Arts and Crafts

Modelling Clay (All ages under supervision)

Here is a recipe to make modelling clay. You can make anything you wish with this dough, let your imagination go wild. Try making buttons, candle holders, napkin rings, beads or anything else you can think of. This craft will allow you to use your imagination!

What you need:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • 3/4 cups water
  • Jar of waterGroup child and teacher mould from clay in play room.
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Toothpicks
  • 1 and 1/4 cup flour
  • Baking sheet
  • 1 and 1/4 cup salt
  • Cooling rack
  • Poster paint
  • Knife
  • Varnish
  • Paint brushes
  • Optional: key rings, glitter, ribbons etc.

What you do:

  1. Because this craft involves using the oven please ask a grownup to supervise you. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Measure the ingredients and mix the flour, water, vegetable oil and salt together. Mix until you have a soft ball of dough. If your mixture is too dry, add water.
  3. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth and stretchy.
  4. Model the dough into the shapes you want. You can stick pieces of dough together by using a little water. Use a toothpick to make any holes.
  5. When you are finished creating, put all your shapes on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until dough is hard. Place your creations on a wire cooling rack and let cool.
  6. Once cool, your creations are ready to be painted. When the paint is dry coat them with clear varnish.

Make Sand Dough (All ages under supervision)

By Jessica McBrayer

You don’t have to head to sun drenched beaches and warm sand to make sand castles. No matter where you live this activity can supply a less messy opportunity for making sand castles. If sand castles don’t excite your young architect this material works just as well for forts or just tracing letters in the sand. This tactile experience helps build important skills while little ones play.

What You Need:Sand Dough

  • 4 cups sifted sand
  • 2 cups corn-starch
  • 3 cups hot water
  • Old pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Wax paper

 What You Do:

  1. Mix the sifted sand, water, corn-starch and water in an old pot over low heat.
  2. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts to pull away from the sides of the pot and then pour onto the wax paper.
  3. Knead well and store in air tight containers.
Use cookie cutters, sand moulds and fingers to make castles and shapes. This versatile clay-like material hardens if left out and can be used for school projects. You can even add food colouring to make coloured clay!

Cork Stamp Art (Approx. 2 – 3 Years+)

By Korey Marquez

Spring has sprung, and summer is just around the corner! Explore the changing seasons with your child by creating a cork-stamped masterpiece. With cork stamping, your budding Picasso can form leaves, flowers, rain, and other elements of nature, turning a blank canvas into an original work of art. This activity provides learning opportunities through sensory exploration and discussion about the seasons.

What You Need:Cork Stamp Art

  • Clean, dry corks in several different sizes
  • Two sturdy sheets of 8 1/2” x 11″ paper
  • Paints
  • Markers

What You Do:

  1. Prepare the activity by setting out the corks and two sheets of paper on your child’s workspace. Pour a small amount of paint into individual shallow containers for dipping.
  2. Starting with spring, talk to your child about the weather and seasons. Ask him if he knows what type of weather and plants are usually observed in the springtime.
  3. To provide some initial structure to the painting, help him draw some bare tree branches or flower stems.
  4. As you talk, help him complete a visual portrayal of springtime by dipping the flat end of a cork lightly into the paint. He can then stamp the cork onto the paper to form blossoms on the trees and flowers on the stems. As he gets the hang of it, he can use the cork to stamp additional items such as raindrops, clouds, or rays of sun, using the markers to add detail if desired.
  5. When your child has finished stamping images of spring, ask him the same questions about summer. On the second piece of paper, invite him to use the paint-dipped corks to stamp out elements of summer, such as the sun or the beach. To create waves or longer shapes, he can experiment by dragging the paint-dipped cork across the paper.
  6. After he’s finished, hang the two pieces of artwork side-by-side to create a diptych, or invite him to create cork-stamping artworks for fall and winter as well!

