Have you run out of ideas for those rainy days and want the kids to use their creative side? Well put down the iPad and step away from the remote, here are a few things we love doing to really get their imaginations going.
Get them writing
Writing stories is one of those things kids need to be in the right mood to do. Just like us adults they need a bit of inspiration, but give them the right tools and they’re well on their way. You can start with buying them some shiny new stationery so they catch the bug – pick up some inexpensive notepads and a funky pen at places like Wilko or B&M.
Then if they don’t have any ideas for what to pen, try a story prompter like this one from Scholastic. They’ll have fun spinning the wheel to come up with different characters and scenarios. Even if you don’t have time to get them anything new to write in, they can type it straight into the website in whatever format they choose – postcard, letter or newspaper – and save it for later.
Make something delicious
A sure fire way to get the kids making is to incorporate their favourite characters into the activities – and if you add something tasty into the process too it’s a win-win. When I mentioned making Butterbeer from Harry Potter there were no arguments. Luckily there are loads of recipes out there, some alcoholic, some that don’t have the foamy head, and some that are just plain complicated.
I eventually managed to find an easy, alcohol-free recipe with only a few ingredients so it’s affordable too. Make sure you get a dark coloured cream soda so it looks like beer, then all you need to do is whip some cream with a little icing sugar and butterscotch flavour to taste and put it on top for the head. It looks just like the stuff you can sample when you explore Warner Bros Studio Tours, although it’d be hard to get the taste quite so good.
Learn and craft
To get your kids crafting and teach them something at the same time, how about making a life-like robotic hand? All you’ll need is some thick paper or card, string and plastic straws to make this movable hand.
The nippers will love drawing around the outline of their hand and you can explain how their own hand works as they’re folding and adding the parts. When it’s finished they can mimic hand movements with the robot hand and decorate it to look robotic with metallic pens and cogs, if they like.
Prompt their drawing imagination
Put away the colouring books and get the kids drawing from their imagination instead – you’ll certainly find out just how creative they can be. Prompts are great for starting with a theme and can be as simple as drawing some blank faces on a chalkboard and getting them to complete the people and their features.
I love this printable prompt of a house as the kids can design their abode then fold and cut it to create opening doors and windows. Ask them who lives in the house and they might start with your family, but if you make a second house and get them to include some wacky inhabitants the results are sure to be entertaining.
I always love hearing what ideas you have for getting creative with the kids. Let me know below.