Going back to school is a wonderful chance to start afresh and launch new routines and timetables. It’s exciting and challenging but it can also be a stressful or anxious time with children starting new schools or classes.
The simple pleasures of arts and crafts can make these changes less daunting by letting kids plan and make their own accessories. It’s a good way to get children to share how they feel about the start of the new year.
Begin by using three paper plates as the base. Fix the plates together, giving a stiffer, more robust bases. Cut the rim from the plates. Try using either plain white plates or select plates with a particular theme or colour that interests the children.
Think about how many ‘containers’ are needed- perhaps one for pens, another for coloured pencils and one more for paperclips. Discarded cardboard tubes, margarine tubs and small cardboard boxes make ideal materials for the task.
Arrange the empty packaging on the cardboard base and glue or tape into place.
When the glue has set, the kids can paint and decorate the desk tidy. They can use bright paints and finish the design by embellishing it with stickers, gems or pom-poms.
Another great idea is to create a decoupage mosaic with squares of brightly coloured paper and PVA glue.
Decoupage Book Covers
As text books start to arrive home, teachers frequently request they are covered so they can be identified easily or protected from damage. This is a real outlet for your kids’ creative ideas. Start by covering books in inexpensive wallpaper liner which is thick and durable.
Now they can go mad with their decoupage decorations. Cover the plain surface with cut out paper, lightly fixed with PVA glue. Use cut out newspaper letters to pick out a name and initials or highlight the textbook’s subject with a collage of relevant images e.g. numbers and graphs for maths or birds and animals for biology.
Every child needs a bookmark. If they design something that’s meaningful to them, they may be encouraged to take more interest in books. All they need is a strip of stiff card which they can decorate. Simple ideas include:
- a self portrait or their name (ideal for younger children)
- a collage of tiny seeds or dried flowers
- a mosaic of coloured paper squares- perhaps highlighting their initials.
- a simple fingerprint painting.
When the finished design is set or dried, finish the project by laminating the bookmark to preserve it for the rest of the school year.
Bedroom Washing Line
This is a great craft idea that’s so practical for the school year. Start by stringing a piece of bright rope, string or yarn across your child’s bedroom.
To complete the washing line, you’ll need a selection of traditional wooden clothes pegs. Paint each peg in a bold colour. When the paint is dry, use PVA glue to decorate the pegs with gems, glitter or cut out shapes, numbers and letters.
Use this fabulous washing line to display artwork or homework projects in progress.
The washing line is only suitable for an older child’s bedroom. It can be hazardous for younger children.
Make pencils more fun with these easy pencil topper ideas:-
- Twist multi-coloured pipe cleaners around the pencil. Add beads for extra interest.
- Fix pom- poms to the top of your pencils with a small length of pipe cleaner. Turn the pom-poms into friendly little creatures, aliens, monsters or anything you fancy. Add googly eyes and felt shapes.
Back to school crafts are the perfect way to involve the children in the preparations for the new term, giving them something highly personal to take back to school with them.