Hands-on activities and play-learning are some of the most effective ways to get kids to practice essential skills and pick up important concepts without the pressure of a formal classroom setting. Get your kids to start tinkering with these 7 engaging, educational craft activities that promise hours of fun.
Photo credit: Parents
What do you get when you put together a straw, a balloon, some bottle caps, and either a plastic bottle or a tube? Why, a balloon-powered car, of course! This project allows kids to tinker with different materials and express their creativity through personalized designs, while also learning about concepts in physics, like kinetic energy and Newton's laws of motion.
Learn different ways to build the car here.
Photo credit: Crafts by Amanda
Getting your kids to make their own hand puppets not only tests their creativity and motor skills, but also gifts them with props they can use for future play. This is a great chance for you to upcycle old apparel to make sock puppets or used boxes to make cardboard puppets. Iyou don’t have those materials at home, you can always do up a simple paper puppet, like this one.
Handmade Family Tree
Photo credit: Super Simple
Experts say that children who know their family story tend to be happier and have higher self-esteem. Take the hands-on approach to teaching your kids about theirs by drawing up a family tree. A fun way to do it is to give the little ones ink pads to create a tree using their fingerprints and affix names and photos of each family member on colorful cutouts.
Photo credit: Sugar, Spice and Glitter
More than an internet craze, playing with slime actually offers a great tactile experience for younger kids. But many parents are worried about the chemicals in store-bought slime and popular online recipes using glue or shaving cream. Fret not, there are also plenty of all-natural slime recipes, like chia seed or basil seed slimes, that are safe enough to be edible.
Here are some recipes to try.
Popsicle Sticks Catapult
Source: Science Sparks
For the little engineer, this easy project promises to provide hours of fun, from the building process, to the subsequent play, and the modifications that can be added. Besides engaging their creativity and problem-solving skills in creating these mini siege machines, the kids will also be tested on their math skills when figuring out how far different objects can be catapulted.
Photo credit: Red Tricycle
Instill an appreciation for nature in your child by building a bird feeder and observing the different birds that would come to peck at the seeds. You can use empty milk cartons, plastic bottles, citrus peels, or even Lego to build the feeder, as long as it’s able to hold the food and is easy to hang. So this is a good way to encourage your child to be as creative as possible!
Find more inspirations here.
Ice Cream in a Bag
Photo credit: Delish
Who doesn’t love a frozen treat? With some salt and plenty of ice, you can have your little ones churn out ice cream simply by shaking bags of milk enclosed in the ice. This is a great chance to introduce younger kids to cooking and to explain the science behind such kitchen magic to the older ones. Make it a special occasion with some specialized ice cream-making gear – get winter mittens to keep those little hands warm.
Have a go with this easy recipe. If you can’t find half-and-half, simply substitute with milk.