Draw Shadow Art (Age Approximately 3 – 4 Years+)

 By Lawren Allphin

Kindergarten-aged kids love to draw, and parents love the creative expression it allows them. But there are other advantages to letting your child go to town with drawing tools. Using her fine motor skills will allow your child’s hands to grow accustomed to gripping small objects, which will in turn increase her ability to manipulate pencils, crayons, and scissors. Want to give your kid a leg up in the fine motor department? Crack open a package of chalk! Chalk is a great writing tool for young kids because it’s bigger than a standard pencil or crayon, so it’s easier for small hands to manipulate. Plus, it works great outside, so kids can work those basic writing skills, all while in the summer sunshine: can it get any better than this? Yes! Throw in some basic kindergarten physics (light and shadow), and you’ve got yourself a fabulous activity that will nurture the physicist artist and the artistic physicist in your little genius.

What You Need:Shadow Art

  • Chalk in several colours (a wider diameter works best)
  • A washable, smooth, outdoor surface
  • A bit of early morning or later afternoon summer sun

What You Do:

  1. Pack up your chalk and your child, and head out in search of a good canvas. Make sure you settle in a spot that isn’t shady already; you’ll need some good sunlight in order to make sharp shadows.
  2. Help your child find his shadow. Let him explore for himself how his position and movements affect the shadow. Talk to him about where the sun is in relation to where he’s standing, and get his ideas on how a shadow is formed. Give him some suggestions for how he might make a fun shadowy shape on the ground. Remember that at this age, kids learn well by watching you! So don’t be afraid to have some fun with your shadow.
  3. Once your child has found a position that he thinks will make an excellent shadow, have him hold still as you trace it with chalk. Once you’re finished, switch roles and have him trace your shadow.
  4. Add details to one another’s shadows. Go ahead and get silly with this part — the more details the better. Add a top hat, a superman cape, or a pink tiara to your outlines. The crazier the better!
Still up for some more shadow play? People make great shadows, but don’t forget about trees, toys, and pets (if you can get them to sit still for a few minutes!). Let your child take the lead as you search for other subjects to trace. And don’t be surprised if all this shadow play sparks an interest in scientific discovery, or some unusual artwork, once the game is done.

Dumper Truck (CBeebies) (Approx 4 – 5 years+)

Make your own Dumper truck.

This should take about 60 mins  

You will need:Dumper Truck

  • 1 large cereal box
  • 2 small cereal boxes
  • Shoe box lid
  • Thin strip of blue paper
  • 4 bottle tops
  • Red and yellow paint to decorate
  • 4 round lids
  • Scrunched up newspaper
  • Grey paint
  • Black paint
  • Sticky tape

What to do:

Step 1 DT Step 1Before you start, ask an adult to help you cut the small cereal box in half, lengthways. Attach it on top of the larger cereal box using sticky tape on one side only. This is so you can tilt the lid up and down like a dumper!

DT Step 2

Step 2 Ask an adult to help you cut the second small cereal box in half, widthways. Stick this on the other end of the large cereal box, standing upright. Use a shoebox lid to make a roof, by sticking it on the highest part of your truck. Stick a strip of blue paper just underneath the roof to make a window.

DT Step 3

Step 3 Stick two bottle tops onto the lower front of your truck to make the headlights. You can now use red and yellow paint to decorate your truck!

DT Step 4

Step 4 Paint four round lids black. When they are dry, stick them around the bottom of your truck to make the wheels.

Step 5 To finish off you can make some boulders for your truck to carry. Do this by scrunching up pieces of old newspaper and painting them grey. Place them in the back of your truck and you are ready to go!  


Portable Telephone (Approx 4 – 5 years+)

Make this old fashioned craft idea. Using two cans and some string you can make your own portable telephone.

What you need:Portable Phones

  • Adult supervision
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Two cans
  • 5-6 feet of string

 What you do:

  1. Get an adult’s help for this activity. Ask your adult helper to check the opening of the cans for any sharp edges.
  2. Clean the two cans and let them dry.
  3. Ask an adult to use a hammer and nail to make one hole in the bottom of each can.
  4. Measure your string and thread one end through the hole in the bottom of the can, tie a knot so that the string is secure. Attach the other end of the string to the second can using the same method.
  5. Find a friend and test your phone. Speak into the can and hold the can to your ear to hear your friend speaking. Make sure that the string is tight between the cans or the sound will not travel far enough along the string. You can also decorate your phone.

