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Tell Flora about keeping your LOs entertained during half term with arts & crafts - £200 JL prize draw NOW CLOSED

(107 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Sep-13 13:10:19

The folks at Flora want to know if Mumsnetters use arts and craft activities to keep their LOs entertained during school hols like half term.

Here's what Flora have to say, "Arts and crafts are a great way to keep the kids entertained during half term, but what do you do with the mini masterpieces your LOs have spent so long creating? Instead of covering the fridge, Flora are turning scribbly shapes into scrummy Sandwich Cutters. We'd love to hear about your favourite piece of artwork from your LO and how you use arts and crafts to keep your kids entertained."

With half term approaching, is arts and crafts something you and your DCs will be doing? If so, what art and craft activities do your DCs enjoy the most? Do they love finger painting? Or perhaps they prefer getting creative with beads?

If you could choose one piece of your DCs' art to hang on your fridge hall of fame, what would it be?

If you do have a fave piece of artwork from your LO, why not enter it into Flora?s Facebook competition for a chance to win a sandwich cutter in the shape of your DC's best piece of art!

Everyone who posts on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a £200 John Lewis voucher.

Thanks and good luck,


gazzalw Tue 24-Sep-13 20:08:42

Our DS stopped doing arts and crafts when he was about five and never looked back but DD is totally the reverse....she loves nothing more than glittering, colouring and making pictures.....but sometimes she does need to be reminded that we have a vast supply of arts and crafts stuff in the cupboard just waiting to be used.

Try to do arts and crafts related to the time of year it over half-term would anticipate doing Halloween pictures, carving Jack-o-Lanterns, doing firework pictures with chalks etc.....

I think it's important to have arts and crafts activities lined up particularly for the wet weather holidays.....

DS is doing art at secondary school now and had to do a collage for homework last week - he actually really enjoyed it so maybe his interest in arts and crafts might resurface?

DW was never really arty as a child but actually has a new-found love of arts and crafts activities as an adult....grin.

We have a special board in the kitchen just for "the creation of the day/week" - DW tends to keep art work up there for a week or so, then sift thro' it and anything that she thinks is really good, she dates and puts in a special funky portfolio for their memory boxes....

If we had one piece on the fridge it would have to be the DCs early attempts at self-portraits.....

MadMonkeys Tue 24-Sep-13 21:29:56

Painting, cutting and sticking and colouring are my 3.8yo DD's forte. The results are somewhat homogenous, but she is usually pleased with the results! We use them instead of wallpaper in the kitchen grin

dahville Tue 24-Sep-13 22:12:40

So far it is all about colouring and then adding glue and glitter; there is a lot of glitter residue in my house unfortunately.

My latest idea is to have some wire on the wall above my dresser and have an ever changing gallery of artwork.

BlackeyedSusan Tue 24-Sep-13 22:54:54

i have a drawer stuffed with boxes, lids, cellotape, masking tape, and bits and pieces of craft material for the children to help themselves. the masking tape is a must as the end is more difficult to lose and does not require scissors.

the sets for making cards or other things, thata we keep at granny's house are all mixed up in one box and the children are encouraged to be creative and not required to follow the rules.

i buy resourrces only when they are on offer somewhere. we are not short of stuff though. I have enough to keep your average class stocked for a year term.

it is a treat when I get the paints out. usually a half term activity.

Theincidental Tue 24-Sep-13 23:00:11

We go to the local craft bank and raid for interesting items.

I think the next project will pirate related! - sick puppet parrot, a hat and eye patch etc.

I'm not so much of a fan of 2d stuff and Ds likes making things to play with. We currently have garages made from boxes, some felt puppets and collages from the autumn leaves.

JustBecauseICan Wed 25-Sep-13 08:29:41

Dd is 9 now, so very much into "science" type making.....I bought her a load of those travel bottles and containers from Superdrug, and some body butters, essential oils and other assorted smelly gloop.

She spends hours on her bedroom floor experimenting (and then selling me back the products grin) I open the bedroom door every so often and throw biscuits in.

The best advice I would have is not to bother with "kits" but scour the pound shops etc and build up your own collection.

fuzzpig Wed 25-Sep-13 08:40:47

My DCs' latest was a shoebox aquarium, which they coloured blue on the inside and stuck fish on (you can suspend them from string too)

One fun way of using up youngsters' paintings - you know, the ones before they actually start painting objects or people, and they just end up covering the whole paper! - is to make them into something new. When DD brought home all her nursery splodges creations, I cut them out and arranged them into a snowman shape complete with scarf - I then used bits of craft foam to make stick arms and a carrot nose, and buttons for eyes. He's been up in the kitchen for years now, he's like a part of the family! And he's much more special as he was 'painted' by DD rather than using coloured paper.

This half term I'll be getting some more craft foam and using them to make prints. I did this at an art class I went to recently - draw a simple picture on foam, cut out bits of it and stick it onto thick card, and use paint to stamp it. If you have pieces of card exactly the same size you can do two colour prints by putting some foam on each piece, making sure you line them up correctly.

We might also do a collograph which (if I understood the teacher correctly...) is sticking loads of collage stuff on card and then using that to make a print.

I've really gone off the crafty make-your-own kits lately, so at Xmas I'm probably going to put together a big craft tower with 'raw materials' like loads of tissue paper, lolly sticks, buttons, ribbons, fabric scraps from the cloth shop (DD loves working with fabric), paint, glue, beads, glitter etc so they can just come up with anything they think of.

Mind you at Xmas I will make an exception for Hama beads - nice peaceful activity - and planning to introduce them to Shrinkles as well (toy of my youth grin)

Not sure I could choose a favourite piece, DD has done some really nice drawings in the past. She draws or writes in bed most evenings.

We usually do painting outside, they also love using pavement chalk. Our pathways are currently full of planes, storms and shipwrecks, and an enormous house which they did with the neighbours.

