create (with kids): cranky crafts

By freshlyplanted - 11:16 AM

Of course the title doesn't mean that the crafts are cranky, just my kiddo they're intended for. Several bouts of recent illness and a cold rainy day has turned my sweet little girl into less of a melt-in-your-mouth version of herself. 

What's a Mama to do? These are some crafts that I'm keeping in my arsenal today and pulling out as needed. I'm optimistic that combined with lots of snuggles, a pot of herbal tea for both of us, and an early nap will help get us through the day with as much grace as possible. Our first craft has become a favorite as of late: mazes!

I draw a simple maze from one end of the paper to the other. I also let her create the story behind the maze. In this maze it's her trying to get  home to me and friend. Then Isia draws her path from the start of the maze to the end, trying to stay within the lines. A fun way to practice problem-solving as well as pre-writing skills.

Then the mazes get more complicated as we go, with different dead-ends and alternate routes. The story of this maze is a goat trying to get to Isia and her friends (a horse and a pig). Don't like to draw? You could use strips of white paper pasted on construction paper to create the maze, then use cutouts from a magazine with your child to create the story. As children get older you can give them the supplies and let them create a maze for themselves or a sibling. 

This is another activity that's been easy to keep on hand lately. I mixed tempera paint with water then froze it in ice cube trays. I added corks to them, but most of the corks didn't freeze in a helpful direction so we end up just holding most of them in our hand. 

They create some beautiful patterns as they melt. They're very sensory too and can open up some great creating dialogue about how the paint cubes feel (cold!) and what's happening with the paint on the paper. 

They are also a fun way to include some science into your rainy day: demonstrating the phase change of a solid (ice cube) becoming liquid (water). And, most importantly, they're entertaining- even for the cranky under-4 crowd and the people who endure love them. (wink)

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