Whether you’re staring down the barrel of summer vacation or a rainy weekend, you’ll want new ways to keep the kids entertained and out of your hair. While holidays and weekends are a great time to get things done, they can quickly become boring for your kids if they aren’t given something constructive to do. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to spend big money to keep the little ones busy. With a few household items and packages of stickers, you can keep the kids busy and entertained for hours. Here are five ideas for projects for the kids that won’t break the bank:
1. Challenge Hole
For the Challenge Hole project, you’ll need a piece of colored construction paper, scissors, and a couple of sheets of reinforcement hole stickers. Children begin to develop fine motor skills when they are born, and the skills are refined through age 6 for the average child. The Challenge Hole project is fantastic for toddlers and preschoolers.
To begin, cut a random shape in a piece of construction paper. Hand your child several sheets of reinforcement hole stickers and instruct her to create a picture. Not only will your child practice using her fine motor skills, but she’ll also tap into her imagination in ways that may surprise you. When she’s done creating, ask her to tell you about the picture, further developing her cognitive skills.
2. Picture Frames
You can purchase foam or cardboard picture frames at your local craft or dollar store for next to nothing. With these cheap picture frames and a few packages of stickers, your wee ones can create stunning works of art. Let your child pick out a favorite picture of the family, their friends, or even the dog. Hand over the frame and the stickers and let him decorate the frame however he likes. When he’s done, ask him why he chose the stickers that he did and why he chose that photo to frame. You’ll not only have given your boy a fun art project to complete, but you’ll also have the opportunity for a great conversation.
Do you have family members who live far away? There’s little doubt that you keep in touch through phone calls and emails, but who doesn’t love getting a card in the mail? You can have the kids make cards using construction paper or cardstock, crayons, markers, stickers, and other ephemera that you have available.
Sit the kids down at the kitchen table with paper and your craft supplies. Tell them who they’ll be making cards for and let them go to town. Ask them to write a brief message inside or, in the case of children who are too young to write, have them dictate a message that you can write for them. Your family member will absolutely adore the handmade cards.
4. Treasure Boxes
Creating a treasure box is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. You can purchase wooden boxes from the craft store, plastic boxes from your local big-box store, or use shoeboxes that you have lying around the house. For this project, consider having personalized stickers made for your kids. You can have stickers designed with their names or favorite theme quite easily.
Give each of your children a box to work with and the stickers that you’ve had made for them. Let your kids decorate their treasure boxes with stickers, Sharpie markers, and paints. Once their boxes are completely decorated, let them choose treasures from their personal collection to keep inside.
Do you think you have to beg and cajole your kids to clean their rooms? Not if you give them stickers. If you’ve been dying to have your kids get their rooms in order, add stickers to the mix. Give your kids sheets of colored sticker dots and tell them they’ll be keeping, donating, or throwing away their old clothes and toys. Ask them to mark one sticker for keeping, one for donating, and one for trash. Make it a game by giving them one hour to mark as many items in their room with stickers as they can.
When the hour is up, check on the kids’ progress. You can help them remove items they’ve chosen to donate or throw away. As you’re removing items, make sure that they’ve been appropriately marked; you don’t want to donate the $100 outfit you bought your daughter last week.
If you get creative with stickers, you can keep the kids entertained and out from underfoot for an afternoon. Kids love stickers and you can get them to do almost anything for them. With dollar-store items, personalized stickers, and whatever you’ve got in your craft box, your kids will have projects to create for days.