JS06 Wed 25-Sep-13 09:03:17

Over time we've amassed a large amount of childrens' art and craft efforts. From school and home we've got a separate box in the loft for Christmas items and it comes out each year on decorating day and we all go 'ahhh' or 'FGS, get rid of that" (son!). One year I did an overlapping collage of the kids' Christmas art in the kitchen, it was lovely and got positive comments from visitors but I want to preserve things now so haven't put them up again. For other items from the rest of the year I've laminated some pieces if it's possible to do it and keep them in the relevant box file for that year which I keep out during the year then store in the loft.

Used to love bath time crayons for a quick burst of art inspiration with the kids. Never took any photos unfortunately but that's a way of keeping the memories alive too.

CheeryCherry Wed 25-Sep-13 09:10:33

Each October half term we have a Christmas card making day! Yes its a bit early, but its lovely to have the time to spend on it all. I get organised in advance, getting the cards and a few bits and bobs. We use last years cards for ideas and cut out bits to use as toppers.
We also buy design-your-own calenders (from baker Ross or even lidll at the moment) and spend time creating art work for those... a few presents done in advance too!
I have framed a few pieces of art my Dcs have done... a painted tree, an African lady in silhouette and a couple of collage pieces.

stealthsquiggle Wed 25-Sep-13 09:10:49

I am not convinced that I will be doing arts and crafts to entertain my DC at half term, but then they are not really little and more (6 and 10). DD will entertain herself drawing and cutting things up and sticking them back together most afternoons after school. My role is just to periodically top up the craft drawers and shovel up the mess. I have some vouchers for The Works so we may go a little nuts in there grin. I also have some left over air dry clay which I would veto on a normal afternoon but might produce at half term. They will sometimes choose to collaborate on decorating and then playing with old cardboard boxes too, but not if I suggest it hmm.

Because they have both had the same teachers for YR and Y1,we have the same art projects from each, and we are thinking of framing some of them side by side. Most creations drift around the house for a while and then end up in the recycling, but I do have portfolios which I keep selected things in.

PuzzleRocks Wed 25-Sep-13 09:23:01

It's not something I enjoy or am any good at so I send them down the road to the fabulous local art workshop. My house is groaning with mini masterpieces. In fact the smell of oil pastels is a bit overwhelming in places.

My two are 6 and 4. They enjoy everything from biscuit and cupcake decorating, to pottery, jewellery and painting on paper. The dining room mirror is decorated with a string of small pieces of paper marbling. DD1 has recently taken up cross stitch too.

Now maths, that's something I love doing with them.

How crap am I? Can't bear all that glittery gluey mess. Papers & crayon are tolerable and all the "masterpieces" end up in the recycling. Rather leave all that stuff to nursery

stealthsquiggle Wed 25-Sep-13 09:36:02

MakeTea - not crap at all. Glitter is the work of the devil. There is no glitter in my house and I have been known to "lose" particularly glittery creations between nursery and the car blush

afromom Wed 25-Sep-13 10:07:24

DS is 9 and still loves a junk modelling project. Each holiday we get stuck in to something. Some of his highlights have been:
A giant rocket
An Olympic village made from shoe boxes, with a running track, swimming and diving arena, archery. We used the McDonalds toys for inspiration!
This year we made a Charlie and the Chocolate factory model.
A race track, with spectators, jumps etc for his remote control cars. That one took over the dining room table for 2 weeks!

He's not do much into sticking and cutting, more large scale boxes and junk modelling that then take over the house! Oh for the days of colouring and a bit of glitter!

We love doing these projects together, and it gives him something to do other than the tv and Xbox!

RubySparks Wed 25-Sep-13 10:26:58

Yes dd still loves doing craft things, her latest was a puppet theatre she made with a friend out of cardboard and an Adventure Time costume for comic convention, though I helped with some of that - her Xmas request last year was a sewing machine!
This October hols it will be all about Halloween, so that usually means costumes, cupcakes with bat, spider etc decorations, paper chains of skulls, bats etc and most years we do a party and decorate whole house with homemade and bought decorations.

BigGapMum Wed 25-Sep-13 10:37:32

DS is 5, and likes to start craft projects however he has problems with a very low attention span and rarely gets around to finishing them.

When he does painting he produces a finished picture and this often looks great. When the new pictures go on the fridge the old ones I've taken off go "on display" in the playhouse in the garden. They don't generally survive very long before they go in the compost bin.
This way we get a regular change of kitchen art, and no trauma when the old ones have to go.

WowOoo Wed 25-Sep-13 10:40:29

Both my sons still like doing arts and crafts. We'll do some on rainy days in half term.

My 4 year old likes painting, cutting, sticking, glitter, pipe cleaners, drawing all over himself with felt tip and anything quite messy.

My eldest likes drawing and will spend ages doing Minecraft or Lego style drawings.

They both like making marble runs from cardboard tubes and boxes. If it's a good enough box, they'll make a den or a home for some toys.

I have a picture of our family that my eldest son drew a while back. It's framed and in the hallway. I love it because it's so bright, so funny and we are all smiling.

ouryve Wed 25-Sep-13 11:51:54

mine are 7 and 9. 7yo has never been into arts and crafts an struggles to hold a pencil for long. DS1's efforts are more self led. He'll spend ages drawing out hundreds of pictures of things that fascinate him, such as street lights or houses or, more recently coins. I currently have a drawing on the fridge that he made of all the coins that make up the shield, superimposed onto an oversize pound coin, which has the entire shield on it. his pencil skills aren't great but the picture says a lot about him.

LindySfarne Wed 25-Sep-13 12:34:57

Dd has always been arty and we've done loads over the years. To mimic an expensive pottery shop experience at home we bought a big bag of plaster, then mixed it up and poured it into moulds ( loads on eBay), animals were the favourite but also fairies, and Disney characters. Then dd and friends would paint them. Great fun.

