- Family and Parenting»
Outdoor Fun Crafts for Kids
Summer time is a great time to have some outdoor fun with the kids. Taking part in a common activity helps build the social development skills as well as the morale of the child. And what better time to do that than the crisp weather and the blue skies. I had a very engaging childhood with my parents. My parents were very enthusiastic about teaching me new crafts and playing a variety of interesting games. Some of these activities, I have done as a child. Some I came to know of while growing up. Given here are some of the easy and fun things to do in the summer. They are not expensive. They need a little patience and as parents we will enjoy doing it with the children. These are not just crafts. They create memories of tomorrow.
Flower Pot Painting
The best place to engage a child is the garden. The atmosphere is light and welcoming. There are so many beautiful activities for the kids to be engaged with. My personal favorite is flower pot painting.
If you are planning to paint a used flower pot you have to follow these steps:
Scrub the flower pot with a stiff brush till the pot is clean of dust and mud.
Using acrylic spray paint of the desired color apply a uniform coat.
Once it is dry, paint the pot using acrylic paint tubes or simple brush strokes and dry it.
Your beautiful flowerpot is ready.
If you have a picket fence, you can ask your kids to paint them with a theme or a random bright pattern. These fences are short and narrow and give the children comfortable width to paint them. You can either paint the sides near the gate or completely surround the garden with your paintings. It will be a great activity during summer as there is lesser risk of the kids smearing the paint before it dries.
In Tamil Nadu every year a festival is celebrated in January honoring farmers. It is called Pongal and is celebrated for three days. During the first day, prayers are offered to the sun god and the second day is for honoring cows which are sacred animals for Hindus. The third day is a thanks giving ceremony to people who have played an important role in our life. During the first day people buy huge decorated earthen pots and make a southern rice dish called Pongal. Days are spent cleaning and painting the pots. Pot painting is an age old tradition in these parts.
Which is more fun?
Make a Kite
Kite flying is a great entertainment for sunny days with light wind. There are so many types of kites available in the market. In Gujarat, there is a special occasion which is celebrated with kite flying festivals and competitions. It is easy to make a simple kite for kids.
Time required: 15 minutes
- Newspaper - 1
- Glue/ Cellophane tape - 1
- Thin strip of cloth - 1
- Thin wooden sticks - 2
- Color Paper - 1
- A roll of string
1. Take a newspaper and cut it into a square.
2. Place a thin wooden stick diagonally along the length of the newspaper and glue it. Place another smaller stick at right angles to the previous stick and glue it well
3. Tie the intersecting areas with string along with the paper. This includes four corners of the two sticks as well the middle intersection
4. Cut away the excess paper along the shape of the sticks. And fold a little bit of paper covering the sticks. The shape will now resemble a kite.
5. In the intersection of the sticks at the center stitch a small loop through which a longer thread can be pulled in and tied tightly. This longer thread will only control the kite while flying.
6. At the lower end of the kite place a tail. Tail is a thin strip of paper or cloth. It can be two or many. It gives stability to the kite while flying.
7. Make sure all the joints and the tail are tightly held by a stitch and glue (or cellophane tape) as it should be able to tackle the force of the wind. You can cover the kite with a color paper if you need it to be catchy. Now your kite is ready for a summer day.
Kaathadi, the traditional kite
When I was young, this was the type of kite I was more used to. It does not fly. In fact you should carry it in your hand and run opposing the wind. It will rotate very fast and is very beautiful to look at when it made with a lot of colors. In Tamil it is called a Kaathadi.
Gujarat organizes an International Kite festival every year on the occasion called Uttarayan. It is the end of winter and signifies the harvesting season lying ahead. This takes place in the same time as Pongal season in Tamil Nadu.
Have you flown kites?
Make a Bracelet
Coconut Shell is an excellent raw material for crafts. The shell is sturdy and can be used for many decorative purposes.
This bracelet is very simple. Take a coconut kernel and dry it in the sun for a day. Make uniform circles on the top and start cutting the circles with an electric blade. Color the circles with one color or different colors. Purchase some stylish beads.String the circles along with the beads in a symmetrical pattern. Use an elastic band for stringing. Now homemade coconut bracelet is ready.
Feed a Bird
Scrap the outer rough edges of a dry coconut kernel till the shell becomes smooth. Drill three equidistant holes near the circumference of the shell.Using three strings of equal length tie them with the circumference as shown in the figure. Add the decorative beads to the strings and knot the strings at the top. Decorate the outer sides of the coconut with color paper or chains.
You can hang it on a tree and use it for supplying water or food for the hungry birds.
Image : Wikipedia
Kotanguchi is an ancient musical instrument.
Materials needed: Bamboo stick, a coconut shell and some wire strings.
Drill two holes in the coconut shell, one in the lower end near the mouth and the other at the peak of the shell.
Insert the bamboo stick through the lower hole and upper hole holding the shell upside down (the shell should be hollow). It should pass first through the lower hole and then through the upper hole.
Now attach the string from one end of the bamboo stick to the other end of the coconut shell. It will resemble the rough model of a guitar with the string passing through the hollow part of the coconut. The instrument is ready. You can start making sounds now!
Trace your kids outline in a big plastic sheet with a marker.
You can do it by making them stand against the sheet or lying down on the sheet.
Cut all your family pictures and ask your child to make a collage within the outline.
It will be super fun to see the finished family collage within your child's outline.
It will take time and keep your child positively engaged. It is also exciting when the child decides on what pictures to paste and where.