Make Pop-Up Puppets (Approx. 5 – 6 Years of Age+)

By Caitlin Chock

Everyone enjoys puppet shows, and now your child can host his own! Using plastic cups, dowels, and fabric, you can make a fun puppet that pops up out of its cup when in action and hides out of sight when not in play. This activity helps your child develop his fine motor skills through cutting, pasting, and assembling the puppet. But the learning (and fun!) doesn’t stop there: your child will set his imagination free creating stories for his puppets to act out. Putting on performances for others is also a great way to help him build confidence and learn to be comfortable speaking in front of people.

What You Need:Pop-Up Puppets

  • Plastic cup
  • Coloured felt or fabric pieces
  • Hot glue or rubber cement
  • Wooden dowel
  • Wooden ball
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • String

 What You Do:

  1. Start by cutting a hole in the bottom of the plastic cup. Next, let your child guide the wooden dowel through the hole, leaving the dowel poking out both ends.
  2. Ask your child what kind of puppet they want to make. Will it be a boy or a girl? What kind of outfit will it be wearing? Help your child create the puppet’s shirt by cutting a large circle out of a piece of fabric. Drape the fabric round over the top of the cup (let the fabric drape over the dowel as well). Glue the edge of the fabric to the inside rim of the cup. Let the glue dry.
  3. After the glue has dried, cut a small hole in the middle of the fabric round just large enough for the dowel to fit through. Gently feed just the tip of the dowel through the hole, and then glue the dowel to the fabric so that the fabric shirt rises with the dowel when the dowel is pushed up.
  4. Next, carefully glue the wooden ball to the top of the dowel right above the shirt. This will be the puppet’s head.
  5. Let your child cut out fabric arms and hands for his puppet and glue those to the shirt.
  6. Have your child draw a face on the puppet’s head with markers. If your child wants the puppet to have hair, glue pieces of string to the puppet’s head. Encourage your child to think of fun accessories to add to his puppet such as a hat, bowtie, or scarf. Set the puppet aside to let the glue dry.
  7. Once the glue is dry, it’s time to test out the puppet! Show your child how the puppet hides when the dowel is pulled down and reappears when the dowel is pushed up again. Let your child try it for himself!

Now let the show begin! Your child will delight in making you and his audience laugh with his fun performances.


Mother’s Day Basket (Approx. 5 – 6 Years of Age+)

By Julie Williams

For children of all ages, spring is an exuberant season, as flowers and grasses pop up in all their colourful glory. You can purchase Mother’s Day baskets, of course…but here’s a homemade paper basket that your kindergartener can make, while practicing patterning skills that are such a big part of her math curriculum. And now that it’s near the end of the year, she should be writing her own words and early sentences, too. Help her make a Mother’s Day basket with her own handwritten message attached. Okay, if you’re the mom setting this up, it may spoil some surprise, but don’t forget: you can also make this one for nanny or for some other really cherished maternal figure in your family’s life.

What You Need:Mother's Day Basket

  • Three pieces of sturdy construction paper in spring colours such as green, blue, and lavender
  • Scissors
  • Heart Basket shapes (as per picture)

 What You Do:

  1. Trace your Heart Basket shapes onto two different colours of construction paper, and use scissors to cut each one out.
  2. Trace a solid heart—onto a piece of solid construction paper, and cut out a solid heart shape, which will form the back of the “basket.”
  3. Cut a strip of paper construction paper in a third coordinating colour, at least 12” long by about 1” wide, to serve as the “handle” for the basket.
  4. Help your child “weave” the two sides of the heart from Step 1.  Encourage kids to do as much of this as possible independently, so that they develop hand-eye coordination skills, and practice the pattern of “over-under” that they need for their math work.  When they are done, they will have an attractive woven heart.
  5. Staple the woven heart to the plain one, and staple the strip of paper across the top to make a handle.  Now you have a “heart basket” that is perfect for a special message.
  6. Fold a remaining piece from one of your cut construction paper pages, and invite your child to make a picture of the person she’s honouring.  Below it, ask your child to write at least one sentence to that person.  (Don’t worry if the spelling is “fearless”—what’s important is the thought!)

