Autumn is back to school time, and for moms with young children that can mean a little more free time to accomplish their to-do lists, and even indulge in some non-mom-related activities. But in most of the country the mild days of September and early October will quickly give way to the colder, shorter days of winter.
As your kids begin spending more time confined indoors you may hear the age-old lament “there’s nothing to do!” This usually gives way to discontented inactivity, glued to the TV, smart phone, or computer monitor. Or . . . you can fuel their imagination and spark their creativity with safe, fun, low-tech activities.
The owners of Kids ‘R’ Kids of Sienna Plantation and Kids ‘R’ Kids of Riverstone have compiled a list of five simple, inexpensive craft ideas that will help you keep cabin fever at bay this fall and winter.
Make Your Own Play Dough
Play dough is another time-honored favorite, but after a few uses the vibrant individual colors tend to get mushed together into a homogenous, grayish mess. While replenishing your child’s supply with store-bought play dough is an option, helping them make their own from scratch adds to the experience and lets them experiment with colors that aren’t commercially available. You can find the recipe here: https://www.diynatural.com/homemade-playdough
Make a Soda Bottle Bird Feeder
As the weather turns colder, food becomes more scarce for our feathered friends. This bird feeder, made from an empty 2-liter soda bottle will provide them with an attractive feeding station. Your kids will have hours of fun constructing and decorating the feeder and learning about the birds it attracts once it’s filled with seed and hung in the backyard. You’ll find complete instructions here: https://www.favecrafts.com/Earth-Day-Crafts/16-Recycle-Crafts-for-Kids
Make a Kid-Friendly Rain Stick
The rain stick is believed to have been created by Pre-Columbian indigenous people in what is now Chile and Argentina. Once thought to have the mystical power to bring showers and storms, rain sticks still have the power to calm and soothe the mind. You’ll find the instructions here: http://www.giftofcuriosity.com/diy-rain-stick-craft
Make Paper Airplanes
Paper airplanes may seem a bit “old school” for today’s tech-savvy kids, but the designs on www.foldnfly.com take things to a whole new level. Your child can choose from 39 different designs including decorative, acrobatic, distance and time aloft as well as difficulty levels from easy to expert. And twenty-eight of the designs on the site don’t require scissors. Your child will have hours of fun creating and flying these paper airplanes, and siblings and friends can compete against each other in categories like longest flight, most acrobatic, best decoration, etc. You’ll find the designs here: http://www.foldnfly.com
Make a Blanket Fort
Blanket forts are the ultimate in simplicity, and have been keeping kids entertained for generations. Mix one-part old blankets or bedsheets with two-parts imagination and you’ve got the recipe for hours of safe, indoor fun. Be sure to pick an area away from normal family foot traffic and make sure the blankets aren’t attached to furniture that could be easily overturned. Your kids will do the rest! Of course, large cardboard boxes also make great forts if you’d rather not risk your linens. And they can be cut, painted and decorated to create anything from a medieval castle to a futuristic spaceship. This one is so simple no directions are needed!