5 fun creative activities for kids on school holidays
Updated: Jun 3
The silly season is upon us and I thought it would be a great idea to post about fun art activities for kids and families. Some of my art therapy involves sensory activities which are engaging for kids and can also be helpful for some to regulate their emotions and get in touch with their senses and bodily awareness. Please be mindful that every child’s needs are different and what may be calming to some may be over stimulating to others.
Slime is a great sensory activity that allows children to mix, feel, squeeze and play with adding colours/glitter. Some children (and adults) find this sensory activity very calming, others find the fluidity of the material over-exciting. Many variations of slime can be made and there are loads of tutorials on youtube. You can try adding sand, shaving foam and other stuff for a different texture. It can be kept in an airtight container for later use. A word of caution though that this could get messy and trampled in to carpet if your child becomes overexcited or is not good at keeping the slime in the bowl. Also, an adult should make the borax solution as too much can turn it acidic which can cause skin irritation (only 1 spoon to 1 cup of water, add a little at a time to avoid the slime turning into a hard flubbery like texture).
Fluffy slime youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTu9IZcao0c&t=64s
Play dough is easily and cheaply made at home with basic every day ingredients (flour, salt, food colouring, oil, water). The dough can be stored in air tight container for quite some time. Other recipes found online also call for cream of tartar which can apparently make it last as long as 6 months. Mixing colours with food dye can leave stains on hands so if this is an issue use food gloves. Also I would probably pour the food dye for them to avoid mess. Play dough is great for some kids to pound and squeeze to get their energy out and help them to use their creative thinking to build things. Also you can include popsicle sticks from the $2 shop or sticks from the garden to use in their construction work.
Recipe: https://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipes/no-cook-playdough-recipe/v7a0hvfx Paper clay
Paper clay is a lovely material that is a bit harder to find in craft stores. It is essentially paper pulp mixed with some binder to make a clay like material. It does not leave residue on hands like ordinary clay and is not messy so it can be used inside safely. Children also sometimes have fun mixing in colours using paints, which can get a bit messy. However, the objects can easily be painted or drawn on with texta once dry. You can find some online at Zart Art, there may be some cheaper brands on ebay or amazon but quality may vary. You can also experiment with making your own off youtube tutorials but I think this type works best as a thinner layer covering surfaces like a paper mâché sculpture.
Poster paints and washable markers
If any parents are nervous about mess in their home but love to see their children get creative I recommend poster paints and washable markers. They all wash away easily and don’t stain clothes! Can be purchased at places like Kmart and all craft stores.
Another fun sensory activity is making your own sensory bottles which can be used as a fun mindfulness/emotional regulation tool for children. There are lots of ways to do this.
Check out this how to guide: https://www.thecreativetoyshop.com.au/blogs/activity-guides/5-easy-sensory-bottles
Hope you have some new ideas and get creative this holidays!
Alana Stewart, AThR