Thursday, May 07, 2009

Crafting a Life: Crafty Tutorials for Kids

(crossposted to BlogHer)

"There's nothing to do."
"We're bored."
"How many days until we go ...?"

These -and similar complaints - are the true signs of summer. Children left to their resources can quickly run out of ways to amuse themselves. I'd be willing to bet that with schools closing because of the H1N1 influenza, some parents and caretakers are already hearing these refrains.

With that in mind, I've searched out some simple to more complicated crafty tutorials to keep the whole family entered for an afternoon.

Quazen tackled one of the ubiquitous items of childhood: what to do with broken crayons.
  1. Waxed Paper Stained Glass Windows
  2. Mega Mult-Color Crayon Blocks
  3. Wax Painting on paper.
I remember doing all of these as kids and having a blast. Wouldn't these be great solutions for either rainy summer days, or those last summer "there's nothing to do" days?

Amanda Formaro wrote a tutorial on Salt Dough Sports Magnets. These quick and simple crafts would make gifts for the Mom or Dad who is a crazy sports fan - or the parent of one.

Simple Kids has a collection of YouTube videos demonstrating how to do simple crafts.

Do you head to the zoo with your kids every summer? Wenona Napolitano at Crafting A Green World wrote a tutorial on making cute animal creations from empty yogurt cups: Yogurt Cup Creations. While she and her family have created seasonal animals, I can see re-creating the zoo and a great memory of the trip.

Gail Bartel recognized Children's Day by writing two tutorials on Koinobori Windsocks
using both fabric and heavy paper. I had kids do something similar at a summer Bible School picnic at the beach. Watching children stand in a row at the edge of the water with their windsocks fluttering in the breeze was magical. The added benefit: the windsocks identified "our" kids from all the others at the beach that day.

When the kids are home, do they head out to ride their bikes all day? Check out these simple instructions for embellished wheel spokes, bike flag, or streamers from the DIY network to customize the look of their bikes.

Perhaps a child would like to spend some time this summer tackling a new hobby. AlphaMom offered T-Shirt Weaving (like the potholders I made as a child):
help your kids celebrate with an upcycled weaving project using old t-shirts. My six-year-old was fascinated to watch me cut up clothing (not for the first time) and we thought of many more uses for these cast-off shirts. I'm certain that you have some old t-shirts lying around the house, but if you get them at the thrift store, look for extra large shirts with no seams on the sides to make the longest strips. We used string for the base (called warp strings) because I found it easier for little hands to work with, but you could also use more t-shirt strips, creating a denser weave and a fully recycled project. And if you don't have a loom, don't go buy one -- you can use a cardboard box by following the instructions here.
Finally, it always seems that breaks from school invite those broken arms and legs. BPWagner posted an Instructables tutorial on Attaching Lego Accessories to a Cast. I'm still a little confused about these instructions, but the idea of having a light or other accessory that I could attach to a cast is too juicy to ignore. Please, if you try this one, let me know how it goes.

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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