Here we are in September, and nothing much has changed. We are still dealing with a virus which has upended our normal way of life. We have very limited social interactions, vacations and trips have been canceled, many schools and businesses are still closed. Our grandchildren are missing their friends, the ability to go to playgrounds, pools, camps and the fun summer brings. Not surprisingly, it seems most children want to go back to school, but, for many, they will still be learning virtually.
Virtual or remote learning is nothing like being in a school classroom, and it leaves many idle hours that need to be filled. If, as a grandparent, you will be taking care of your grands during this time, this article will provide you with a number of crafts that may fill some of your time together.
- I love this first one: Two of my daughters did this with their children, whose ages range from four to twelve. Using different colors of chalk and masking tape or blue tape, map out a design on a large concrete space, such as a patio or driveway. After it is all marked off, let your grands start coloring inside the tape with chalk.
Not only does this occupy hours of their time, but after all the spaces are colored in and the tape is pulled up, their hard work will come to life. Take pictures during the process, so they can see what they accomplished little by little and from start to finish.
- String art is another fun craft. I would use this with the older grands if they create their own design using a hammer and nails, tacks or another item that string or yarn can be wound around. A younger child might enjoy doing the winding of the string if the prep work is done ahead of time by you. In researching this project, you will find beautiful designs that range from simple to difficult, but it is your grandchild’s imagination that will determine the outcome.
- With most craft stores and dollar stores open, you can stock up on many different items to keep the creative juices flowing. Put a smock on the younger ones, and let them paint. Cover a table with an inexpensive plastic tablecloth and get a roll of packing paper. Use non-toxic washable paint or markers, or finger paints, and watch the fun they’ll have.
- Tissue paper crafts take many forms. This is another one that works with different ages. Where the youngest will like tearing and gluing to make their picture, the older age groups may use it to form shapes, make a picture, or cover an object.
- Popsicle sticks have myriad uses. From frames which can be painted or decorated, to more difficult or time-consuming projects like constructing a bridge, house or other design. There are ideas for holiday decorations, learning tools, animals and so much more.
I like the next two suggestions because not only are they fun, but they include some exercise, as well:
- While you are out walking, have your grands collect a few rocks that they can paint, and then add a message, date or design. Later, on another outing, you place the rocks in different locations where, hopefully, someone will find them and place the rock in another spot to be discovered. Your grands can take a picture of each rock they place and make a map, so that they can look again to see if the rocks are still there or have been moved.
- The next idea involves a special sun or solar paper that can be found at most craft stores, or can be ordered. After collecting interesting shapes or objects found in nature while taking a fun hike, they are laid on the paper and left in the sun. The image is then transferred to the paper. Many times, these prints are artistic enough to be frame-worthy.
These ideas and many more can be found by searching the Internet. It is not only something fun and different for your grandchildren to do, but is a special time for you to have with them.