BadlyWrittenPoem Wed 25-Sep-13 16:24:57

We don't have school holidays as we HE but we do do plenty arts and crafts. I like to get my daughter to think of someone who might like the thing she's made or plan it for a specific person. One person liked a painting she did for him so much that he actually had it framed.

manfalou Wed 25-Sep-13 21:16:07

DS1 loves to colour (particularly on boxes) and do hand & feet painting but the favourite creative activity is making various items from play dough. Often food items. He's not really into glueing and sticking but thats ok.

sharond101 Wed 25-Sep-13 21:27:45

DS is still too young for arts and crafts but likes to crumple up paper and tries to draw if I offer him a crayon and paper so I hope he wil be the creative type as I love making things.

Theimpossiblegirl Wed 25-Sep-13 21:43:52

I wish half term was approaching- it is still 4 weeks away here.

We are planning an arty half term. We've just got a sewing machine so will be learning to make bags, bunting, cushion cases etc. My DDs are quite keen to tie dye too.

We love painting and buy cheap canvases to make gifts. I've kept quite a few of these.

I've also just invested in some glass paints and we're planning on painting some clear glass candle holders for the grandparents.

CMOTDibbler Wed 25-Sep-13 21:46:28

This half term, ds will be demanding to do pumpkin carving - he loves it! And probably make some lanterns too

Turnipvontrapp Wed 25-Sep-13 23:30:50

We have just made a castle tonight, my boys loved it. It's for homework for school.

Don't do enough making things, they are too busy doing lots of sport.

Probably should do more but never have enough time.

In the October half term we do pumpkin or watermelon carving. We also start on Christmas craft for presents for teachers, grandparents etc. All my dc love doing craft although I do need to be selective about things I keep. Some are hung from ribbons on the front of our bookcases. Others they keep in their bedroom.

Another popular outlet was when they got 'proper' art canvases and did paintings on them which are on the walls.

They probably love painting the most, probably because I don't let them do it v often due to the mess. My favourite pictures are when both girls painted the Eiffel tower after we had visited Paris. Dd1's was instantly recognisable, so was dd2's once you got beyond the green paint and 4 moons! Cake decoration comes a close second.

I only have myself to blame as I enjoy craft too, dh despairs of the mid-project mess.

Must admit I don't like doing school homework craft. I would rather do craft that we want to do than recreate the great barrier reef and then have to juggle getting it to school only to later have to bring it home and store it ad infinitum.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 26-Sep-13 09:28:36

I've just bought an Usborne 'Make Your Own Christmas Decorations' book with half term and beyond in mind. Loads of cutting with the sharp scissors (what joy for my youngest!), free rein on my tape dispenser...

They'll all end up half-done and in the bin by November grin

lorka Thu 26-Sep-13 14:26:59

My 7 year old daughter is craft daft! She is constantly making, cutting, glueing, colouring and painting. She doesn't let me throw anything out as she says, "Mr Maker says you can make something out of everything!!" and she certainly does!! smile smile I am amazed at some of the wonderful creations that she does for someone so young.

tinypumpkin Thu 26-Sep-13 19:07:53

Today was paper chains. Anything that involves glitter (agh!) and glitter glue is a winner for both DD2 and DD3.

Painting too is a big love in this house.

katiewalters Thu 26-Sep-13 20:20:27

I get these fridge magnets in different designs which my son loves painting, also he loves doing the plaster moulds, we have buzz light year one he's done and painted. On the fridge hall of fame we have painted fridge magnets and home made calendar which my son has decorated

DoItTooJulia Thu 26-Sep-13 20:25:14

We do arts and crafts here!

Ds is 8 and loves doing more structured things nowadays. We make comics. I staple some paper together and he does the most intricate drawings. In fact, I've been asked if I can photocopy his latest effort 30 times so that every one of his class mates can have a copy!

I have some absolute favourite pieces of artwork that he's done over the years that I have framed and hung.

We are also into bento style lunches, so a cutter in the shape of some of his efforts would be awesome!

SaltySeaBird Thu 26-Sep-13 21:02:29

My DD is only one but I can't wait to get creative with her. I love arts, crafts and creative stuff.

So far we have done paint footprints and handprints which have been messy but great fun. I've got them up in my office.

maxmissie Thu 26-Sep-13 21:21:34

My dd is six and she has always been quite into crafty things - at the moment she likes Hama beads, sticking, scrapbooking, sewing, making jewellery and some craft kits she got for her birthday. She also wants to learn to knit but I have no idea how to do it and need to rely on my mum! My son is four and is less into crafts but does like scrapbooking, sticking and painting. He also likes but gets frustrated by Hama beads.

They both like making decorations for Xmas and we also have the Osbourne Xmas decorations book which was great for me as I find it hard to make stuff off my own back!

We also have a dinosaur sandwich cutter that is specifically for sandwiches but mostly we use biscuit cutters and use them for toast and more recently with scotch pancakes!

By my son would be his recent picture from nursery of his family. For my daughter it would be her 'Bananas in Pyjamas' collage that she did earlier this year.

TeaJunky Thu 26-Sep-13 22:14:35

Amazed at how creative you all are!

Dahville - I have a wire up in dds room for the latest creations (from ikea). Looks great and really organises what to display smile

For the half term we are planning on doing some funky, glittery, painted high frequency words and phoniccy things that she's just started learning now (reception).

That's it so far grin

Hopezibah Thu 26-Sep-13 22:39:25

We all love crafts. There is something really special about seeing your kids create something especially when they do things their own way and each of their pieces of art / craft looks totally different from each others.

My kids love things like gluing, and even just colouring and drawing - but we use pastels and charcoal pencils sometimes rather than just crayons and felt pens.

They tend to love little projects where you end up with an end product to keep and use too eg a pencil pot or purse or something like that.

I keep old boxes and bits of paper and cardboard so we always have a ready supply of things to get crafting with.