This is a big project for a kindergartener—be sure you offer lots of praise. It’s also a great bridge into the new challenges of first grade, when kids will be doing lots more small-motor skill work, reading, and writing. Oh, and lest we forget—it’s a heart-warming gift for any special mother figure, any day of the year!


Spring Craft: Butterflies (Approx. 6 Years+)

Make these fun and easy butterflies to celebrate the arrival of spring. This craft is fun and makes a great activity for children.

What you need:Butterflies Supplies to make 1 butterfly:

  • 3 Pipe cleaners
  • 2 Googly eyes
  • 4 Pom-poms
  • Scissors
  • White glue

What you do:

  1. Glue four pom-poms together. Allow to dry.
  2. While the pom-poms are drying, cut one pipe cleaner in half and bend each half to form the large part of each wing. Take the second pipe cleaner and cut it into thirds. Take two of the pieces you just cut and form each into the smaller part of each wing. Cut another pipe cleaner into quarters and take two pieces to form the antennae.Butterflies Back
  3. Once the pom-poms are dry, glue two googly eyes on the top pom-pom. Allow to dry.
  4. Once the eyes have dried, flip the butterfly over and securely glue on the wings and antennae. See image at right for placement.

                Happy Spring!


Merida’s Celtic Heart Necklace (Approx. 9 – 10 years +)

NecklaceBy Cindy Littlefield

Merida’s three suitors never stood a chance at winning her affection with their pitiful archery skills. But, had any of them presented the feisty Scottish princess with one of these lovely heart-shaped pendants, there’s no telling where the story may have led.

What you’ll need

  • 40-inch length of coloured beading cord
  • Pliers
  • Pair of crimp-style end clasp clips and O-rings Necklace clasp  

How to make it

N 2 Use pliers to attach the clasp clips to the beading cord ends. Add an O-ring to each clip. Then attach the clasp.

To fashion the heart, fold the cord over itself to create a small loop about 14 inches from the left end. Feed the right end up through the loop, as shown.

N 3 Loop the right end back around, threading it down into the upper loop and then up through the lower loop, as shown. At this point, the knot will essentially resemble a loop within a loop. N 4

Pass the same end you’ve been working with under the knot and up through the bottom portion of the centre loop. Next, thread the end down through the centre of the knot and back up through the top portion of the centre loop. N 5

Turn the cord so that the loose ends are at the top. Now shape the knot into a more defined heart by gently pinching the bottom into a V and slightly separating the top halves.  


Make a Picasso Mask (Approximately 10+ Years Old)

By Ellen Dean

Most people know the Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, for his surreal and abstract paintings, but he also worked with clay. Much of his work was largely influenced by African artefacts, inspiring him to produce pottery, but also to create paint-and-paper masks on figures in his work. Help your child get inspired by Picasso’s inspiration! This project shows him how to create a Picasso-style, three-dimensional mask. He’ll experiment just like the master, adding in vivid colours and wild patterns as he sees fit.

What You Need:Picasso Mask

  • Thin cardboard
  • Masking tape or paper tape
  • Coloured tissue paper
  • White glue
  • Tempera paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Water cups
  • Scissors or a box knife (with supervision)
  • String
  • Toilet paper

What You Do:

