Social distancing and spending much time at home – are you already out of ideas on how to entertain the little ones? Why not make some arts and crafts together with your children! Creativity not only allows children to develop problem solving skills and learn the practicalities of creating something from scratch, it also teaches them to engage in the process of self-expression and better learn to express and and cope with their feelings. Do you have a bilingual babysitter? – include them in the process, maybe they remember something fun and creative they used to do as children; maybe they know a traditional handcraft to make from where they are from? And as always, your babysitters are there to engage your children in the English language, and what better way to do this than while being creative through arts and craft?
When you are out walking in the park or having a stroll in the forest, pick up some of the natural material you find on the ground. Ones you bring it home, clean it thoroughly so that paint will stick to it. Let the children’s imagination go free while not worrying too much about the cost of material. Create some cute animals to decorate the garden with; make scary monsters to play with; or write the names of plants in English and place them next to the pots as an informative but decorative piece. Perhaps you have other ideas??
Put some paint on your hands or feet and make prints on a sheet of paper. Decorate with what ever you want, make a monster by adding eyes to the fingers; make a funny guy by drawing shoes on each finger, giving him five legs; or make an octopus by adding some pasta rings at each finger to create the tentacles; add some strings to create a cool hairstyle for your creatures. Let the imagination run free!
A great tips is to use a cookie cutter to create the print in the potato, this is easy for the children to help with. If you don’t have that, you may need to assist in creating the patterns with a cutting knife. You can print out patterns you like and place them on the potato for some guidance, otherwise, just make any print you want; it can be abstract patterns or concrete motifs such as stars, hearts, or moons, for example. Once cut out, coat the stamp in textile paint (important to use textile specific paint if you want to print on washable material so it doesn’t come of in the wash), and start printing your patterns on. Simply wash of the color and put on a new one.
Such a name tag can be made with literally anything, see below for some examples of materials to use. This is a great opportunity to truly use self-expression to determine what’s going to be on my specific name tag. Ask the child to write their name and make it personal. Create a butterfly as in the picture; do a squared name tag with cut outs from a comic paper; make a dragon whose flame is your name. As you can see there are endless of ideas, and your children will have many more! This is a great activity for your bilingual babysitter to really get to know your children in the beginning, the children will express exactly what colors they like, what animals they love and show if they are more reserved or more outspoken – this is truly the time where the personalities of the children will show. And possibly even more important, your children can get to know their babysitter too!
There are so many ways to spark the creativity in all of us, just look around the home and find material to use. Other ways of being creative is also through, for example planting at home, save your seeds from what you eat and see the process from seed to plant together; read our previous posts about making some snacks together here; or make something together in wood or textile. These creative moments are usually the moments both children and adults enjoy the most, because after all… the creativity and the urge to make something from scratch, never leaves us, does it?
Visit us at canguroidiomas.es to find out more about getting your bilingual babysitter to spark the creativity in your children!