Do you need inspiration for screen free activity ideas?
Create and Craft can help! Half term is coming up and I am sure many parents in Lockdown 3.0, like me, are exhausted. With the combination of working from home, home-schooling, travel limits etc our children are bored of the same four walls and constant Zoom meetings. My nine-year-old is glued to a laptop most of the day. We are all looking forward to the learning break.
But how are we going to keep our kids entertained with limited options?
If the weather holds or snow falls, escape outside (though my two are fed up with the same four local walks!) Whilst I am not booing the TV or tablet for when you as a parent need a break, there are plenty of other activities available that involve putting screens to one side. With anything in life… balance is key, and it just feels like there is too much tech at the moment.
‘Looking for fun ways to keep your kids engaged at home during the pandemic? Once children turn off the Tv and put down the smartphone, there are stacks of art and making, baking, play and exercising, board games and self-care activities to do!’
You do NOT have to be a Blue Peter parent to get crafty with your kids. There are hundreds of ideas on Pinterest to take inspiration from. I admit the clean-up makes me cringe and my creativity levels are at zero – which is why I have been relying on readymade kits and online stores to keep supplies up. I find having a full craft cupboard makes entertaining children easier; filled with pens, PVA, card, stickers, paintbrushes etc.
Let Create and Craft help you stock up!
Create and Craft help make it easier for parents to take a screen break and spend time with their kids.
With the UK’s first TV channel dedicated to crafting, as well as an accompanying online shop, Create and Craft is the destination for all thing’s arts and crafts! Having been around for almost 18 years whether you are into baking, making jewellery, sewing or just general crafting – there are supplies for everyone. Winner of best craft awards 2020, be reassured that you are buying quality products, from paper to art materials and kids crafts. The website is absolutely stocked, reasonably priced, with £2.99 swift delivery and member discounts. To help you out we have picked a few of our favourite Create and Craft products and offered some quickfire inspiration what to make.
Check out our SEVEN screen free activities that will keep children busy and just might build in some bonding as well.
#Grab a Create and Craft glitter marker!
With younger children I prefer to use wax crayons and colouring pencils as they are easily washable. Up your colouring game with magic pens and stamp pens. Love glitter but hate the mess? – Then glitter markers are the tool of choice for you. Create and Crafts Colortime Glitter Markers RRP at £12.59 for a pack of twelve. The markers are good quality, water based with strong durability. The nibs are the perfect thickness, not to thin or thick. The world is literally your oyster when it comes to drawing. Motivate children with projects linked to their interests.
A birthday crown.
With card, masking tape, string, and a whole load of PVA, markers, paper, paint etc you can make anything, from fairy wings to an astronaut helmet. Norah has her birthday coming up and she asked for a crown, and with a ton of spare Amazon boxes (admit it, you do too) its an easy make. Measure your child’s head and make sure you have the correct length card. Draw a repetitive tiara shape. Tip: Google printable crown templates if you want something more dramatic. Cut out and either staple the ends or I prefer to use ribbon to create and adjustable tie back. Decorate however you want. Use the Create and Craft glitter markers, tin foil, stick on sequins etc! Then follow up with a fairy-tale story and dress up for imaginative play!
Stained glass windows.
There are lots of ways to do these with children, with older ones use glitter glue mixed with PVA on Perspex or glass from old photo frames after drawing on a design with permanent marker. You can use string to create borders between colours. One simple technique for primary age children is to stick small pieces of coloured tissue onto clear plastic acetate with PVA to make a design. You can make traditional window squares or draw around drinking glasses to create a simple circle. Use string to hang them and black card to create a border. To add extra sparkle, we used the Create and Craft markers to define between the different colours. It is best to let them dry over-night. Ps. If you want let children doodle on real windows with chalk markers!
Rock painting is a popular thing, my kids love finding ones left down the park and all the different designs. If you do not want to get too messy or if older children have more detailed designs, you can also use simple markers on the rocks. As preparation, clean and dry the rock, if it is dark you may want to put on a few coats of white acrylic first. Sketch with a pencil first and then use black sharpie and markers as you would on paper. You can varnish when dry (I used nail polish!) Simple.
