Now that September is here, there are many activities you can work on with your children after school hours that will keep them coming back for more. Just because school is in session doesn’t mean there aren’t a heap of fun things you and your children can do together after school and on weekends! Crafts, for example, are a great way to allow children to be creative. They allow children to think outside the box and crafts are a great way to spend time with your kids.
One of the greatest things about doing crafts is that the amount of activities you can do with one easy object is endless. Here are some examples of art activities and crafts you can do using seasonal objects.
- Apple Stamping – you and your child can cut apples in half and use them to stamp great pictures using any color paint you can dream of. You can apple stamp on paper, fabric, poster board – nearly anything. You can apple stamp a canvas bag to go apple picking, or stamp them on a handprint tree to make an apple tree!
- Going on a nature hike, you can find lots of different leaves, especially in the fall. Use what you have and make a nature collage with all of your findings. You can also take some leaves and do some leaf rubbings on paper – it created a great piece of art! You can take a giant heap of leaves and create a scarecrow by stuffing the leaves into an old set of clothes you have lying around!
Another way to be creative is to use recyclables as your crafts. There are so many things you can do with materials you are going to throw away anyway. Using recyclable materials forces you and your child to think outside the box. Here are some examples:
- Use an old milk carton or jug to create a one-season bird house! Have your children paint or decorate it, tie it to a string, add some bird seed and you have a great child-made bird house in the backyard.
- Take all of your old magazines and make a mosaic with your child. Decide what you are going to make a picture of. Use the colors from magazines to cut out small squares and glue it to another piece of paper. You can pretty much make anything you want this way.
- Take 2 liter soda bottles, dip the bottoms in paint very lightly, and make a flower picture. If you do it on canvas, it would be a great painting for your house! Use colors that complement your living room or kids’ room.
- How many of you have children and have puzzles in your house with lots of missing pieces? Instead of throwing the pieces away, use them to create picture frames! Take a piece of cardboard and cut it into the shape of a frame. Paint the puzzle pieces any way you want and glue them to the frame. Let it dry and insert your favorite picture!
There are limitless amount of crafts you and your children can do together! Have some materials but aren’t sure what to do with them? Use the internet or your local library to conjure up some great ideas. If you brainstorm, I bet you and your children can come up with things that have never been done before! Happy crafting!
Nicole Chiello is the Director of The Children’s Workshop in Smithfield, RI. She recieved a BA in Elementary Education and Psychology from URI. Nicole has been with the team for four years. Before being a director, she was a school-age coordinator in Warwick, as well as a substitute for the Public Schools. Her favorite thing about working with children is the guarantee that every day is different!