LaTrucha Fri 27-Sep-13 14:30:54

I find a pack of 50 paper plates invaluauble. Throw in a few pens, things to stick, wool etc and we make masks, monster faces, paint and cut spiral, make mobiles out of the spirals by hanging things from them. Fab.

Kitchen paper and toilet roll animals too are good, improvised with bits of card, pens and paints. Rockets too, and if you stick them together you can make castles and things. Never throw them away!

Collect pebbles and paint them and put them round your house.

Decorate your shed with jumbo chalks.

Paint a box. They love it. Don't know why.

Finger mice -cut out cirles of paper, make a cone and fasten with sellotape. Decorate with whatever you have for a tail and ears, draw on eyes and a nose.

Make a book out of ordinary drawing paper by folding in haf and sewing through the spine. My children find this irresistable.

Make a treasure map. They then go off and play pirates.

TwerkingTaxCredit Fri 27-Sep-13 15:05:50

Dd and I love making junk models. Egg boxes, toilet rolls, empty butter tubs decorated with feathers, pipe cleaners lolly sticks and most importantly googley eyes. At the moment monsters are the favourite theme.

Princessdivaaa Fri 27-Sep-13 15:56:44

Our school usually have a half term family project.. Previous projects have included... Making a character from your favourite book, make a mini beast.. We usually try to do these and it can be anything from papermache, painting, glueing, sticking, glitter - kids love it..

ScienceRocks Fri 27-Sep-13 16:07:22

I was starting to worry that I was a useless mum as I read this thread, but am relieved to see that there are others who don't excel in this area or have a natural flair for it. I am a scientist, so very good at homemade science experiments and even maths and language type stuff, but crafting leaves me cold.

I can manage the odd cooking type thing-fairy cakes, cut out biscuits, fruit salad- but appreciate that is more functional than pure fun (hmm, I see a theme developing blush), and even cutting out snowflakes and card making, but that is really it. Origami, I imagine, doesn't really count as craft, and probably neither do teaching my DDs to sew, knit and crochet. Oh dear.

Fortunately, mil is an ex-art teacher so makes up for my shortfalls grin

ladydepp Fri 27-Sep-13 16:28:13

I am extremely non-creative but my dd who is 6 LOVES art. Her favourite at the moment is doing sticky mosaic kits but she is also a fan of threading beads for necklaces and bracelets. She can do this endlessly!

She loves craft kits although I think they are mostly over-packaged over-priced rubbish. Our best crafty adventure was finding an amazing bead shop on holiday and buying masses of lovely beads. Even I enjoyed that!

My older boys have never been very crafty sadly, although they do a bit of drawing. They preferred Lego when they were younger.

PeterParkerSays Fri 27-Sep-13 16:49:10

We will be doing drawing / sticking tissue paper etc onto a large box. DS loves the activity and also playing with the result - he's built a pirate ship, canal boat, house and cave in the past, all be sticking bits onto bog standard cardboard boxes. They last him ages.

We have tissue paper, PVA glue and a new pack of 14 crayola felt tips, which DS thinks is the bee's knees, as he only had 7 colours before. Oh, and have a pack of craft lolly sticks as well, which he sticks onto things as decking.

3rdnparty Fri 27-Sep-13 17:27:43

we also try to relate to the time of year...ds hates getting hands sticky so may make some conker men, we make halloween pictures either cut outs or drawing. Halloween costume/decorations also home made in some fashion...and pumpkin carving etc

Dolallytats Fri 27-Sep-13 17:42:51

DS (5) is not a huge fan of drawing, but he does love to make things. Last holiday we made papier mache planets (Naboo and the Death Star-complete with green straws for the laser!!). He has also made a shield, a cannon, a steam boat and a pod racer with his dad.

We also have rocks to paint which we didn't get round to in the summer holidays because DD was born!! I think he also wants to make more planets from Star Wars.

asuwere Fri 27-Sep-13 19:01:49

I love crafting but I don't really love doing with the kids - I often try to take over to do it 'properly'!

My DC have been playing with Hama beads lately though and I'm happy to just leave them with them then iron the results. We currently have a box full of the results; I'm going to be hanging them from string in their rooms as garlands.

DH has them during the holidays so he might get more involved in making things with them.

GoingGoingGoth Fri 27-Sep-13 19:30:00

Could not cope during the holidays without crafts, she's at the age now (8) where I have to leave her to it, which is a good thing. Pleased to say that the glitter doesn't seem to spread as far as it used to.

Now she's older the crafting can come in multiple stages, we were out in the week doing bark rubbings, in different colours. These will be cut up to make a mosaic (at some point)

Still doing a lot of Hama beads, and card making is still very popular.

themummyonthebus Fri 27-Sep-13 21:01:55

DC1 isn't a huge fan of crafts but he does enjoy some sticker and glitter action grin. I'm planning some craft activities for half term that will give us a head start on Christmas presents and cards. Just need to decide what now!

JollySleepyGiant Fri 27-Sep-13 22:14:46

We love sellotaping a roll of wallpaper to the living room floor and drawing pictures on it. The most recent involved a dragon, tractor and baler smile

RedKites Fri 27-Sep-13 22:20:44

Mine are only little, but DS1, 3yo, loves anything involving stickers, or even better glitter glue. DS2, 11mo, isn't very into craft yet, but likes banging chalk on the blackboard, so it won't be long!

kateandme Fri 27-Sep-13 22:29:09

i think its always good to have time with kids letting them be free and creative.they dont have to be good at art to just let go,espceically as now school seems to be putting on more pressure its good for them to do what they wish with there creative minds.
they love doing stuff for things comeing up.does someone have a birthday?easter?chrismtas?or for their gran.
they love glitter and in the summer getting a big canvas outside and doing splatte rpainting!!
their little handprints and footprints are always a favourite.

