As a parent, the very mention of the word "CRAFT" can bring on a bit of a sweat. It conjures up images of paint-splattered toddlers, pipe cleaners glued to walls, and a light dusting of glitter over everything except the "masterpiece" for which it was intended! A crafty chaos if you will. As for kicking back and enjoying a cuppa while the kids get creative, well forget it!
You can imagine my glee then when a couple of Saturdays ago, I put together a little "free from" (*free from glitter and paint and pipe cleaners) craft idea for my daughters that they both absolutely loved! If I'm honest, it looked like so much fun that in the end I couldn't help but join in too.
To get started, you'll need:
- Leaves: Any will do but the more shapes and colours you can find the better.
- Paper: Again, any old paper will do. We have a huge Kraft paper roll in the loft, which I love as we can tear big bits off to cover the whole table and it's thick enough that when it's not a "free from" craft session, the paints etc don't leak through (always a bonus!).
- Pencils, crayons or marker pens: Whichever your kids are happiest using.
- Glue: this one is optional, it really depends how "free from" you want to be!
- Shells/Pebbles: also optional.
Now for the fun bit:
Get the children to look for and collect lots of leaves of interesting shapes and colours from the garden or if you're visiting a park, get them to search for leaves and pebbles they can bring home and use later.
Now it's time to make yourself a nice cuppa because I promise with this activity you'll actually get to drink it! If you're wondering what the powder is in the photo, it's cacao powder. I've recently starting mixing it with hot water and honey as an occasional alternative to coffee. Although it will never replace my beloved coffee, it is delicious, and sort of comforting in this autumnal weather!
Next, have the children draw different faces on the paper (of course, depending on the child's age, you can help get them started). After that it's time to let the little ones get creative and use their array of chosen leaves to adorn the faces. The overall effect is so good and definitely gets the kids' imagination flowing. My girls absolutely loved doing this. You can create hairstyles, beards, even hats out of the leaves and if you use a larger piece of paper, or smaller foliage you can make entire outfits from them.
To add extra details, we used some shells that we had lying around from our trip to Frinton and some pebbles the girls had collected from the garden but you could use anything really; pasta, buttons, or just draw some accessories on. Once the kids are happy with their design they can glue the leaves on, but I found my youngest was happy to keep rearranging the leaves over and over again instead.
So next time you hear the word "CRAFT" uttered by one of the kids, don't sweat it; just grab some leaves, paper, a pen and put the kettle on, safe in the knowledge that there will be no "crafty chaos" standing between you and your cuppa.
I'd love to hear how you get on if you give this craft activity a go. Do you have any quick and easy crafty favourites?