I am fully qualified to write this post because, well, I hate craft. I have no patience for it and I hate the mess. I do however, understand the importance of craft in developing such qualities as fine motor skills, creativity, imagination, concentration, cognitive development and the list goes on…
I have three ideas that are not my own but I like for their minimal material requirements and lack of preparation and mess.
1. Body Tracing
Requirements: a roll of paper (I use the rolls of paper from Ikea made for their black boards), black texta, coloured textas and optional: ‘extras’ for gluing on.
Instructions: Roll out the paper, your child lays down on it, you or a sibling trace around them, the child stands up and then decorates their life size drawing of themselves. Done!
Optional Extras: You might like to get crate paper to glue on for the hair and if you have been doing some beading/threading, you can help stick the ‘necklace’ or ‘bracelet’ on as well. Minimum requirements are creating a face and drawing on the clothes! My kids also like to trace their favourite teddies. Once done, I stick them to the glass doors around the house until the novelty wears off!
2. Window Mosaics
Requirements: clear contact, scrap paper of various colours, scissors and optional: ribbon, foil, mixed craft packet of bits and pieces.
Instructions: cut up a collection of scrap paper, ribbon, foil, collect leaves and feathers from outside too if you like. Lay out some clear contact and take the backing paper off. Let the kids scatter their collection of cuttings all over the contact, either randomly or in a pattern. Fold the contact over and stick on a window for the sun to shine through.
3. Flower Smashing
Requirements: paper, flowers/berries from the garden (make sure they are not poisonous or put in one’s mouth), rolling pin (I use the one from the play-doh set because I don’t bake!) or a hammer/mallet.
Instructions: Collect flowers/leaves/berries. Lay them out on paper with another piece of paper over the top. Smash the flowers so they leave their imprint on the paper. We have also done the ‘smashing’ on the cement driveway outside. It was messy but fun and it washes away eventually!
Jodi McAlary is the Founder and Managing Director of emerging kid’s activities and entertainment guide for NSW and ACT, www.todokids.com.au
Mother of naturally conceived (accidental!) 4 year old identical triplet girls, Jodi experienced a period of post natal depression after the birth of her gorgeous babies and is now an advocate for open and wide discussion of the dark journey experienced by herself and others. Find Jodi on Facebook here