ScienceRocks Fri 27-Sep-13 22:41:42

Is it wrong to love Hama beads when you're a grown up? blush

ShakeAndVac Fri 27-Sep-13 23:33:06

I've got two young boys and they love anything crafty. I've got an idea to do autumn craft themed things with them in the half term holiday, such as making autumn collages with leaves and twigs etc.
Pine cone hunting is also a great thing to do too!

rootypig Sat 28-Sep-13 05:22:35

We're lucky enough to live in perma-warm weather. Ergo - everything messy: outside. DD is in finger and foot painting territory at the moment, and not a lot more, it's basically messy play - but I'm really looking forward to revisiting childhood favourites - potato stamps, those pictures where you paint then black crayon all over and scratch out a silhouette smile. Mum used to make bread dough and then we would make all our own shapes and eat our rolls for lunch. Once or twice a holiday there would be an epic project, like tie dying in the bath, then we'd all collapse in exhaustion. Or puff painting t shirts, soooo 90s grin I really like making things that I could then use over and over, and be reminded of the happy time making it. And I definitely love a holiday theme - we used to make little Christmas keyrings out of Fimo for family, which we loved, we crafted baskets with ribbons for Christmas then filled them with homemade biscuits, cut out Halloween decorations for the windows....

Squee I am so excited about the future with DD!

JedwardScissorhands Sat 28-Sep-13 08:18:38

I get lots of ideas from Pinterest. Agree half term will be all pumpkin carving and firework crafts

Cathpot Sat 28-Sep-13 09:06:10

Two girls 8 and 6 we are still a very crafty house. Big cupboard full of bits, they can just about help themselves now. Never throw out shoeboxes, don't tend to buy kits but the odd pack of googley eyes goes a long way. Save old wrapping paper etc and invest in decent size bottle of pva. Paint and chalks outside if possible. Favourite thing recently was a swivel head scarecrow made from 2 empty milk bottles.

poachedeggs Sat 28-Sep-13 21:15:15

I do art and craft because I feel I ought to. I hate it.

I have sequins, feathers, myriad pipe cleaners, fluffy bobbly things, and I hate it all.

In summer they are given chalk to draw on the path. Once it's covered they get water and paintbrushes to paint over it.

We do like more structured things, like kits which DS can now manage (he's 6), but DD is just 3 and incapable of doing much more than drawing over everything with crayons. She does make pictures but her attention span is zero.

BadMissM Sat 28-Sep-13 22:32:20

Always have a big craft box, with lots of things inside it in smaller boxes (Flora tubs are ideal!). Buttons, pipecleaners, bits of ribbon, bits of material, glue, glitter, sand. Collect natural materials like pebbles and shells and small sticks when you are out and about to make pictures. get the DCs to help you, then the day out lengthens into two days activities when you make the picture of the day out. Pick up leaflets, too. Paints, chalks, crayons, pastels, can be used together. Collect any cooured paper you find, wrapping paper, ribbons, cards. At a certain age, begin with basic sewing too.... That way they are never bored, and you have constantly evolving resources. Plus when school orderes them to do something in one are never caught out!!!

sealight123 Sun 29-Sep-13 15:51:17

With us, I am afraid, it being half term is no different as me and my partner work full time and my little girl Livvy, goes to nursery and her nana's in the week but, our weekends and evenings are all about Arts and crafts, baking, family films on the sofa and running round the house pretending we are trains and rhinos (don't ask :P)

We already have a pretty nice stocked craft box, full of glitter and paper and lots and lots of paints. Her favourite is just simply getting out a huge piece of paper and doing messy paint footprints, handprints, finger paints and sponge shapes smile

Soon we'll move up to pompoms and googley eyes, as they were my favourite as a child :D

sealight123 Sun 29-Sep-13 15:51:57

Pumpkin carving is also amazing...anything for halloween is great...especially making the decorations :P

RedBushedT Sun 29-Sep-13 16:00:52

We collect twigs and branches and wrap them up with string to make insect houses. That way, the children get to make something and it gets used in the garden. We have also made bird feeders out of pinecones, lard + birdseed. These are the types of arts and crafts I love!

DD is almost 5 and adores arts and craft, we ahve a 'craft box' of patterned and coloured card, sugar paper, tissue papaer, glue, glitter, sequins, buttons etc.

She loves anything involving nature to bring itno her craft work, so she will collect any interesting pebbles or leaves or sticks, and then 'decorate them', we ahve a collection og brightly painted or glittered stones, some with buttons or google eyes stiuck on them, painted leaves and glittered dried flowers.

My favourite piece is a huge leaf DD found, she covered it in silver glitter glue and then we laminated it once dry, it looks so beautiful and we currently have it on the fridge but I am contemplating actually framing it against white card in a silver frame and hanging in the hallway, it's that pretty!

Clawdy Tue 01-Oct-13 14:10:45

It's worth trying those squidgy bits of coloured polystyrene that need dampening to stick to paper. Less messy than glue,and makes a change. Most craft shops sell them.

lagoonhaze Tue 01-Oct-13 15:29:56

I hate doing arts and crafts....faff to set up and pain to pack away. However the DCs love it! Best buy has to be paint pens by ELC. relatively mess free, fun but easy to pack away.

I need to get a big dollop of patience as I hate arts and crafts but think that seems from my mother never wanting to sit down with us. Something I don't want my DCs to look back on and think the same of me :-(

DoctorGilbertson Tue 01-Oct-13 17:42:37

We'd love to hear about your favourite piece of artwork from your LO

>> I think for me the fab bit about looking at their artwork is realising what they can do now which previously they couldn't

and how you use arts and crafts to keep your kids entertained.

>> glitter glue. They are entertained for hours by the stuff. I think that it is the gently squeezing it all out that they like rather than the actual art. Also, did someone say kits? They are quite nice too but a bit expensive

With half term approaching, is arts and crafts something you and your DCs will be doing?

>> maybe

If so, what art and craft activities do your DCs enjoy the most?

>> see above. Creating mess is always a winner

Do they love finger painting?

