Art, craft and creative activities are something that we do very well here at The Do Try This at Home School, and so it has been quite difficult to select just a few activities for the website. However, the children and I have looked back over many of our old photos and these are the ones which they said they particularly enjoyed.
If your family love art and craft as much as we do, please visit our social media pages for lots more creative ideas - We update these every week. (Social media links are at the bottom of every page). For sensory play activities, why no visit The Play Well Trust Website for even more creative fun.
Printing is a simple and fun activity, as you can see from the pictures above we use anything we have to hand, including our hands and feet! The star, heart and rainbow prints are made by marking shapes on an old pizza tray using a pencil, covering them in paint and pressing them onto paper.
We have also done bubble printing, used washable toys to print pictures with and used foam stamps to decorate our home made Christmas crackers one year. There are so many different ways to print, why not visit our social media pages for more inspiration?
I would like to state right here and now that I am NOT an illustrator, by any stretch of the imagination. When I decided to start creating and selling children’s books I could not afford an illustrator and so I had to learn to draw and illustrate a little to keep my projects moving forward.
There are hundreds of YouTube videos about illustration techniques and there are many accounts on Instagram that I follow. One of my absolute favourites is Jennie Maizels. Jennie illustrates pop up books from her beautiful, colourful home and she also runs Sketchbook Club online and in person and has an shop selling sketchbook club modules and art materials on her website.
If you would like to learn drawing and illustration techniques, I highly recommend Jennie’s Sketchbook Club modules, which are available for a few pounds each via her website shop. I found learning to draw through these modules extremely therapeutic and relaxing and they are suitable for all ages. You could even create your own family sketchbook club; I’m sure Jennie would love to see your creations.
For total transparency, Jennie and her husband also support the work that I do at The Play Well Trust, providing free modules for our Creative Feel Better Boxes.
My daughter and I spent hours sitting at the kitchen table making little peg people, we got quite carried away.
You will need:
Wooden pegs (You can buy these in pound shops, craft shops and online)
Scraps of old fabric, ribbons and wool
Pipe cleaners for arms
PVA glue and sticky tape
Pens to draw on faces.
1. Choose the materials you would like to use.
2. Wrap a pipe cleaner around the peg and twist it at the back to hold it in place. Fold the “arms” out to the sides. Secure the pipe cleaner with some sticky tape. If your arms are too long, cut them down to size.
3. Take your chosen material and cut a square that is big enough to make a dress for your dolly.
4. Lay the fabric across the dolly, mark on two rough dots where the arms will come through. Cut two small arm holes in the fabric.
5. Glue the back of the fabric and wrap it around your dolly, pulling the arms through the holes. It doesn’t matter if the fabric overlaps a little at the back, just glue it all down.
6. Choose a ribbon or wool to make a belt for your dolly and glue that around the peg too.
7. Add some woolly hair, cotton wool hair or whatever you have available.
8. Draw on a face and leave your dolly to dry. It might be best to stand them up so that they don’t stick to the table!
9. Play with your dolly.
When I have posted pictures of salt dough on social media in the past, people have become very nostalgic, remembering their experiences of making models with this material when they were children. I wanted to add this activity to my website because it’s easy and cheap to make, it’s really versatile, and often “old fashioned” crafts are the best.
I also wanted to add this because I was taught to make it as a child by my Godmother and so it has some very happy and special memories for me too.
You will need:
A cup, a mixing bowl, a wooden spoon, a baking tray lined with grease proof paper.
Paper clips to make hooks if you want to hang your work up.
Rolling pin and modelling equipment. (Cutters, plastic knives, a garlic press etc.)
Poster paints and PVA glue, or acrylic paints.
Plain Flour, Salt, Vegetable Oil, Warm water
1. Measure two cups of plain flour and one cup of salt into your mixing bowl.
2. Add a table spoon of cooking oil
3. Slowly add ¾ cup of warm water, mixing the dough with a wooden spoon as you go.
4. Mix the ingredients together using your hands! This can be a bit messy. If your mixture is too dry and crumbly, add more water. If it’s too wet and sticky add more flour. Knead your mixture together until it feels like play dough.
5. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper ready to put your models onto when you are done.
6. Sprinkle some flour on to a clean surface, break off some dough and make your models. You can make anything you want to. There are lots of ideas in books and online. A garlic press can make fabulous hair! Use a little bit of water on your model, to attach pieces.
7. When you have finished, push a paper clip into the top of your model if you want to hang it up when it’s completed.
8. Cook in an oven on a very low heat (Gas mark 2) for a few hours. Keep an eye on the models - thinner ones cook faster than thicker ones. I sometimes carefully turn mine over half way through cooking. You know when they are done by tapping them gently with your finger, if they sound hollow, they are done.
9. When they are cooked and cooled, you can paint them to add details. You can use acrylic paints, but I find that normal paints work best.
10. When the paint has dried, varnish your models with a coat of PVA Glue.
NOTE: Don’t forget to paint and varnish the backs of your models too, that way they will last longer!
These blow paintings are very simple to make.
You will need:
Watered down paints
Paint brushes (or something to drip the paint onto the paper)
Pens or pencils
Method: draw a face or a shape on your paper. Drip on some paint where you want to put the hair, for example. Use your straw to blow the wet paint to create a fabulous hairstyle!
That’s it! Keep your pictures flat until they are dry.
During lockdown, I created a series of lessons to support children's learning at home. I worked for a full month creating and teaching lessons in English, Maths, Science and Art. Below are the links to all of the art and craft activities, prompts and videos. Enjoy!
Spring door decoration
To download the activity sheet click on the first PDF below.
To download the self portrait picture frame, so you can create your own, click on the second PDF below.