Kids need crafts now more than ever in this time where they are stuck in the house most of the day. As a retired 3rd grade teacher, I know the most important thing about teaching is to inspire the love of learning. Crafts can be an important vehicle during the coronavirus quarantine to help children feel a sense of normalcy. Crafts can be a great way to pass some time while we are sheltering in place, and even beyond because it seems regardless of what happens with the virus, schools are not opening back up so soon.
In Find a Rainbow Day, I wrote about how the kids of Salisbury are painting rainbows and displaying them in their windows for all to see. Kids then take a walk around the neighborhood and hunt for rainbows. This is a great activity and distraction for our time. Parents get pretty excited when they see a rainbow too. I made a point of painting my own rainbows 7, one for each window panel. When a child walks by my house at least for a moment, they can forget about it all.
An outdoor craft idea I saw was Chalk Your Walk. This activity took place on March 20 and March 21st, but it doesn’t really matter when kids do this. Kids will get some fresh air and can use some of their creativity. Once again when people walk around the neighborhood, they can see the drawings, designs, messages.
The most recent posting I have seen for an art activity and exercise is an Easter Egg Hunt with Social Distancing. Another great idea very similar to the Rainbow Hunt. Kids design their own Easter eggs and display them in their windows for all to see, and then they can go in search of eggs around the neighborhood. When I read this I got very excited and recruited my college age daughter to help me paint Easter eggs for our windows. She was pretty excited, so imagine an elementary student participating in the Easter Egg Hunt with Social Distancing.
Well as a retired teacher, I started thinking about all the other crafts kids could do to keep some normalcy in their lives. Of course kids can dye eggs for Easter and make Easter baskets, but there’s a lot of cake crafts they can do with their parents too. Kids can also have a real egg hunt in their own backyards.
I mentioned to my daughter while we were painting that kids could make flags for Memorial Day and she suggested Earth Day April-22nd and Mother’s Day – May 10th crafts too. Well this got me really thinking about quarantine crafts. For Earth Day kids can make recycled art crafts like many kids have done for school assignments over the years. They can use toilet paper rolls (HA HA!) paper towel rolls, tissue boxes, robots using a variety of recycled materials, water bottle mobiles etc, etc.
Crafts are great, but projects are even better! When I was a teacher I was involved in a great project called The Bottle Cap Project. Kids can save bottle caps for the next few weeks. You will be surprised how quickly the caps will accumulate. You can ask people you know to save the caps for you too. Once you have all your caps, you can sort them into colors and come up with a design. Sketch your design then glue on your bottle caps.
Outdoor spring crafts are endless. Kids can make birdhouses using milk gallons or cartons. Kids can paint birdhouses, rocks, planters, stepping stones etc. Get kids involved in the gardening and planting that we all do every spring.
Let’s not forget to thank our Moms. Maybe Dads could work on these crafts. Kid just need a folded piece of paper to make a Mother’s Day card, and there are a lot of easy crafts kids can make with their handprints and basic materials.
Making patriotic crafts may be the most important type of activity kids can be doing right now. Paint a flag, create a bottle cap flag, patriotic wreaths, and cakes. Displaying the red, white, and blue can help unite us. I have noticed many of my neighbors hanging their American Flags in front of their homes. Many Americans become more patriotic when their country is in trouble. It’s a great time to teach kids to be more patriotic too.
So parents get going and start crafting with your kids! It’s a great distraction for both you and your kids, and a lot of fun too!