Arts & Crafts and Fun Outdoors for the Young Homeschooled Child
ARTS AND CRAFTS FUN:
There are many different things your child can do for arts and crafts and keep busy, masha’Allah. There are also many websites out there that have activities for your child to color, cut and create.
Play Dough Fun:
- My youngest loves to play with play dough. When your child is younger – don’t have a lot of expectations though. I was able to keep my youngest busy by having her make little cookies (she made little balls or circles). She would place them on her small kitchen plates and would pretend to feed us while we worked on school stuff.
- Over time, things get a bit more advanced. They will often learn to use the rolling pin, cookie cutters and other molds to make a variety of things. My youngest still loves to make us food though – placed on her little kitchen plates while we are working. Yes, she expects to see us pretend to eat it too!
- I don’t always like to have things messy. So, if you are worried about the mess – I personally feel much more comfortable having my youngest use watercolors.
- When you are less worried about mess, you can have your child paint with other types of paint. They love using paint and a brush or something fun like finger-painting. Don’t worry; they don’t become easily bored with painting.
- You can find many neat ideas for painting – and arts and crafts online. You can paint using marbles, string and even spray bottles!
- Lacing cards are a fun activity for younger kids. Be warned though, they are less able to handle lacing cards when they are younger. At least – that’s true in my experience. My daughter would thread the shoelace through and then tell me to do the rest for her. Help me! Help me! Now, she is able to do it more by herself and she loves it.
- Years ago when my oldest was young, I purchased large plastic lacing beads. They are still around. To keep my younger child busy, she likes to “make necklaces” with the beads. She laces them by herself.
- We also have small wooden beads and pony beads that we use for lacing. She loves stringing the beads on yarn, string or shoelaces. Over the years I have also found lacing shapes – plastic fruit shapes that you can string on a necklace. There’s a lot available out there – even lacing pasta onto string.
- You can also vary how you use the lacing beads. For our larger plastic beads – they are made in different colors. You can lace a few beads to make a pattern and ask your child to repeat the pattern on their string.
- For more variety – have your child lace cheerios onto a piece of string to make an edible necklace.
- Since art is a part of our school curriculum, I often will allow my youngest to join in with her sister’s art lessons. Although she doesn’t understand all the lessons, she loves to just “try” to do what her sisters are doing and it makes her feel important.
- What kid doesn’t love stickers? I know my kiddos love them. So, sometimes I will hand them to my youngest with a few pieces of construction paper and let her stick the stickers all over the paper. Sometimes she makes a design – other times she just puts the stickers up for display. They can also put the stickers into a scene they draw on the paper.
- My children also love stamps. Over the years, I have found many at the local resale shop – bags full that were donated by teachers, I guess. They love to stamp pictures and to make scenes. I also have a set of alphabet stamps as well – so they can pretend to stamp out a letter or words.
- I don’t know if you are familiar with bingo markers – but essentially they are huge markers that place dots. I found these and the kids love to “draw” pictures with dots.
- Start saving boxes, toilet and paper towel rolls, egg cartons, and all other materials you can reuse for crafting. Then, sit your child with these materials – construction paper, glue, glitter, and stickers. See what they can come up with – you will be amazed at their creativity.
- Arts and craft experiences don’t always have to be planned. Sometimes it is just enough to provide your child with the tools and see where it takes them.
- Arts and crafts are a favorite of most children. Take advantage of this. Have your child make something for someone. You are not only teaching them charity and thoughtfulness – but they will also learn to take pride in their work and do their best to make it nice. Besides – you can’t possibly keep all those crafts in your house, can you?
If you can have lessons outside, do! It is fun to be somewhere other than at the desk or kitchen table. While my kiddos could get distracted by being outside, they know that if they get finished they can run around and have fun – it is a nice incentive for them not to slow down. Take advantage of being outside by allowing your younger child to play – there’s lots of fun things they can do outside.
- Provide your child with chalk. We sometimes do schoolwork on our front porch. While there, I allow my youngest to draw pictures all over the sidewalk. This keeps her busy for quite a long time, masha’Allah.
- I know this is going to sound strange – but my kiddos have always loved this activity. Take a small bucket and fill it with water and soap. Provide your child with a paint brush. Then, have them “paint” the fence outside your house. My kiddos (even the older ones) also love to “paint” our deck outside and the house and windows. You could also supply your child with a water bottle. Have them “spray-paint” the fence instead. They love to spray water!
- There are also a lot of physical activities your child can do outside. Many of our childhood favorite activities are useful – jumping rope, throwing a ball, hitting a ball with a bat or tennis racket, hopscotch, etc. There are many books that contain outside activities for children – just try to find some that list activities that are appropriate for your child’s age. I’ve mentioned a few of these in previous posts.
- If you are able to sit outside and do school work, you could also allow your child to ride their tricycle in the driveway or down the sidewalk. This will definitely keep them busy, masha’Allah. I personally do not recommend doing this, though, unless you are able to be outside with them.
Well, that is all for now – look for more ideas in my next blog post, insha’Allah.
Sumayyah Umm SAA