#Enjoy Selfie Clothing from Create and Craft.
I will not discount the humble colouring book, but after months of the same pages it is good to mix things up a little. Create and Craft sell ‘Selfie Clothing’ which adds an element of fun to drawing and has the added benefit of your little one ending up with wearable clothes. The kits available are for tops and pyjamas that come in a variety of sizes and designs to match your kids likes – space, wizards, mermaids and more! I love the ‘All About London’ colour in top and Norah (my almost three-year-old) was excited to be scribbling on something new, it is also great for improving dexterity. In terms of the kit, it retails at £15.99, arrives in bold but recyclable packaging, the round-neck top long sleeve top is true to size (5-6 and 6-8 available) and made of super soft jersey-blend fabric. The six bright colouring pens do not easily dry out and use high-quality UV ink which can be air cured for 24 hours or ironed by a parent. The colours do not fade. Tip: pens can bleed on fabric so put a piece of cardboard between the front and back of the top.
Ps. The pens still have plenty of use so why not grab a plain pillowcase to personalise! You can always combine with at home Tie Dye for extra colour.
#Foam And Silk Clay Set.
All parents have a love/hate relationship with Playdough. My toddler has great fun with it, it is a good tool for improving fine motor skills and sensory development. My eldest struggles with the smell so I found a great alternative on the Create and Craft website. The Silk and Foam Clay set (£29.99) is a self-hardening clay perfect for modelling figures. The box includes tools, accessories Foam Clay in 10 colours and Silk Clay in 10 colours. Perfect for sculpturing, shaping, making embellishments and modelling, the Clay is lightweight, non-staining and can be used to coat, wrap, and cover a variety of items and surfaces. It is also easy to mix up your own colours and create bright designs! Warm it in your hands to make it easier to shape.
One of the best parts? It is therapeutic and has a calming effect on children. Rolling clay with palms and fingers, pressing, pounding, shaping and forming strengthen their muscles and encourages children to use their imagination and creativity.
Play with stick Puppets.
As easy as it sounds. Use old ice cream or kebab sticks and put models on top – older children can also make pencil toppers, or they can act as cool bookmarks. You can make anything i.e., animals or for younger children celestial puppets like stars and the moon, for play or basic shape recognition. If you are feeling dramatic, use them to create a shadow puppet show. Tip: use a tiny bit of water to blend the clay. Me? I got involved and made mini succulents and loved having a giggle with the children.
Create and Craft Pinch pots.
A good activity for all ages. Place a ball of clay in your hand, or on a flat surface. Gently poke your thumb into the centre. Rotate while pinching the clay gently between your thumb and fingers. You may need to wet your fingers slightly to smooth out any cracks. Pinch and turn, pinch and turn. A great example I have seen is making lids for a pinch pot and using a black permeant marker to draw faces on, so they resemble family members. Or using a rubber stamp, label block coloured bowls and use them for colour sorting activities.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Perfect for Early Years children. Cut out a leaf shape from white paper. Ask your child to colour the leaf with crayons or markers. Next, take green and brown clay. Show your child how to make tiny round balls of green and brown. Join to make a caterpillar! Share the Hungry Caterpillar story together and get older siblings to model the different foods eaten if they want to join in. Use objects from round the house to make impressions with the clay, buttons, pasta and use biscuit cutters to cut out shapes.
If this is a bit too complicated, make ice cream cones! Cut the edge off a toilet roll to make a cone and add different coloured ice cream balls for an early counting activity.
#Feeling inspired to get creating with crafts?
We are not anti-screens here at this house, but I found it enjoyable getting away from Paw Patrol and Roblox, spending time as a family. Less screen light means the children will sleep better and having something they can look at and feel a sense of achievement having made at the end of the day is wonderful. Even if everyone is a bit glittery. Craft activities are great because they can be adjusted to suit both my children who are at different developmental stages. Check out ten activities to do with your toddler. They also like spending positive time with each other, and with us.
Get creative on the half term break! Check out all kid’s craft ideas here.
#AD This is a collaborative post. We received the Create and Craft products for the purposes of this review. All views and opinions are our own.