Like a lot of things in life - the old methods are often the best. Even X Boxes and Nintendos can get boring sometimes. When you have toddlers at home, isn't it fun to get covered in flour and paint once in a while?
The best kids' activities always involve a good clear up afterwards and youngsters absolutely love the process of glueing, sticking, painting, and generally exercising their artistic muscles. But most of all, they'll love spending time with you, and seeing mummy or daddy playing with paper and crayons alongside them.
I've revived some old favourites with my own children. I remember taking a bag full of garden bits to school with a biscuit tin and a mirror. Then coming home proudly with my First Prize sticker for the best miniature garden. I used an old compact mirror to make the garden, which was all built in the biscuit tin. I surrounded it with moss and a bit of soil, and then planted twigs for trees and a rabbit hutch made of out a matchbox. It was great fun and very creative.
Another favourite was peg dolls. We had some old fashioned clip pegs, and made dolls out of them using felt tip pens for the eyes and mouth, pipe cleaners for the arms, cotton wool or coloured wool for the hair, and some old handkerchiefs for the dresses. I remember loving my peg dolls more than my Barbie.
One of the crafts that I did most of all with my own children, and that they absolutely loved, was potato printing. It 's messy, colourful, and cheap. I think the naughtiness of painting food appealed to them too.
It couldn't be simpler.
What do you need?
A sharp knife (for a grown-up only)
Different coloured paints
Some old paintbrushes
Newspaper to put on the table
White paper to paint on
1. A grown-up should cut the potatoes. Cut the potatoes in half, and cut out shapes with a sharp knife. I do stars, squares, triangles and circles. You could let the children use a spoon to cut their own abstract shapes out of the potatoes too.
2. Use an old plate to pour out different coloured paints. If you have basic red, yellow and blue, you can also mix up orange, green, purple and brown.
3. Then either dip the potato shapes in, or use a paint brush to paint the potato half, and print onto paper.The potatoes are just the right size for small hands to grasp.
4. You can make cards or bookmarks or book covers with your print designs, or keep it simple with pictures.
The children will love the activity and best of all, clearing up is quick and easy!