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Crafts to Combat Kiddie Boredom

If you have school-aged kids, chances are your summer is winding down like ours is and the weather is heating up. So, the more we’re stuck inside, the more I’m hear complaints of “I’m bored.” So I went hunting throughout the Internet for some great ideas for crafts to keep the kids busy these last days of summer.

Kool Aid Play Dough
Try this cool colored dough you can make at home. Smells great, too!

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup salt
1 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid (any flavor/color)
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:
Mix all the dry items, then mix all the liquid items. Blend together. Put in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir constantly until the mix pulls away from the sides of the pan. Take the ball of dough and put on counter to cool and then knead until ready.

Shrinky Dinks (Thanks to Curbly)

Ingredients:
Clean #6 Plastic
Permanent Markers
Scissors
Aluminum Foil
Oven and Tongs or Oven Mitt

Directions:
1. Obtain a piece of #6 plastic (polystyrene). Most clear containers at salad bars, delis, and grocery stores will work. Just flip it over and look for a “6” inside the recycling arrows. If you ask nicely, they’ll usually give you a fresh one.

2. Cut any excess plastic away to make a flat sheet.


3. Draw or write your desired image or text on your plastic canvas using permanent markers. The total image will shrink to about a third of its original size, and five or six times its original thickness.

4. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, and place a rack in the lowest position. Create a “tray” out of the aluminum foil by bending up the sides. Technically, you could cover a baking sheet with foil, but the thinner surface allows for more direct heat and quicker shrinking.

5. Place your art in the tray, then use the tongs or an oven mitt to place the foil on the bottom rack.

6. For the first minute, your art will curl up all crazy like. Then, it will flatten itself out. Once it is finished, take it out. If you have an oven door through which you can see, then just keep an eye on it. If your door is solid, open it just slightly (as you would do when broiling) after ninety seconds. Total time for a large piece (starting size should be five to six inches) will be about three and a half minutes.

7. Using the tongs or oven mitt, remove the tray. At this point, it’s still pliable, so if you want to flatten it more, or add waves or bend the corners, do so CAREFULLY within the first ten seconds.

8. Now, you can do as you please. It’s still cut-able, sand-able, drill-able, glue-able, and plenty more. Attach it to a bracelet, make a magnet, or make a necklace.

Print out coloring sheets:
Dltk-Kids
Coloring.ws
PBS Kids
ABCTeach


Kool-Aid Painting
Ingredients:
Several packets of Kool-Aid
White construction paper
Tape
Ice cubes

Directions:
Tape a large sheet of construction paper to the table or floor. Sprinkle the paper with Kool-Aid and hand each child a cube of ice. Instruct them to move the ice over the Kool-Aid powder, turning it to liquid. Keep “painting” until the ice is fully melted to make a sweet-smelling, watercolor masterpiece.

Summer Collage Placemat
Preschool kids love nothing more than cutting and pasting, which makes collages a perfect craft idea for them.

Ingredients:
Summer-time editions of your favorite magazines
Scissors
Summer-colored construction paper
White craft glue or glue sticks
Clear contact paper

Directions:
Instruct your children to cut out pictures of what they like about summer and then glue them onto the paper. Cover the collage with contact paper (Mom will need to do this part) to make a fun and functional summer place mat.


Pet Rocks
Ingredients:
Rock
Acrylic craft paint
White craft glue
Suggested decorations: yarn, wiggle eyes, markers, glitter glue, sequins, beads, pom poms, etc

Directions:
Start by washing your rock with warm soapy water. If your rock is jagged or has nooks and crannies, use a scrub brush to get all the dirt out. And decorate your rocks however you like using just about anything. If it will stick, use it!

Ideas:
Pet Rock Pig: paint a smooth, oval-shaped stone with pink acrylic paint and let dry.
Pet Rock Monster: paint a bumpy or odd-shaped rock green and let dry.
Cut ears out of felt to make a floppy eared puppy dog!

When projects are completely dry, spray with acrylic sealer spray.

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