  1. Before starting this project, share images of tribal masks from South America and Africa with your child, as well as other pottery work by Picasso.
  2. Have your child draw an outline of his mask in pencil on the cardboard. Remember: it needs to be a bit larger than his face, as it will be slightly bent to appear three-dimensional.
  3. Help or supervise him as he cuts out the mask shape.
  4. Next, ask him to draw the outline for the eyes and mouth on the mask. Ask him if he wishes to create a mouth with a unique expression, or even one that includes teeth. What does he want the eyes to look like? They can be large or small, or shaped in any style that he wishes.
  5. Then, have him cut a triangular piece of cardboard for the nose (long or short, wide or thin). This also needs to be drawn larger because it will also be bent when it’s attached to the mask.
  6. Help him gently bend (not fold) the mask, so it’s curved and appears to fit over a face. While holding it in position, have him observe the top area of the mask that will need support in order to stay in place. Together, determine the size of the cardboard that will need to be cut to keep the mask rounded.
  7. Make sure to assist him as he draws and cuts the top mask shape from the cardboard.
  8. Next, discuss the designs he’s interested in creating on the mask, and help him carefully design and paint the mask. Allow it to dry.
  9. Using white glue, have him add on any coloured tissue paper that he wants to use to decorate the eyes, lips, or other patterns. He can glue down string or use toilet paper dipped in glue to help build up ridges, and then cover the shapes with coloured tissue paper for a more three-dimensional effect. Shapes may take a while to build up, but the effect looks amazing! Set aside to dry.
  10. Now, have him place tape on the edge of the shape that he has cut out to help hold the top of the mask in a curved shape. Make sure he places plenty of tape on the holding piece, as well as the mask itself, to really keep it in a curved position.
  11. Next, have him tape the inside of the nose piece and press it down onto the mask in a bent position. Have him reinforce the edges of the nose with plenty of tape, to make sure it stays on.
  12. Using paint and tissue paper, ask him to cover the nose and the top of the mask, so that it blends in with the rest of the design.

Did You Know? Tribal masks from Africa and Latin America were often used to protect villages by scaring away bad spirits. This is why so many masks have wide eyes and show sharp teeth. They were also used during celebrations to invite good spirits into their festivities. Masks worn my warriors often depict spirit animals and symbols of strength, such as the stripes from a tiger.


How to Make a Bug Mansion (CBBC) (Approximately 10+ Years Old)

Make your own bug mansion to attract all sorts of creepy crawlies into your garden.

You will need

  • Planks of wood
  • Bricks
  • Twigs, leaves, grass, bamboo, old drinks bottles – Whatever you have unused in the house as long there are no chemicals
  • Bug Spotter Sheet (1.39mb)

Tip You can be as creative as you like with this one. All you need is some planks of wood, a few bricks to hold it up and then you fill it with twigs, leaves, grass and all kinds of materials that you have lying around your house – so long as they don’t have any chemicals on them.


Bug 1

Step 1 First you need to select a good location. Find a spot in the garden to build your mini-beast mansion. A sheltered position in sun or semi-shade will be best for

Bug 2
Step 2 Next you need to build the foundation. This is the bottom of your Bug Mansion. You can use whatever materials you have to hand here, but remember that untreated wood is always best. Pallets stacked on top of one-another make a great shell for your bug mansion, but the same effect can be achieved with bricks and wooden planks, or many other materials. We used an old chest of draws from a charity shop.most insects and a flat surface will make building easier. You can use anything from bricks, slate, bamboo, leaves, twigs, mud, old fabric, old drinks bottles – whatever you like. Just remember to check with an adult on the items you are using.

Bug 3

Step 3 Next you need to think about the filling. You can use all sorts of materials to fill your mini-beast mansion. Try to use a variety of ‘fillings’ as different insects will have different needs. Straw / leaves / garden cuttings make good packing material and a mix of pots / twigs / bamboo / logs/ bark will create lots of nooks and crannies for insects to shelter in.

Step 4Bug 4 Finally you need some finishing touches. To make sure that your bug mansion is as snug as possible for its inhabitants, try to make sure that the roof is rain-proof. If you really want to offer 5-star facilities for your 6-legged guests, why not also plant some insect-friendly flowers nearby!

Step 5 Now all you need to do is sit back and wait to see what kind bugs decide to move in. Don’t forget to use our bug spotter sheet to help you identify your new guests.