Warmer days look like they might be here to stay. So how can you make the most of them with your little ones?
Try out these fun crafty ideas using the warm weather. They’re all designed to support your child’s development and learning, as well as bring the fun. Remember, if you’re going to be outside in the sun, you’ll need to be sun smart, just like at nursery – so don’t forget to apply sun cream and wear a hat!
This is a brilliant way to use old or broken crayons that have seen better days, and transform them into something beautiful as well as useful.
Take your broken crayons and place them into muffin tins or ice cube trays, mixing up the colours. Then put them somewhere warm, and wait. You’ll need some patience for this, so to help structure the activity why not try out mum Terri’s ‘science experiment‘ approach from Creative Family Fun? She suggests asking your child to predict what will happen to the crayons: will they melt or stay the same? What will happen to the colours? Then try the crayons in different places: a warm outdoor spot or inside a hot car. Where do they melt quickest? Why?
Make sure you’re careful when handling a hot tin, and remember, you’ll need to wait for the crayons to cool before turning them out. Then use your new rainbow crayons to create amazing patterns.
No sunshine? Don’t worry: you can warm the crayons in a low oven, or in a plastic tray in the microwave for 4-6 minutes.
Sensory play with paint is always a treat, but it’s messy. Try this clever craft from Netmums in an outdoor space to save you on cleaning up. All you need is some plain paper, coloured liquid paint, and to pull off your socks!
Pour some paint into a flat dish. Then help your child dip just the underside of their toes into the paint, before printing a perfect caterpillar on the paper. Leave it to dry before you add a face to their big toe-print. You can repeat the prints all over the page and cut them out to use in a collage made from real leaves, or draw a tree for your caterpillars to climb.
The squidgy feeling of paint between the toes is fun for little ones, and helps them engage with their senses. Practice counting toes together. Talk about other mini-beasts your child might have found at Forest School. Read the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar together, and choose your favourite foods.
If you have your own outdoor space like a garden, balcony or a safe driveway, pavement chalks can be lots of fun. They’ll wash away quickly with a light shower or a bucket of water, and the chunky design is great for little hands. All you need to do is make sure you’re all wearing clothes you don’t mind getting a little mucky.
Get your child to lie on the floor, and draw an outline around them. Then together add more details: what colour is your hair? What are you wearing today?
Find an adult helper and draw outlines of everyone in the family. You can let your imagination run free with this activity: why not transform the outline into an astronaut floating past planets and stars, or a mermaid swimming through the water?
For a fun memento, you can even draw a landscape or character for your child to be a part of; these make wonderful photos to share with friends.