These days, many parents resort to technology to keep their children entertained and occupied during their free time. However, parents should encourage their children to spend less time on their devices and do arts and crafts instead!
Arts and crafts allow children to improve their coordination and fine motor skills. It also helps children express their creativity and imagination. Making arts and crafts helps them to be more creative, inspired, and increase their productivity.
Here are five arts and crafts activities you can enjoy with your children:
1. Paper Lantern
There are many types of paper lanterns and making one is not as hard as you think. It only takes less than an hour to make! Here is what you need: colour paper, scissors and tape or glue.
- Take your colour paper and fold it in half lengthwise. Any size or type of paper will do just fine but it is recommended to use lighter paper.
- Once you fold the paper in half, cut along the folded edge, but do not cut it way to the end. It is up to you whether you want the slits to be long. The longer the slits, the more light will shine through the paper and the more flexible your lantern will be. You can also decide on how large you want your strips to be. The number of strips will completely change the look of your lantern. The standard size would be an inch or 2.5cm.
- Take the two ends of the paper and wrap them around to make them into a round tube shape. Then, use tape or glue to secure it by sticking the top and bottom edge together. You can also use a stapler to connect the two ends.
- Now it is time to make the handle for the lantern. Cut out another piece of paper to make the handle. The handle should be around 15cm long, 2.5cm wide. You can also be creative by using ribbons or strings instead of paper to make the handle.
- Attach the handle with some tape or glue by securing them inside the top of your lantern.
Enjoy your lantern by hanging it from the ceiling or anywhere you want to decorate!
2. Blossom Painting using Plastic Bottle
Have you seen pink cherry blossoms paintings circulating on the internet? Here is what you need to make them; plastic bottle (make sure it is a soda bottle), brown and pink paint, a small container, a brush, paper and newspaper.
- Lay out your newspaper to protect your workspace as there may be splashes from the pink paint when you are creating your piece. Then, start off by using the brown paint, paint a tree trunk and remember to plain some branches along the length of the white paper background.
- Pour out the pink paint into the small container. Then, dip the base of the soda bottle into the paint. Make sure the paint is not too watery, otherwise it would not work very well. Then, lift up and allow any excess paint to drip off before applying them on the paper.
- Align the paint-dipped bottle base over the part of the paper where you would want your cherry blossom to be. Simply press down the base of the bottle gently and lift it up cleanly. You should be able to see a cherry blossom imprinted on your paper; five outer dots and an inner circle dot in the middle, depending on the pattern of your soda bottle. Repeat as many times as you want your cherry blossom to be on the tree. Be creative with your creation by trying out different styles.
You can hang up your painting or frame it once it has fully dried.
3. Bubble Painting
Bubbles are fun to play with and a great activity for kids. However, there are more things you can do with them other than just blowing bubbles, watching them float and pop. Here is what you need to make a bubble painting; bubble solution, bubble wands, food colouring, paper, containers and newspaper.
- Place the newspaper to protect your workspace or head outside. Bubbles are sticky to begin with and coloured bubbles can stain as well. Make sure you put plenty of newspapers or use an old shirt as things can get messy. Then, place the sheet of paper down on your workspace. Thick paper like cardstock or watercolour paper works the best. The paper can be any size you want, but it needs to be white, otherwise the colours won’t show up.
- Mix some bubble solution and food colouring with a bubble wand. Pour out a tablespoon (15 ml) of the bubble solution into the container first. Then, use the bubble wand to stir in 1 to 3 drops of liquid food colouring into the mixture. Repeat these steps with a different container and wands for each colour that you want to make.
- Point the bubble wand at your paper and blow in the container. The bubble will start foaming and floating towards the paper, then pop when it hits on the paper. If the bubble does not move towards the paper, you can use your hands to push it towards the paper. It will create a ring with a splatter effect around it. If the bubble does not pop, you can use your finger to poke it and make it pop. You can blow more bubbles at different distances to create a different splatter effect. The closer you blow the bubble to the paper, the bigger the splatter effect. Repeat this process with different colours to create a more colourful piece of art.
Once you are done, wait at least ten minutes for the painting to dry by letting it sit flat on the table.
4. Marshmallow Flower Cookies
Another fun activity for families is baking! Here is what you need to make marshmallow flower cookies; 1 tube refrigerated cookie dough, assorted sanding sugar, 1 bag of marshmallows, 1 can vanilla frosting, green food colouring and pastel M&M’s.
- You will need to preheat your oven to 350°F/ 177°C and line up two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the cookie dough into 1/4 inch rounds and spread them around 1 inch apart on the baking sheet and bake according to the package instructions. After baking, let them cool completely.
- After letting your cookies cool, pour each colour sanding sugar into a separate container. Then, use the scissors to cut the marshmallows in half diagonally and divide the halved marshmallows between bags. Dip the cut marshmallow ends in sugar.
- You will need to dye the vanilla frosting green colour with a couple drops of the green food colouring. Then, place a small amount of the dyed frosting onto the center of each cookie to make it look like green stems or leaves. Once you are done with that, arrange the pastel colour M&M in the center of the cookie. Then, place the marshmallows around the M&M to look like flower petals.
Arrange the marshmallow flower cookies on a plate and they are ready to be enjoyed by the whole family.
5. Friendship Bracelet
Have you seen the news of this Malaysian girl sending our Health Director-General, Dr. Noor Hisham, a friendship bracelet that melted many Malaysians’ hearts? Well, you can now learn how to make these and give it to your friends or loved ones! Here is what you need; scissors, embroidery floss in four colours, and a clipboard. If you do not have a clipboard, you can use a safety pin and pinned it on cloth.
- Cut all the four colours of the embroidery floss into 21 ½ inches. This measurement is a good length for a bracelet. If you would like to make an anklet or for a grownup wrist, you will need to cut the threads longer. Next, tie the threads together in a basic knot from the tip of your embroidery floss. Once you tie them up, tuck the knot under the clipboard and spread the threads apart. Let’s pick 4 colours for a better understanding; blue, pink, purple and white.
- Take the left thread (the blue one) and cross it over the next thread (pink one) in the shape of a 4. Then, take the blue thread and loop it over and under the pink thread. Make sure to keep the pink thread nice and tight with one hand and slowly pull the blue thread until it makes a knot at the top, right by the clipboard. Then, repeat this step again; blue over pink.
- Do the previous step again twice with the blue and purple thread. Then. do the same thing twice for the blue and white thread. By doing so, you will see the blue thread on the right side instead of the left side.
- Repeat the process, starting from the left and work your way towards the right. For example, the next colour after the blue thread will be the pink thread. So, it’s pink over purple twice, pink over white twice, then pink over blue twice. After doing so, you will see now the pink thread is on the left side. Then, repeat for the rest; starting with purple on the left, then white on the left, then blue on the left again. Once you have done the blue thread three times, the bracelet will be about an inch long.
- Once you have woven about five inches, it is time to finish it off by tying a knot at the end of the bracelet. Do not trim the ends off if you want to give this as a gift. Trim them off after tying the bracelet around your wrist.
These bracelets can be given to loved ones or sold as accessories!
If you enjoyed reading this article, check out the following:
- 5 Tips for Effective Virtual Learning
- 5 Good Internet Habits for Children
- 5 Fun Family-Friendly Activities to do at Home!
- 5 Hygiene Tips for Children
- Benefits of Learning a Musical Instrument
- Benefits of Being Multilingual
- 5 Benefits of Writing Poetry
- 5 Good Financial Habits for Children!
- 7 Ways to Spend the End of Year Holidays!
- How to Improve Your Child’s Writing Skills