5 fun DIY projects to do with your kids

Keeping kids entertained isn’t easy at the best of times but now, between home-schooling and meal preparation there needs to be some fun, for kids and parents alike. Go ahead and raid the craft drawer and take time out for a creative DIY decorating project with the kids. These simple projects will appeal to school-aged children, can be easily adapted for preschoolers and are done with materials you likely already have on hand.

5 fun DIY projects to do with your kids

[Photo Credit: iStock.com/Evgenia Tiplyashina]

1. DIY slime (borax-free recipe)

The classic slime DIY recipe features borax, but what if you don’t have any? Try using contact lens solution instead.

Pour two bottles of school glue (120 mL or 4 oz. each) into a large bowl. Add a few drops of food colouring and/or a handful of glitter, if you wish, and stir to combine.  Add a teaspoon of baking soda and stir until smooth. Pour in 2 tablespoons of contact lens solution and stir slowly until a slime ball forms. Knead the slime by hand until smooth. If it’s too slimy, add another tablespoon of contact lens solution as required. Store in a sandwich bag or other airtight container to keep it fresh and slimy.

2. Paper airplane challenge

Fold up some cool looking paper airplanes, then take turns flying them to award top pilot honours (longest distance, best control, best trick flying etc). Make the game even more competitive by adding cardboard targets. Recycle one of the many Amazon boxes you’ve received lately by cutting out holes of various shapes and sizes, painting it and adding points to be scored for flying safely through.

3. Paper bead jewelry

No beads? No problem. Master the art of making jewelry from paper beads. All you need is a straw, white craft glue, scissors and colourful paper of any kind (scrapbooking paper, construction paper, old magazines or newspapers etc.).

Cut a series of long, narrow paper triangles at least 20 cm or 8” long and 2.5 cm or 1” wide at the base of the triangle (the other end will come to a fine point). Starting at the wide end of the paper, begin rolling tightly around the straw until you reach the end of the paper. Secure the end with white glue. Continue making several beads on the same straw. Allow glue to dry before sliding beads off the straw. String beads on to thread, cord or yarn to create cute necklaces or bracelets.

4. No-dye tie-dye

Skip the pricey tie-dye kit and get started with items you already have on hand. You’ll need a white cotton t-shirt, 6-8 rubber bands, white vinegar, plastic wrap, food colouring and a few squeeze bottles (recycled sports drink or shampoo bottles work well). You may want to wear rubber gloves to minimize the mess.

Mix your dyes by adding several drops of food colouring to ½ cup of water, in each squeeze bottle (one per colour). Pour 2 cups of white vinegar and 2 cups of water into a large pot. Soak the t-shirt in the mixture until saturated, then wring it out completely. Lay the t-shirt on a flat, stain-resistant surface and pinch a handful of fabric in the centre of the shirt, then turn until the fabric forms a circle shape. Secure the fabric together with rubber bands spaced out but overlapping to form a pie with slices. Using the squeeze bottles of dye, add a different colour to each ‘slice of pie.’ Saturate well on top and bottom. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let set for 1-2 days (longer = brighter colours).

Once set, remove the plastic and rubber bands and plunge the shirt into a large bowl of cold salted water. Let it sit for several minutes to remove excess dye and wring out. Wash in the washing machine (alone) for the final result.

5. Marble painting

You may be running out of craft paint, but there’s a fun substitute hiding in your bathroom cupboard: nail polish. Working in a well-ventilated area (outside is best) take a disposable baking pan and fill it with warm water. Put on a pair of disposable gloves and add a few drops of each nail polish you’ve chosen, from light colours to darker colours (new nail polish in vibrant colours works best). Use a toothpick or popsicle stick to quickly swirl the colours around to create a pleasing pattern. Give the item you want to marble a brief dunk in the water, remove and let dry.

Watercolour paper, card stock or other heavy papers produce great results, as do wood objects, but experiment to see what else you can marble!

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