Top craft activities for children

Boy wearing mask
Getting your children to be creative over holidays, weekends, and during after-school time is a great way to nurture their artistic flair and keep them occupied. Try these great activities to get kids crafting.

Child development experts tell us, and we all know instinctively, that creativity is good for our children's mental development, their self-esteem and their self-expression. We also know first hand, that one of the great pleasures of being a parent is seeing the joy and pride on our children's faces as they stick their latest creation from school or playgroup on the fridge or bedroom wall.

So try these activities to get their creativity flowing:

Egg Heads

Crack open some eggs at the top and drain out the white and yolk. Once your egg is hollow, put some compost or soil inside, filling it halfway. Then sprinkle some cress or mustard seeds evenly over the soil, and trickle some water over them. Whilst the seeds are growing, get some felt pens and draw funny faces and colourful patterns on the eggs to decorate them. Place on a window sill, and wait for the hair to grow.

Masks

These are always a fun way to keep kids occupied, both in the making and then the playing afterwards. Find some card (not too thick) for them to use, and either lolly sticks or a length of elastic for them to use to wear their masks. Make sure you offer to help with the cutting as it can often be tricky for younger children, especially when cutting out the eyes. There are plenty of mask-kits in the shops, or you could use scraps found round the house.

Garden decorations

Christmas aside, it’s always fun to add decorations to the trees and bushes in your garden to make them look even more picturesque. The tree decorations could be made out of natural things found in the garden (be careful they are not poisonous though) such as flowers (remember to use what is on the floor - don't pick them off the plants), twigs, berries, and seeds. Things like pine cones make excellent decorations, too. You can use string and glue to assemble them and use paint and glitter to make them even more colourful.

Boats

Most children have a real interest in boats, so why not get them to make their own and see how long they can keep it afloat. You could provide cork, pieces of wood, twigs, lolly sticks and general scraps of fabric, with glue and string, and then encourage them to experiment with different materials and designs. They can launch their boats in ponds, streams, puddles or even in a basin of water. You could encourage them to make brightly coloured sails and get them to paint their finished boats, too.

Costumes

Encourage your children to make their own costumes for parties, plays and role-playing games. They could use a variety of different materials, such as fabric, felt, card, tissue paper and papier mache, and use different techniques to assemble it all. It might get messy, so remember to put plenty of newspaper down.