August 18, 2011

Every parent wants their child to use their creative side to create crafts, especially on those rainy days. But what to do with all the drawings, paper boats, clay animals and popsicle stick people? Instead of shoving these projects in a drawer, why not have your children make practical crafts that can be used in functional ways? Turn your child’s imagination into a useful, practical item for the house or yard. And save money by using items found right in the house.

Here are some fun, practical crafts for your kids to make for themselves:

  • Buy kids plastic sunglasses and have your children decorate them to their taste with beads or stickers.
  • Take a milk carton and turn it into a piggy bank for your child. Allow them to use their imagination and decorate it any way they want. Use paint, stickers, beads, cloth, ribbons, eve paper. Cut a slit in the milk carton. Your child will have fun making this and then enjoy saving money so they can put it in their own piggy bank.
  • Keep library books clean and undamaged. Use old outgrown blue jeans to make a slipcover for the book. If your child knows how to sew (or you do), you can sew it. If not, you can help your child and use hot glue. You can even make a cover out of a paper bag from a grocery store.

Practical craft ideas for your child to give to others:

  • Take outgrown clothes (pants or shirts) and cut them into long strips and have your child braid them together. Make the braid long enough to tie into a headband. Glue (or quick sew) each end to hold together. Your child could make several so that all her friends have the same headband.
  • Have your child use his/her imagination by creating writing paper for his/her teacher. Depending on the age of the child, you may have to help by doing the knife cutting. Materials needed are any color blank paper, a potato, and poster paint. Cut the potato in half and have your child make a design on the potato. Take the knife and cut out parts of the potato to create your child’s design. Let the potato dry for a day. Now, the potato can be painted and used like a stampon the paper.
  • Have your child be creative by using materials around the house to make bookmarks to give as gifts to their friends. A different kind of a book mark is a heavy piece of foam cut into a square. Fold this in half and glue a magnet (you know the advertising refrigerator magnets you get all the time) on the inside of each half. Your child can decorate the outside with felt or a bead or even a picture.

Practical craft ideas for use around the house:

  • Merge the “old” with the “new.” Everyone has been given things that belonged to their grandmother. Are these things, like figurines or old plates, sitting in boxes in closets? Are they losing their paint? As long as they are not a valuable antique, take the appropriate paint (usually water paint will work) and let your child “refresh” the piece. Now it can be displayed on the bookshelf with pride.
  • Let your child decorate their own room. Give them some paint, help them make a canopy for their bed, or have them decorate shelves to put on the wall or. Let your child make their room their own.

Allow your child’s creativity to shine through without having to fill the garbage can with non-practical crafts. There are thousands and thousands of different craft ideas on the internet. There is bound to be something for your child and your house.