Thursday, September 20, 2012

Crafty ways to keep kids entertained

Actress Tori Spelling is the mother of four. Celebrity or not, when it rains, she hears those dreaded words, “Mom! I’m bored.” So to beat the boredom blues that come with rainy fall days, Spelling has developed a few tips and activities to keep children entertained. Plus there’s news about a fun contest to help inspire everyone involved – including moms.

Monogram art
Children love to see their name in print, in lights, cement (better make that plaster), even mud. So why not make something you can personalize. For younger children, you could help them trace their first initial in block letters on a piece of poster board. Then pull out your jar of buttons and use glue to fill in the letter with all of the colorful buttons, or even shells or colored macaroni elbows. Older kids might enjoy monogramming a T-shirt with their name or favorite TV character, book or sports team using fabric paints.

Create a time capsule
Imagine how much fun it would be to open a box 10 or even 20 years from now -- when your children have grown up. You’ll need a sealable chest, something waterproof, like a Tupperware container or even a cookie tin. Have each child contribute a few items with a note about why those items are special to them. Then have them make a wish and write it on a piece of paper. No peeking. Fold the paper and include it in the capsule along with family photos. Bury the capsule in the backyard and set a date to “uncover” it.

Painted pencil holder
So you didn’t have time to make your strawberry jam. Be happy you have the jars and consider donating them to our defeat boredom cause. To make the painted pencil jar, you’ll need clean and dry jars, liquid tempera paints, brushes and some white glue or acrylic. Add a dab of the glue to the paint (so it sticks to the glass) and go Monet. If they’re not sure what to make, have them draw something on paper first, then recreate it on the jar.

Cardboard cuckoo clock
Show your group or child a photo of a real cuckoo clock for inspiration. Then encourage the child to draw something similar on a piece of paper or their own version of a cuckoo clock. Color it with markers or  pencils or crayons. Now glue the picture to a piece of cardboard and set it aside to dry. Cut out the shape of the clock house. Then cut a hole in the middle of the house and fit the clock-face according to its instructions. Within minutes you’ll have a working clock that the children have made themselves.
BONUS: Use the clock to teach children about time.

Window painting
Gather up your artists and clear away the curtains near a big picture window. This project, recommended by a teacher I know, is one that everyone will enjoy. Once you've picked a window to work on toss some newspaper or an old sheet on the floor to protect it from drips. Then hand out the aprons or dad's big dress shirts to  and let the kids create a work of art for everyone to see.  Craft stores carry powdered tempera paint -- which is usually a good choice for a project such as this. It's colorful and yes mom -- easy to wash off.

Be sure to supervise any crafts that require children to work with sharp objects, and use non-toxic ingredients.

Craft contest
Now through February 2013, children may enter the “Never Be Bored Again” Instant Win Game for a chance to win one of more than a million boredom-busting prizes. No purchase necessary to play. Open to residents of the 50 states and District of Columbia, between the ages of 6 and 13 as of July 9, 2012. To enter online and see official rules, visit www.lunchables.com/fun. Contest ends Feb. 27, 2013. Void where prohibited.
For questions or comments, contact gina.joseph@macombdaily.com; @ginaljoseph

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