'I'm bored' - that dreaded phrase that every kid is sure to utter at some point this summer. But keeping the kids entertained at home is easier than you think and you won't have to rely on your iPad.
All it takes is a quick hunt for some paper, some everyday household items and a sprinkle of creativity to stop children from getting restless. Award-winning designer and illustrator Katie Craven, who has previously designed part of the Asda homeware range, has given us some tips.
She told us: “As a child I was always drawing and painting, and I just never stopped! I fell in love with the imaginative world that drawing offers; having a blank piece of paper with which you have the opportunity to draw and paint your own made up world - It's wonderful!"
1. Make celebration cards
Set the kids a task this summer to make birthday cards for friends and relatives. Talking about what type of kid-friendly equipment to stock up on, Katie added: “Pencils are better than pens, and these should be applied with a medium amount of pressure. Fat-nibbed coloured pens are also great as they are less fiddly for little ones. However, painting with different sized brushes is the best way for children to explore their creativity!”
2. craft a letter sign
Help add some charm to their room with this cute letter sign. It's an easy yet effective way of personalising any room. You'll just need some cardboard letters, a craft pack and, as seen in the image below, if you've got any car enthusiasts, then they'll love sticking on these toy cars.
3. Make a dreamcatcher
Good dreams are sure to come along if they hang a dream catcher above their bed. And, believe it or not, it's not too difficult for little hands to make. They'll need a paper plate, some wool or coloured string and some beads. And don't forget some glitter, because dreams really are magical!
4. Capture nature at its best
Get the kids into the garden to explore all the different textures and plants. They could do some bark rubbings, collect some leaves and sticks and then use their finds to create a 3D picture. Or why not get your little ones to draw some flowers? Sharing tips about drawing Katie said: “It would be best to lightly draw out the object they are drawing in pencil first, and just sketch the different shapes that the object they are drawing makes. If it is a flower for example, I would notice the shape of each petal, and how each one sits beside one another. I would also notice the proportions too, and if the flower is in a vase it would be good to notice the size of the vase in proportion to the flower."
5. Bling up your herbs
Always wanted to grow your own herbs in your kitchen? Well, why not get the kids to do it. Grab some plant pots and task the children with creating funny faces on them using black pens, goggly eyes and pipe cleaners or odds and ends to make noses and a mouth. Then when the herbs are planted, they’ll make crazy hairstyles to finish off the plant pot faces perfectly.
6. Not just your average painting
Make sure your family time goes off with a bang this summer by pouring some paint into balloons, pinning them to a large canvas outside in the garden and taking turns to pop the balloons. When they explode, paint will splash up the paper which is not only fun, but will create a great work of art for your home. Just make sure you put down some mats first and invest in some aprons!
7. Scrapbook their memories
After a summer full of fun, get them to scrapbook all their memories to make sure they can look back one day and see all the activites they got up to. They can get as creative as they like, writing about their day, week or special event. You'll just need this scrapbook kit which comes with a book, stickers, assorted coloured paper, plastic scissors and glue.