>> not really, although they do paint with my mum

Or perhaps they prefer getting creative with beads?

>> again not really. Umm, I'm not doing very well here. Umm, they quite like building models with play dough

If you could choose one piece of your DCs' art to hang on your fridge hall of fame, what would it be?

>> oh it is all wonderful, but does usually go straight into the recycling

GetKnitted Tue 01-Oct-13 23:22:55

we'll definitely be doing arts and crafts in the holidays, finger and potato printing for both of them, and maybe trying to teach my oldest ds to knit again (he is interested, not forcing him) smile

DifferentNow Wed 02-Oct-13 15:18:45

My DC love Play-Doh and will happily play with it together for hours. They also regularly raid the paper recycling bin and make stuff using sticky tape, scissors and colouring pens. My favourite art work is when they draw pictures of our family.

Aethelfleda Wed 02-Oct-13 18:19:31

We love Arts and Crafts, our craft basket turned into a drawer which turned into two huge boxes.... Painting, sculpture, craft beads, glueing, moulding.... They never get bored of it (except for the trampoline which they love when the weather's good!)

We often craft more on rainy days, but it's very mood dependant, and now my littlest is starting to join in too. I need an art gallery!

ibbydibby Wed 02-Oct-13 19:38:01

Every so often I used to set them to work on a project, like draw a scene from your favourite summer holiday / draw and colour Christmas scene etc (depending on time of year obviously). One day I bought a cheap laminator, and we started laminating the "best" artwork. We now have a lovely set of table mats! Great fun especially at Christmas to look at. Boys are now 16 and 12 and not interested in arty things any more, so is lovely to have artworks (works of art?) to look back on..

AndHarry Thu 03-Oct-13 10:22:37

DS is 3 and loves making things with pipe cleaners. It started out with making a tiny scarecrow and now we have a lion-scarer for the front garden, multiple dinosaur-scarers for his bedroom, a baby sister-scarer for his favourite toys... If I could keep one forever (and I probably will) it would be the baby sister-scarer because it's just so funny to watch him brandishing it at baby DD and see her puzzled expression before she tries to eat it grin

Over half term we'll be doing lots of autumn crafts: autumn montages with fallen leaves and conkers, leaf painting, conker varnishing and covering dried leaves with glitter. Collecting the leaves and conkers is the best bit!

Spirael Thu 03-Oct-13 10:54:48

DD does tons of art and craft at nursery, we're presented with piles of pictures every week that she's been doing! Most of them go in the recycling bin...

At home we have a drawer full of crafty bits and we often get them out of a weekend afternoon and create something together. One thing DD and I are currently working on together is sewing and sticking some simple felt animals with a hanging loop that we can then give as presents to close family members to hang on their Christmas trees.

Mamafratelli Thu 03-Oct-13 13:56:29

We'd love to hear about your favourite piece of artwork from your LO

My dd drew herself and her little brother holding hands. She then gave it to her daddy and asked him to take it to work so that he could still see them. That made me smile.

and how you use arts and crafts to keep your kids entertained.

I have a cupboard in the kitchen full of arts and craft material and bits of fabric etc. whenever the kiss are a bit antsy I sit them at the kitchen table and let them go wild.

With half term approaching, is arts and crafts something you and your DCs will be doing?

Yes. We will be using autumn leaves to make some pictures and also starting to make the grandparents christmas presents. (Personalised hand painted baubles and other crafty bits we haven't decided on yet)

If so, what art and craft activities do your DCs enjoy the most?

Anything that involved cutting and gluing but also more intricate crafts like beads and pottery

If you could choose one piece of your DCs' art to hang on your fridge hall of fame, what would it be?

We already have lots of art on our fridge but the picture where we painted dogs using the kids footprints is my favourite.

roguepixie Thu 03-Oct-13 18:11:25

When DS was a little younger than he is now we would go to our local park and gather lots of large leaves that had fallen off the trees. We would bring them home and make collages, large leaf necklaces, shoes (!!), paint them and all sorts with them. Lots and lots of fun.

DS always enjoyed the more practical arts and crafts - the 3D stuff, more than the 2D activities.

I still have my DS's treasured art work - a tribal mask made out of a paper plate with lots and lots of stuff attached - hung up on the fridge.

My dd is 2 and loves a bit of sticking and painting. She's also a big play doh fab.

rupert23 Fri 04-Oct-13 11:06:10

my son age 6 likes to make models out of the stuff in the recycling bin i usually have to help him at some point but he spends ages creating things and finds it great fun.

Kveta Fri 04-Oct-13 21:00:55

I spend a lot of time on pinterest during night feeds, which gives me loads of ideas for arty and crafty stuff to do with two small children. I find that they both prefer more open ended activities - so I leave out some pens and paper, or some stickers and toilet roll inner tubes or the like. They are only 1 and 4 though, so I'm hoping they will be more excited by more focused activities as they get older!

VivaLeThrustBadger Fri 04-Oct-13 21:03:36

Dd's 13 and has always been quite crafty. She's into card making and has all the gear, stamps, dies, etc. loves it and keeps her busy for ages.

I buy her loads of stuff and then she sells the cards to me for £1 when I need a birthday card, etc. something not quite right I reckon. grin

mum2eci Fri 04-Oct-13 23:06:50

We have a 'making' box which is full of material scraps, glitter, bits n bobs etc. kids love getting this out and use lollipop sticks to make puppets with wool for hair! Always keep old birthday and Christmas cards so they can cut bits out or take off 3D things off the front etc so they can make their own cards for friends/relatives :-)

Tyranasaurus Sat 05-Oct-13 06:20:58

My LO isn't school aged but all our baby groups are always off when shools are (drives me mad). Are favourite arts and crafts are messy play type things- big sheet of plastic on the floor, strip kid down, poor out paint...

ScarerAndFuck Sat 05-Oct-13 11:18:48

We love painting and making prints with different things.

