Cool Kid’s Crafts

Turn off the cartoons and the flashy video games and instead, help spark your kid’s creativity!

Studio 5 Contributor Mandy Douglass shares cool kid’s crafts that will bring out children’s inner artist and teach them life skills all at the same time!

I spend lots of time at my house crafting. However I notice sometimes that while I am in project mode, my little ones always want to get in on the action. I remember my mom allowing me to craft along with her when I was a little one, and realized how important it was to allow my kids that same opportunity. These were, and still are, some of the most valuable and memorable moments of my life! Today I decided when planning out my projects, that I wanted to include them in on the action for this segment!

I want my kids to LEARN while doing these crafts, not just going through the motions and have another craft to stick in the good will basket in a few months. So here are 5 fun projects to create with your children and may just teach your kids a skill!

Sock Puppets with a purpose!

Making “DUST MONSTERS” was a concept a friend of mine told me about. We spent an hour getting fuzzy socks (found at Target), using buttons as the eyes, and a little felt and cardboard for the mouth.

My boys loved helping me glue pom poms and even helping me use a yarn and needle to sew on each button eye!

The result … DUST MONSTERS! My baseboards have never been so clean, my boys have been entertained for hours and the memories … PRICELESS!

Play dough with a spin!

My mom made play dough for us often when I was a kid. However I have never taken the plunge to do it myself! I never realized how easy it was!! A new trend I have noticed is making play dough that is scented! I decided to use the Duncan Hines Frosting creations flavor mix packet to flavor and color my play dough. It was so easy and my boys loved smelling each color! Here is the recipe I used:

1 cup flour
1 cup water
¼ cup salt
1 TBSP oil
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 packet of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations

Mix all together in sauce pan with wooden spoon. Stir until most of lumps are gone. Cook over medium-high heat until it clumps together in a ball. Pour out onto counter and knead until all mixed together!

I made 4 batches in ½ hour … and it entertained my kids for hours!!

The benefits to making play dough according to Mandy:
1. Allows your kids to interact in the kitchen with you.
2. Teaches them very simple cooking skills.
3. Allows you the opportunity to make whatever colors and scents you would like.
4. Uses all edible and natural ingredients that won’t make your kid sick if they decide to try it!

Bean Bag shape game

My boys are both learning their colors and shapes in preschool right now, so I thought a great way to teach them was to help me make a game. I printed out 9 different outlines of shapes.

My 3 year old colored each shape a different color. I then laminated all of them.

After you have made the cards, the next step would be to make the bean bags. This would be a great idea to do with an older child (8+) to help them learn the skills of sewing. This might even be something an older sibling could do to help you make the game for younger siblings.

To play the game, name a shape and see if you can throw the beanbag onto the shape!

Placemat Fun!

Dinner time seems to be my most chaotic time of the day. I am sure most mothers can relate! I saw this darling idea online and thought I would customize it for my boys! I made a placemat with lines to practice writing their names. I printed it out at my local copy store on an 11″x17″ piece of white cardstock. Then before laminating it, I drew their names with dotted lines so they could trace it.

The boys loved it and were so proud to show me that they were learning to write their name! You could do this for all sorts of writing activities to keep the kids busy. I also found a darling website with some great placemats to print!

Block Puzzles

My 5 year old has been obsessed with puzzles lately. It got me thinking about a great way to incorporate our family memories with his love for building and putting pictures together. Each side of the blocks are a different family picture of the things we love to do together. This will make a total of 6 different puzzles on one set (9 blocks).

To make your own family puzzle, print out your picture to 6″ x 6″. Then cut your pieces into 2″ x 2″ squares. Attach to blocks (found at Hobby Lobby for $1) with Mod Podge.

If you’re unsure of how to resize your pictures, visit my blog for a tutorial on how to print your photos for the cubes. I am also available for hire to do this for you, please email me with questions!

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