Creative Activities for Kids
Nurturing creative talents
Make a Scene
With lots of components, this large-scale project is a great one for kids to work on together. Start with a huge piece of paper and paint it an appropriate background hue – for example, black for a space scene, or green for a jungle. Then set the kids to work filling in the scene with whatever objects or creatures they like. Let them loose with coloured card, tissue paper, Textas, sequins and glitter (if you can stomach the mess), then stick them onto the background with glue or Blu-Tack. For a fun variation, replace the paper with felt, which sticks to itself, so kids can move their creations around as they like and create a different story every day.
This fun craft activity doubles as a frame-worthy keepsake for mum and dad. Choose a piece of paper – coloured or white, or even patterned wrapping paper works well – and Blu-Tack it to the wall.
Sit your child sideways in front of the wall, with a lamp shining directly at them, casting a clearly defined shadow onto the paper. Draw around the shadow with a pencil – or better yet, get your kids to help each other with this part – and then have them fill in the shape with black crayon or paint.
Pick up plain T-shirts for your children to customise. This activity can be tweaked for all ages; let the little ones loose to make confetti patterns with fabric paint and stamps, or, if your kids are old enough to operate an iron, try iron-on washi tape. If your tweens are interested in learning to use a sewing machine, encourage them to experiment, sewing rickrack trims or creating T-shirt pockets out of patterned fabric scraps (and learning a new skill along the way).
Make a magnetic fishing game. This is a great one for all ages, with even the littlest ones loving the process of creating and then playing the game. Fold a piece of paper in half and draw a fish (you can download a template or freestyle it) so the mouth is at the folded end.
Cut out and glue a paperclip between the two fish. Make as many fish as you like, encouraging the kids to add lots of detail and bright colours to each. Then attach a small magnet to a piece of string, using a chopstick or similar as a fishing pole, and away you go!
Flip Book Fun
Teach your kids about the basic principles of animation by getting them to make their own flip books. Almost everyone made these as children, but to refresh your memory, you’ll need a sticky notepad and a marker pen. Start on the last page of the pad and draw a little stick figure, a basic face or even something as simple as a dot. The rest is up to your kids’ imaginations!
To begin with, they might like to draw a dot that grows or
bounces around the page – move it a tiny bit on each page you draw. Or draw a
stick figure waving or jumping, or a funny face frowning then smiling.
DIY Paper Beads
Making your own paper beads is a fantastic activity that will keep the kids busy for hours. Cut coloured or patterned paper into long, thin triangles. Then, starting at the wider end, wind the paper around a knitting needle, sealing with glue pasted along the last inch or two of paper. Leave to dry for a few minutes, then gently ease off the needle. Thread onto twine to make stylish accessories.
Just Add Salt
Salt painting is one of those messy-but-worth-it projects your kids will love, whether they’re toddlers or tweens. Paint a picture with thick blobs of PVA glue or drizzle the glue directly from the bottle. Sprinkle liberally with salt, shaking off the excess. Then, using liquid watercolour paint (or watered-down acrylic or diluted food colouring), touch the tip of the paintbrush to the salt and watch the colour spread like magic!