Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rainy Day Craft Ideas for Kids

Even though it is summer time, there are many days when it is too hot or rainy for outdoor activities. Most kids love to work on crafts ands a bad-weather day is the perfect time to pull out the crafts and get started. By making a trip to the cart store ahead of time-- and by having basic craft supplies on hand-- you can be ready for a rainy day any time.

There are a few basic supplies that are good to have on hand at all times. Kids are creative and can come up with their own ideas how to use these items. Or, you can check online at craft websites or in craft books for some fun things to make. Here are some basic craft supplies that you may want to have on hand:

Construction paper
Card stock
Paints-- both watercolors and acrylics
Colored pencils
An assortment of paint brushes
Glitter glue
Pipe cleaners
Child scissors

The craft store also has some great craft kits that are easy to use and can provide hours of fun for you and your kids. Some favorite kid crafts include:

"Stained glass" ornaments-- These are actually plastic ornaments that can be painted with special paint to make them look as though they are stained glass.

Stepping stone kit-- These kits come with molds, cement mix, glitter glue and multicolored stones for decorating. Mix the cement with water and pour into the mild. Let it dry (usually for about a half an hour) and then decorate with stones, glitter, etc. It will be a day or two before you can remove the stepping stone from the mold.

Jewelry making kits-- Little girls will love to thread beads and stones onto wire to make bracelets and necklaces. Look for ready-made kits that include every thing you need or scout around for a variety of beads and stones that you think your kids will love.

Photo scrapbook kit-- If your child is a little photographer, help display his or her talents by making a photo scrapbook together. Many scrap booking kits can be bought with everything already included. If you'd rather make a more customized scrapbook, buy a scrapbook in any style that you wish. You will also need background papers, adhesives, scissors, a mini paper cutter, page protectors, stickers and other embellishments. The background papers and stickers are especially fun to shop for, as these can make your scrapbook very customized.

Paint by numbers. Remember these fun kits from the 1970's? Well, paint by number kits are back and they're a great way to give an unconfident or budding artist a much-needed boost. Ready-made templates are easy to paint-- just paint each numbered section with the corresponding color (example, all of the areas that are marked with a number 1 might need to be painted blue). Paint by number kits provide instant gratification for young painters!

Wood items to paint-- And speaking of painting, if your child is a bit more advanced, check out the section in the craft store that houses assorted wood items. From mini shelves to wall letters to small ornaments-- these wood pieces can be painted with inexpensive acrylics. Stock up on a variety of colors (small bottles of acrylic paints run well under a dollar each). You may want to also buy some glaze or varnish top coat to protect your child's works of art.

Make your own:

Play dough by mixing together 2 and a half cups of flour, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of salt. Roll the dough into a few balls and tint with the food coloring hues of your choice. This dough can be stored in your refrigerator after you use it.

Wrapping paper or gift bags by decorating a plain roll of brown paper or plain white or brown shopping bags. Embellish them by gluing on sequins, felt and by using markers, crayons and glitter glue. You can use a rubber stamp to decorate a roll of plain paper-- just stamp away.

Creative crafts will keep your kids busy during those long summer days-- and you may even find that they look forward to shopping for supplies with you as you plan your next craft!

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