Chances are, if you've spent the majority of spring break at home with little ones, then you've probably exhausted just about every resource to keep them busy by now.
Time to get crafty! Here are four easy, creative projects to make the remaining days a little more fun for them and little easier for you.
Egg-carton creepy crawlers
Playing with bugs can be fun for kids, but it can be a headache-inducing activity for parents who are more concerned about things like germs. With our easy egg-carton creepy crawlers, you can let your child have fun with bugs without breaking out the Lysol.
What you need:
1. Cut the empty egg carton to form the body of the creepy crawler.
2. Next, spread newspaper on a flat surface to protect it as you paint. Using the paintbrushes and craft paints, paint the body of your creepy crawler. Let it dry.
3. When it is dry, attach googly eyes and a small piece of pipe cleaner (about an inch long) with glue onto the front of your bug to form its face. Let dry.
4. Cut several pieces of pipe cleaners for the bug's legs. (The pieces should be about 1 1/2 inches long.) Glue them one by one to the inside of your bug's egg-carton body so that they peek out. Let glue dry, then gently twist the ends of the legs so that they are curled, instead of just sticking out straight.
5. To finish, make bug wings, antennae or both with more pipe cleaners. Glue these securely in place and let dry. It's important to remember that there is no wrong or right way to make a bug. It's totally up to your children's imaginations, and the more creative, the better!
Help your child kick coloring time up a notch with some sparkly and colorful homemade glitter crayons. It's a great way to recycle broken crayons from school years past, and these easy-to-make versions can be molded in an assortment of fun shapes for your kids to enjoy. Parents should, of course, handle the steps that involve an oven.
What you need:
Crayons (preferably old and broken)
Silicon mold (in the shape of your choice)
1. To begin, take the crayons (broken or not) and remove the paper slips. (If your crayons are not already broken, break them into multiple pieces.) Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
2. Place the crayon pieces inside the molds. (Note: Don't worry about them fitting them in perfectly. The crayons will melt down into the shape of the mold.) Depending on your child's preference, you can combine colors for a swirl effect or stick with just one color.
3. Take a pinch of extra-fine glitter and sprinkle it over the crayon pieces and into the mold. Place the mold into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes or until fully melted.
4. Once the crayons melt, carefully take the mold out of the oven and set it on the counter to cool. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the mold in the refrigerator. When the crayons have cooled, simply pop them out of the mold.
Little pots of gold
With St. Patrick's Day falling at the end of spring break this year, it seems only fitting that you celebrate with a St. Paddy's-themed activity. These are fun to assemble, and even more fun to consume; your child will be doing a happy little jig over these mini pots of gold.
What you need:
Small terracotta pot
Piece of white card stock
Bag of Hershey's Gold Nuggets candy
1. To begin, protect the painting surface (i.e., the table) with a piece of newspaper. Then decorate the terracotta pot using craft paints and brushes (we chose to paint our pot black with a four-leaf clover on the front).
2. When finished, set your pot aside to dry. While you are waiting, take the card stock and draw a rainbow. Color it with crayons or markers, then cut it out using scissors.
3. Glue the rainbow to the inside of the rim so that it looks like it is going into the pot of "gold."
4. To finish your little pot of gold, fill with the gold foil-wrapped candy and enjoy.
Tip: For a fun activity, leave the pots out the night before St. Patrick's Day, fill them with candy while the kids are sleeping and when they wake up, tell them they've been visited by a leprechaun.
A piece of nostalgia to share with your child, homemade pinwheels are the perfect outside toy for a breezy spring day. You can place them in a flower bed or potted plant; little ones will love displaying their colorful creations for the whole neighborhood to see. Adults should be the ones to complete the steps that involve thumbtacks.
What you need:
Piece of patterned or colorful card stock
12-inch dowel rod
1. Using card stock, pencil and ruler, draw a 6-inch-by-6-inch square. Cut the square out.
2. Next, fold the square diagonally. Unfold. Repeat this step, but this time folding the square diagonally the other way. This should leave your paper square with creases that form an X.
3. Cut the creases about 3/4 of the way to the center of the paper, creating four flaps. When you have cut all of your creases, take the left corner of each flap and fold it toward the center.
4. Holding the corners in place, take a flat-head thumbtack and push it through the middle of the pinwheel through the folded corners so that they hold together. To finish, press the thumb tack and pinwheel into the side of the dowel rod, near the top.