We know that things are a bit different this year and that having the kids off school for a week or two during October may not feel like it usually does.
But there’s still fun to be had at home! This is why we’ve brought to you some brilliant ideas to keep the kids occupied over the next few days. Try these wonderful craft projects – in 5 steps or less.
Arts and crafts are a sure way to spark some excitement and are known to spur on the imagination and creative flair. We know that many of our readers (in Wales) will not be able to pop to the shops for bits and bobs – so the majority of these projects require general household items that you probably already have.
1) Recycled Garden Beast
Recycling (and upcycling) is the way forward in this day and age. Why not put some old food cans to good use and create a funky mini-beast for your garden?
Step 1: Clean and dry the food cans, and ask an adult to make sure the edges are smooth and safe.
Step 2: Paint the outside of the can whatever colour you fancy – red for a ladybird, yellow for a bumblebee, or green for a monster – and let it dry.
Step 3: Paint additional features (stripes, spots, blobs) to turn it into your desired creature, and add buttons for eyes.
Step 4: If you have pipe cleaners, bend to make a pair of wings, antenna, or ears. Ask an adult to make an incision in the can and insert the pipes into the top.
Step 5: Loop some string around the center of the can, leaving plenty of string to tie in the garden. Hang your new mini-beast in the greenhouse or from a tree – and keep an eye out for them moving around!
2) Bottle Flowers
Now summer has gone, the trees and hedges can look quite bare. Why not make some plastic bottle flowers and put some old drinks containers to good use?
Step 1: Ask a responsible adult to cut the bottle near the bottom, to leave around 1inch like a little cup.
Step 2: Next, ask an adult to cut around the curved underside to create petals like the image below. Also, create a small incision in the center for the pipe cleaner to go through.
Step 3: Colour in the plastic with a permanent marker (or any colour that won’t rinse off in the rain.) Use a different colour in the middle.
Step 4: Add glitter, stick-on jewels or stickers to your own liking. Feed the pipe cleaner through to create a stalk.
Step 5: Grab a plant pot and fill it with pebbles, then stand the flower upright in the pot using the stones to keep the pipe cleaner in place. Pop the plant pot in your garden and watch as your creation fills your backyard with colour.
3) Paper Plate Dinosaur
The dinosaur – and animal – lovers in your house will have tons of fun making this crafty little fella.
Step 1: Fold the paper plate in half and cut down the crease to create the ‘shell’ of your dinosaur’s back.
Step 2: Using the other half of the plate, cut out a head and tail. With the leftovers, cut lots of small triangles around 1cm wide to create the ridge or scale on the dinosaur’s back.
Step 3: Glue the triangles to the underside of the first plate, so the bits you’ve glued are hidden where you can’t see them.
Step 4: Get the toilet roll tube, cut in half, and then cut two slits on the top on opposite sides. Slot the dinosaur’s body inside these slits so it can stand on its own.
Step 5: Paint your dinosaur your favourite colour, and get creative with what you can use to create its scaly skin – your fingerprints, an old sponge, some old leaves, or anything!
4) Cork Tree Painting
We love putting unwanted items to good use, and you can too with this next simple project. Simply gather your old corks to enable your kids to create beautiful autumnal paintings.
Step 1: Draw the trunk of a tree with brown paint on a piece of paper. Wait for it to dry.
Step 2: Pour some autumnal colours (red, orange, yellow) into a palette (or used plastic bottles cut into little bowls.)
Step 3: Dip your used corks into the paint and then onto the paper, creating lovely orbs of different warm colours.
Step 4: Wait for your painting to dry, and ask an adult to put a frame on it or hang it up!
5) Firework Scratch Art
With Bonfire Night lurking around the corner, half-term is the perfect time to create some Guy Fawkes’ themed art. This little project uses only paint and crayons that you’ll like to have in the store cupboard and will keep the kids occupied for hours.
Step 1: Let the kids have some fun using crayons to cover the entirety of the white card. Colour it in any way you want, making it as bright as possible.
Step 2: Using a thick paintbrush, cover the crayoned card with black paint completely. Add an additional coat if need. Leave to dry (it has to be crisp and dry, so we suggest putting a film on the TV or going for a walk while the paint settles.)
Step 3: Using the other end of the paintbrush, start scratching the black paint off to create a lovely firework pattern!