rear panel of the box. Finally, perch the theater on top of an open space so the kids can operate their puppets through the bottom. It’s showtime!
There you have it – two simple, easy projects that you and your kids will love. So stock up on colored paper, and stop worrying about the weather report!Author Profile: William Reynolds has worked as a freelance copywriter since 1997. William specializes in website content to help his clients with their online reputation management services and marketing campaigns. Featured image by maradon 333