Entertaining children over the summer holidays can be a challenge. But being crafty about it will keep the kids – and parents - happy.
Mum-of-two Cerys Parker, founder of the children’s entertainment website Rainy Day Mum, is a firm fan of filling time with arty projects.
Here, she shares some fun craft ideas to get you started. Once you've given these a go, why not download your BT TV Kids Summer of Fun activity pack?
How to make a DIY marble maze
You’ll need: A cardboard lid/shoebox, card, a marble, pens, paper, scissors and glue or sticky tape.
Simply cut varying length strips of card, with little tabs to fix them to the cardboard lid. For younger children, cut these parts out yourself and they can help with the placing.
Fix the pieces of card down with tape or glue to form a maze pattern that’s navigable, making sure there’s enough room for the marble to pass through.
Get your child to either draw themed pictures on the maze or on paper which they can then stick to it. One idea is a sea theme, with the marble as a baby whale swimming through the maze to reach his mother at the end.
How to make tissue box dinosaur feet
You’ll need: 2 empty tissue boxes, green and orange construction paper, a glue stick and scissors.
Glue the green construction paper round the two tissue boxes, and then cut out something that resembles triangular dinosaur claws from the orange paper. Stick them on the end of the boxes, get the kids to slip their feet into them and they’re ready to stomp and roar!
How to tie-dye t-shirts
“Every summer holiday, we’d sit and make some tie-dye T-shirts with my mum, trying to get fun patterns, different colour combinations and loving the fact that for days afterwards, our hands would be stained a rainbow of colours,” recalls Cerys.
“This summer, why not revisit the Seventies and Eighties with your own kids and create your own Tie Dye T-shirts?”
You’ll need: Plain white T-shirts (what about last year’s too small PE shirts?), fabric dye, elastic bands (if they’re not included with a tie-dye kit) and old clothes for both you and the kids to wear (this will get messy!).
Cover the work area - outside is a good idea. Decide on the type of pattern you want to create – some special packs of dye will include suggestions.
Roll or fold the T-shirt and tie elastic bands round it - get the kids to wind the bands around once or twice and then you finish off, making sure they’re secure otherwise the dye will get through.
Mix up the dye according to the instructions, and then apply it to the T-shirt. Choosing several colours of dye and mixing them up and overlapping will create an impressive bleed effect.
Once the T-shirt’s covered in dye (it needs to be soaked so make sure you get into the folds of the fabric), wrap it in cling film and leave for about three hours. Then unwrap it in the sink and wash thoroughly before putting it in the washing machine on the hottest program to set the dye. Then dry the T-shirt and it’s ready to wear.
How do you entertain the kids over the summer? Tell us in the comments section below.