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Good old fashioned, hands-on activities are great ways to keep screentime down for kids, which is something many parents are concerned about.
Some good old fashioned, hands-on activities are a great way to keep the iPhones and tablets at bay which many parents are often concerned about. A recent survey1 revealed that 55% of parents are concerned that their favorite little ones aren’t as imaginative as they were as children, and of those, 67% blame the lack of creativity on technology.
You may have to save it for a rainy day, but here are a few fun activities – that parents may recall from their own childhoods – to get the juices flowing in those developing brains. One of the simplest is to teach them how to make paper mache.
A crafting technique that has been around for centuries, paper mache – or, officially, papier mâché (a French phrase meaning “chewed paper”) – uses various types of paper and paste to create everything from masks to pinatas to paper mache volcanos for science projects.
You can choose from many forms of paper … but why not try Scott Paper Towels? They are absorbent and great for at-home projects like paper towel art projects.
Here’s a step-by-step method for making paper mache:
1. Tear sheets of paper towels into 3- or 4-inch strips.
2. Make the glue. In a bowl, mix about 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of water (for a larger project, use more – just keep the proportions the same). Stir with a wooden spoon until it’s thick and glue-y in consistency. (Add a bit more water if it seems too thick). Then, sprinkle in some salt and mix it all a bit longer until it’s smooth and lump-free.
3. On a flat surface, such as a well-covered table, place both sides of each strip of paper with the glue concoction, using a paint brush.
4. Apply each glue-covered strip of paper – one at a time – over the face of the object you’re covering (a great choice for beginners is an inflated balloon). Use the paint brush to smooth the pieces down onto the surface; and repeat the process until it’s about three layers deep.
5. Let it dry for several hours.
6. Cover it with a sealant, like a varnish or sealing spray.
7. And then decorate with colorful paints and glitter … or anything else you and the kids choose to jazz up your creation!
For more tips on how to make anything out of paper mache, including a paper mache volcano, visit websites or blogs from fellow DIYers, such as Ultimate Paper Mache.
Sure, it’s great to get the kids involved in something that will exercise their creative muscles. And if that project turns out to be something you can actually use in the house, all the better. Here are a couple of simple DIY projects that are functional, too:
This one’s really easy, and perfect for younger kids.
You may even dangle one from the dresser or inside door knob in Junior’s room. Maybe he’ll get the idea and actually use paper towels to clean up his messes from time to time! It can also be a handy aid on a camping trip, as you can hang it from a low-hanging tree limb.
Here’s another clever idea, which your child can help with. It involves some treasure hunting, too.
What are some DIY projects you have in mind for your children? Please build on the ideas we’ve listed, or share your own, via social media channels. Remember to use the tag #KeepLifeRolling.
1 OnePoll survey, on behalf of Claritin
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