We've just been doing autumn leaf prints and we made marble effect leaves in autumn colours by cutting out leaf shapes, putting them in a salad spinner, dribbling red, yellow and orange paint onto them and then spinning them really quickly to swirl the paint out and make a marble effect.

Last week we made boats out of different recyclable materials and in different styles. We made one from cardboard, one from folded newspaper, one from a cork with a cocktail stick mast and one from a Flora tub. It started as a school project but we got a bit carried away.

At half term we will be making halloween stained glass cut-outs from black paper plates and orange and yellow tissue paper. We will cut out shapes like pumpkins and bats, stick overlapping strips of different coloured tissue paper across the cut out part at the back of the plate and then hang in the window to see the light through them.

And if we get time, we might start the Christmas crafts.

We will be making lollipop stick nativity people, Father Christmas's, reindeer and snowmen with lollipop sticks, coloured card or felt and goggly eyes. We will use them as puppets and gift tags.

And we have a big canvas to paint a big Christmas tree on, which we are planning to put on the wall above the dining table for Christmas dinner.

And if we are feeling especially crafty, we are going to make a nativity set with air drying clay.

ataraxia Sat 05-Oct-13 12:40:51

I don't have DCs but my cousins are artistic and my aunt has always shared their drawings with the family via Christmas cards and calendars - seems like a good thing to focus on in the October half term

rosiecheeks2 Sat 05-Oct-13 17:25:59

My tip is to buy a cheap disposable kitchen tablecloth and get the kids to decorate with crayons / stickers. They can draw an ocean and add any sea creatures they may have to create their very own underwater adventure. They could draw a town and add any toy figurines they have. It's an inexpensive and fun way to pass an hour or two, and once they have finished, just save the tablecloth and use the other side on a different day to create more wonderful imaginative stories! Their friends can get stuck in too, so it's a very sociable, very cheap and fab way to fuel their imagination! You can always serve up some warm scones with a spread of Flora!! Magic x

SmokedMackerel Sat 05-Oct-13 17:33:58

DD's favourite thing is making fans - the house is full of her drawings that have been concertina-ed up into fans.

She always makes birthday cards and Christmas cards with lots f glitter and glue, but it's a bit early to start thatjust now - something for a snowy or sleety nNovember afternoon.

quoteunquote Sat 05-Oct-13 18:28:01

Buy some of those extra sturdy giant balloons, about £1 each, and some small ones,

blow them up(not all the way) hand from a hook, and add layers of ripped newspaper, soaked in water and pva glue(always buy from the builder's merchants massive container for the same price as a small tub from the craft shop)

Add layers (leave to dry between layers) until it's really thick and hard, the ballon will give up eventually, just bend a couple of coat hangers in the gap and carry on, do the last few layers in the coloured paper of choice, or white for painting, final coat of pva.

we make pinata, animals, dragons, fancy dress costumes, furniture, cost hardly anything, needs just a little imagination, and you can have more less anything,

If you finish a giant ballon in orange, you can cut out a scary pumpkin face, and wear a head torch, to guarantee winning any Halloween costume competition, as when the light shines out it makes a scary face on everything.

We love making things in this house, our blue tits have had the indignity of having to go up the nostrils of a troll/gargoyles type face bird box, which my daughter made a few years ago out of paper mache , we are about to make a few more as they need renewing, they last a surprisingly long time in the elements if you finish with PVA and varnish.

I've never grown out of making stuff,grew up to just make bigger things (I build), I'ld be terribly sad if my children ever lost the love of creating things.

Puppypoppet Sat 05-Oct-13 20:06:35

DD loves art and is happy with her colouring pencils and felt tips and lots of paper. DD has also got interested in sewing so I pick up off cuts / scraps of fabric when I find them when shopping. I think I might teach DD how to patchwork as I remember doing it when I was about her age.

We get paints out, glue and the recycling box and just go for it... Dd is just 2 so still needs lots of supervision etc!

Her best bits go in scrapbooks or the inside of cupboards/ on the fridge.

We often send art to family and turn it into cards grin

VikingLady Sat 05-Oct-13 21:17:05

Mostly chubby crayons so far - DD is 18m! Although she's trying finger paints next week. AFTER I've bought a mat to protect the kitchen floor!

pussinwellyboots Sun 06-Oct-13 06:56:08

My boys age 5&3 are just getting to,the stage of enjoying arts and crafts and things being able to last longer than ten seconds! I'm planning on trying son junk modelling over the half term although any creations will probably find.their way into the.recycling fair ly quickly as our house is not big enough for random extra stuff!

SolomanDaisy Sun 06-Oct-13 09:27:20

We are loving Autumn crafts at the minute. Gathering and sticking leaves, acorns and pinecones.

Happiestinwellybobs Sun 06-Oct-13 15:09:10

DD is 2.5 so still a bit young for huge art and craft projects, but we have a huge box full of paints, crayons, chalks, paper, pipe cleaners, useful junk and best of all glitter....

We love to make art out of hand and footprints, both to keep for us and when making cards and pictures for others. Our latest attempt was a handprint hungry caterpillar.

We like to do crafts based on the time of year. Last year we did Halloween pictures, used leaves, confers and sticks dipped in paint to make a autumnal picture. This year we have made trees out of toilet rolls using green card and red, orange & yellow paints. We made Easter bunnies out of loo rolls too with footprint ears smile. Last Christmas we made snowman cards using her feet.

We love getting the giant chalks out and drawing all over the patio when the sun is shining.

The messier the better in her opinion!

NomDeClavier Sun 06-Oct-13 15:55:55

DS's latest craze is painting with his cars. An A3 piece iof paper or his easel with one of those fab ikea rolls, 3 or 4 paper plates with splashes of paint and some easily washed cars and he's occupied for at least half an hour. Washing the cars is a bonus 15mins!

We have some beautiful multicoloured track creations that I must do something with.

