Are you tired of hearing, “I’m bored, I want to do something” from the kids? Crafts are the perfect solution to occupying hours of kids’ days, but unfortunately they usually come with a lot of clean-up, which can deter parents and nannies from wanting to break out the craft projects. Fortunately, there are some crafts you can do that are fun and are not messy. Here’s a few:
- Macaroni necklaces: Put out a few bowls of different types of pasta that have holes in them; macaroni, penne, pinwheels and rigatoni work well. Cut some string or yarn into 18” lengths. Wrap one end of the string with tape to make it easier for a child to thread it through the pasta. If you’d like you can let them decorate the pasta with some washable markers to add some extra color and pizazz. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, dye the pasta in advance by mixing rubbing alcohol and food coloring together in a Ziploc bag. Then add in the pasta, shake it all up, and let the pasta dry on a paper towel before threading it onto the string. Once they fill up the string tie the necklace around their neck. You can also easily make a matching bracelet by following the same method on a shorter string.
- Pinwheels: Cut 6 to 8 inch squares out of paper. Designer paper can be used or you can allow the kids to decorate their own plain-colored paper with crayons. Once the squares are decorated, turn the paper over and help the child draw a straight line from corner to corner on both sides creating an “X”. A ruler or straight edge can be useful when doing this step. Next, make a circle over the center of the “X” by tracing a quarter. Help the child cut along the line from the corner toward the center, stopping at the edge of the circle, and continue cutting from all four corners. Finally, without folding, bend every other corner up to the center and use a push pin or thumb tack to push through all four points. Help the child push the pin through the eraser part of a pencil to give it a base and complete the pinwheel. The kids will have a blast blowing on their pinwheels to make them spin.
- Fancy flip flops: Select a pair of flip flops and some colorful fabric in fun prints to use for decorating the flip flops. Cut the fabric into 20 strips 1 inch wide by 6 inches long using pinking shears to avoid unraveling. Depending on the size of the flip flops you may need more fabric, so make sure you buy plenty. Tie the strips in a knot on either side of the toe thong, and then trim them so they’re at a length you like. Now you have a custom pair of flip flops that you have created yourself.
- Tambourine: Ask the child to decorate two paper plates with crayons or washable markers. Help the child place large glue dots around the edge of one plate every inch or so. Add beans or macaroni to the plate with the glue dots on it. Cover the filled plate with the empty plate and firmly press the edges together until they are well sealed. Once the glue has dried the kids will be able to dance their way through the day to the music from the tambourine.
- Flower pot: Cover the hole of a 3” clay flower pot with tape and fill the pot with fish rocks or other small pebbles and set aside. Help the child cut out heart or flower shapes from construction paper. Using pipe cleaners have the child bend them in roughly the same shape as the paper cut out and staple the pipe cleaner to the paper shape making sure to leave 4 inches for a stem. Repeat this step for as many flowers as you would like. Stick the pipe cleaner “stems” into the rock in the flower pot and your project is complete.
- Frame: Supply the kids with foam frames available at any craft store. Provide a bowl full of self-adhesive fun foam shapes for the kids to use to decorate the frame. Using foam letters is a fun way to work on learning to spell their name, in addition to decorating the frame. Once the frame is decorated take a favorite photo and tape it to the back of the frame for a fun room decoration or a personalized gift.
- Bookmark: Provide each child with a piece of ribbon approximately an inch wide by 10 inches long. This will be the base for the book mark. Supply the kids with self-adhesive sequins, foam shapes, letters or iron-on patches to decorate their ribbon. (If iron-on patches are used an adult needs to iron the patch onto the ribbon following the directions on the package) Once the ribbon is decorated the project is complete and can be used to mark their place in their favorite story book. These also make thoughtful gifts for friends because it’s something that they will see every time they read.
- Beaded bracelet: Using a pipe cleaner in their favorite color have the kids thread small pony beads onto the pipe cleaner. They can create whatever pattern that they like. If you like you can also provide letter beads for the children to use on their bracelets. Help the kids spell out different words like FRIEND, LOVE, BFF or their name. Remind the kids to leave room on both ends of the pipe cleaner so that you can twist the pipe cleaner onto their wrist.
While more mess used to mean more fun, these simple projects prove that doesn’t always have to be the case; the kids will have fun creating these crafty projects and you’ll be satisfied because there will be little to clean up after.Taken From Babysitting Jobs