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Crafty Tips for Surviving the Summer Holidays

In the current climate, the summer holidays can seem more stressful than they did in previous years. Whether you’re a parent, juggling work with childcare, or a family member, stepping in to provide support; you’re going to be asking yourself, how can I keep the children entertained?

Guest post written by Corin Chapman.

On a rainy day, we tend to rely on crafts, which with children can be a bit of a trial. Personally, I find that it takes me longer to set up the painting area than my children actually spend painting, and let’s not talk about the clean-up.

However, that doesn’t have to be the case and there is a way to take the craziness out of crafting and make it a pleasurable experience for everyone.

I’ve just come back from Latitude Festival, brimming with craft ideas, which guess what… are more or less free. Making headbands, building boats, making leaf imprints – all of these activities can be done using materials that you’ll have in your home or can find by simply going for a walk.

It’s time to tear up those old bed sheets!

That’s right; let’s get ruthless. Grab yourself an old white sheet, cut out some flag shapes, or longer strips to make a hairband (depending on the preference of your tiny person). Then all you need are some leaves, flowers, a hard surface, and a hammer.

This is the perfect opportunity to let out the aggression – yours and theirs!

Simply place the fabric over the leaves, take that hammer and start bashing. It can be a bit cringey (mind fingers) but the children will enjoy being trusted with an object that they may not usually get to use, and then you can have a go too. After a few good whacks, the liquid inside the leaves and flowers will imprint on the fabric, and you have yourself a pattern.

From there, you can turn the fabric into a flag, bandana, or whatever else takes your fancy.

All it took was a few things you found lying around.

Do you live near a stream or have a paddling pool in the garden? Why not build a raft?

Using only a few thick sticks and some string, you can build your own selection of rafts which you can then take out and race. Make it a competition: which boat is the strongest, or the quickest and get a little wet in the process.

You can even teach them to tie knots. The potential downside of this activity is the fact that competition can often cause arguments – so I’ll leave this to your discretion.

These are simple things that can get you all out of the house (as much for your sanity as theirs), get you to work collaboratively, and best of all, are free.

If you’re not short of sheets that you don’t mind donating to a worthy cause, then get the scissors out and start making small strips. It’s repetitive, but actually therapeutic. Then it’s time to create some crowns and bracelets. If you have pipe cleaners then these can be great for this task because they can be shaped to go around wrists and heads, but an old headband would also do the trick.

From there, you simply select some of the strips and start tying them on. All you need to do is make the fabric even on each side and then create one knot. Do this on repeat, and eventually, you’ll have yourself a piece of jewellery that you’ll no doubt cherish forever.

These activities are amazing on so many levels. They encourage you to work together, the children get to learn new skills, they’re free (utilising what you find in nature or in your home), they’re environmentally friendly and even better – there is little to no mess.

Once we open our eyes to the things that we can do for free – really simple things that we might not normally think of, you’ll start to see inspiration all around you. So, when you start to feel overwhelmed this summer, simply reach for a hammer and get crafting.

This is a guest post written by Corin Chapman.

Thank you Corin, those are fantastic craft tips for getting through the summer holidays. Any craft ideas which allow you to let out frustration and enjoy time with loved ones, are a win-win in my book.

Crafts, let us know if you give this a go. We would love to hear how you get on and see your makes. Contact us on social media, or send us a message with your makes. We are always happy to talk craft.

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