Last year all the family got a glitter glued pine cone 'Christmas tree' decorated with pompoms and a finger painted salt dough ornament and one of those baubles filled with glittery stuff he'd chosen. They'll probably never be seen again but it was at least 3 afternoons full of pleasingly messy activity. We might start doing some of that this half term while we have time.

Steffanoid Sun 06-Oct-13 16:40:14

my lo is too young for arts and crafts but we do do crafts with our neighbours, their little girl who is 6 loves us making bags and colouring and making bookmarks but their boy who is 8 doesnt like it so much

snowwhite27 Sun 06-Oct-13 17:21:01

My lil one is a bit to young to enjoy proper arts n crafts. However he loves sticking stuff on paper. He also loves play doh n makes interesting creatures. He is also very into colouring lately. I save his 'art' in a folder

beanandspud Sun 06-Oct-13 21:48:45

We are clearly in the minority as rarely do anything crafty at home. Before I had DS I had a vision of us painting together at the kitchen table, doing potato prints, sticking, making Christmas decorations with seasonal music playing and the smell of baking in the air ...

The reality is 10 minutes to set up something... 5 minutes of actual craft... 60 minutes of clearing up whilst DS goes back to playing football.

He makes stuff at school and holiday club and that's fine! grin

May09Bump Sun 06-Oct-13 23:37:45

My son currently loves plaster molds and painting them - keeps him busy. Also, drawing and cutting our collages are a hit.

StainlessSteelCat Mon 07-Oct-13 09:49:40

Both my eldest DC love drawing, and some of my favourite things are pictures by my DS - they usually involve lego men, and I prefer the ones without so much blood in. My DD is younger, and is more into colouring and sticking, and she has decorated a box for her room. We have a wall of pictures up in the dining room and change them every so often.

I keep far too much junk in case it might be useful for something. Yoghurt pots and similar either for paint/glue or building with, boxes of all shapes and sizes (can cut up for cardboard as well), and anything else that looks interesting. We have yet to finish a junk model - I think I'm being too ambitious.

We often make cards for birthdays (pictures on the front of folded paper) and christmas, and we'll probably do some painting/drawing over the holidays when the youngest isn't around (he's 2 and likes other people's things more than his, so anything arty ends in carnage and tears). Both the older 2 need some storage boxes for their rooms, so I might get them to decorate some before we go on an organisational rampage.

My all time favourite drawing is by my eldest son. I've thought about turning it into a design for the front of a bag. Me and my DD knitted a scarf for her doll, and we're aiming for matching hat/mittens. She does tend to get bored with it (well, she is only 4!) but is very keen and I ahev hopes for sewing as well.

I'm a storyteller and children's entertainer, so my DCs get to test out all my arts and crafts activities before I unleash them on the public.
They love soaking paper in tea to make scrolls and treasure maps, or making their own puppets to star in shows they put on for Dad when he gets home.
Unfortunately, our house is so fun I usually end up playing host to half the neighbourhood DCs. I've started asking them to bring snacks, so they don't all eat me out of house and home.
They're like locusts, I don't know where they put it all.

BellaVida Mon 07-Oct-13 14:16:56

We love arts and crafts and have made everything from shields and axes to Egyptian beaded headdresses.

My top tip would be cover the table with a large plastic table cover, then at the end scrunch up around the edges so all the unused sequins, beads etc fall into the middle. Pour into a jar or tub and keep to use again.

One of my favorites was to imagine your own fantasy world and make it out of any craft materials or in fact anything you can find in the house and garden. Try an ice-cream world or a mystical monster island. Just think of a scheme, go on a hunt for materials and let your imagination go!

LaVitaBellissima Mon 07-Oct-13 15:10:40

We love doing crafts and sticking glitter and tissue etc.

I save cardboard, egg boxes etc and stock up on cheap craft supplies at the pound shop.

As my girls are only 2 I often cut card into the shape of an animal and then the girls go to work on the them. My favourites are fish bowls and elephants and we have both on our fridge hall of fame already smile

Akray Mon 07-Oct-13 15:24:04

I made a big batch of salt-dough today and gave the DC a bowl each, pastry cutters, food colouring and jewels / gems. They spent all morning cutting out shapes, colouring them and decorating with jewels. Now they are in the oven. We will put paint / glue / glitter them tomorrow. They want to hang some up for Halloween - cut out bats, cats, ghosts etc.... They've had lots of fun for very little cost, greatgrin

AdamantEve Mon 07-Oct-13 15:44:49

My children are pre school age so half term doesn't really apply to us, but we have already made salt dough Christmas decorations! I'm not even a Christmassy person, just got desperate for a rainy day activity!
But salt dough is a great go-to craft activity and we are big fans in this house.

Letitsnow9 Mon 07-Oct-13 20:40:33

When ever I look after children I always do craft activities with them from cutting and sticking to craft kits from places like baker Ross. I love the idea of sandwich cutters in their designs

Ikeameatballs Mon 07-Oct-13 21:39:27

My dc love arts and crafts, it's something that they will both engage in (ds 4 and dd 7) and they will play for a long time on individual ideas or joint ones.

Will definitely be using craft in the half-term, making Halloween decs and a birthday card or two for their grandma.

Snog Fri 11-Oct-13 06:48:09

we love creating art outdoors from nature inspired by andy goldsworthy the artist.
knitting is very popular with my dd and its a good time of year to knit a hat!

Snog Fri 11-Oct-13 07:06:46

we are going to make homemade xmas wrap this year by decorating brown paper. also making xmas decorations of course and will use my die cutting machine to help with this. we use up junk mail and catalogues on this kind of thing and sometimes find crafty "ingredients" at boot sales

AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 11-Oct-13 17:00:44

Thanks for all your comments. The winner of the prize draw is roguepixie - congratulations! I'll PM you for your details shortly smile

roguepixie Sat 12-Oct-13 16:36:39

Woo-hoo!! Thank you.

Have PM'd you my details.

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