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Topic SuperQuick, Cool Cheeseless Kid Crafts!? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By bbaltimore On 03/31/04  

Say that subject title five times fast!

Hi All,

I'm looking for super quick crafts that I can do with my kids. I did some searching but everything I came up with was pretty cheesy. I have 3 kids ages 8, 6, and 3 all of which are quite precocious. They love to use tools and work with their hands. They also love creating art with Dad.

I'd like to find useful, cool things that can be done cheaply in 1-2 hours (including set-up and clean up) for our family fun nights each week.

Ideas? Links? Materials? Wisdom?
Give me all that you got Glitterati!

By BeckyEScott On 03/31/04  

Hi, new here, just jumping in...

Two things we've done here that have been very successful- the infamous kool-aid stove-top playdoh recipe (I can find you a link, but it's all over the 'net). Fast and cheap and keeps them entertained for hours. The older kids can help you make it. There are also recipes for "goop" I want to try out one day.

The other thing is Shrinky Dinks. I like them 'cause I make stuff for myself at the same time.

By miche_chan On 03/31/04  

The thing that throws me for a loop in this request is "useful". I cannot think of many crafts I made as a wee lass that were actually practical...
Here's my grownup list of fun practical crafts:
-shrinky dink keychains for each family member
-making a family monthly schedule/bulletin board, colour coded for each member, with little handmade stickers for sports, dentist appts, Brownie meetings, etc
-making stationary out of magazines
-making christmas ornaments?
...yeah I'm running low at this time of the day.

As for words of wisdom, the coolest thing I could have done with my dad when I was a would have been helping him out and learning about his favorite craft/hobby (that didn't happen). And then the next session would have been him helping me and learning about MY favorite hobby or craft (ditto). We just went to the movies a lot instead.

By jtsang On 03/31/04  

watch pbs during the marathons, there is this couple that has designed over 300 kid crafts and experiments etc that are fun to do. One I can think of off the top of my head is to put liquid soap and tempera paint powder in water, then put a straw in and blow bubbles, touch a piece of paper to the bubbles to make a fun effect.

they made goo and gack and slime and things like that, as well as treasure stones and things that used physics and locomotion. The only place you can get their book is from pbs, maybe try ? lots of educational/fun kid crafts


By jessyjessy On 04/01/04  

There's a book designed for teachers called ScienceArts that is all quick art projects that teach science things, too.
I've always been a big fan of collage, and one of my best all-family memories is when we all worked on my model of early man together (on our porch!): Dad and I went to the hardware store for screen, then we paper mached the stuff out of it; Mom sewed the costumes for the clay cavemen my sister and I made. Funnest diorama ever!

By Lu On 04/01/04  

The couple' s books are called Kid Concoctions. There is a book 1 and 2 and a holiday one. I can't think of the authors, but if you search on Amazon, you can find them. I have the first book and I've used it with classes I've had of different ages and the projects are always fun. The great thing is that you can use the concoctions (many are homemade clay or paint) to make other creative stuff, rather than winding up with a predesigned bunny or popsicle stick cabin that looks just like a picture.
Family and the magazine they sell often have some pretty cool projects too. I think it's the website that has a craft search index by recycled supplies like "search for projects with toilet paper tubes" or "projects with popscle sticks" and things like that. Good if you have an abundance of recyclable supplies to use up.

By antigone On 04/01/04  

make your own soaps with little toys and stuff inside?

By asianlynn On 04/02/04  

You couls do some really cool multicultural crafts. You could do dream catchers they are really easy but they also have room for a lot of different ages and personalization. They could make it look earthy with leather cord and fethers or they could make it look nice and etherial with sheer ribbons and sparkly thread on the inside. After they are done they have something they can hang in their room. Also They could make a Japanese windsock. This can be done with either fabric or paper just cut two identical fish shapes out of fabric or paper and decorate the right side and then you can either help them sew them together or they can glue them together on each side of the fish but you leave the top and bottom open and then you attach strings to the top and either hang it inside or outside depending on what you made it out of.
you could teach them how they die fabric in some parts of africa by doing a crayon resist of geometric shapes and then telling them about batik or you caould look up a more simple batik project that they could do.
Never underestimate the fun of tye dye.
And also I can not say enough good things about Klutz books! They have allkinds of non-cheesey kids crafts ranging from Make Anything from Clay and Making Mini-Books to beaded hairpins and friendship bracelets.

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