Make your own Maracas

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1 Make your own Maracas This is a great way for children to make their own music from everyday items in your kitchen cupboard. Empty, clean jars with lids of various sizes Plastic funnel Dry, uncooked foods such as rice, pasta or beans Glitter optional* Make sure all your empty jars are clean and dry and each have a lid that fits securely. Next, look through your cupboards for any dry foods - pasta, rice, beans, seeds or lentils, for example. With your contents and jars ready, your child can now pour different amounts of each into each different sized jar using the plastic funnel to minimise mess. You could also consider adding some glitter for some extra sparkle. Once they ve done this, put the lid on each securely and they re ready to start making music The different amounts and size of food in each will make different sounds when the jar is shaken, allowing them to create different sounds. Why not make an elastic band guitar or a tin can xylophone to complete the musical performance too? Recommended age: 3+ Attributed to Steve A Johnson

2 Story Telling Let your child s imagination run wild by helping them to create their very own story. An outdoor or indoor environment such as a garden, park or your bathroom Your child s imagination This is an easy way for your child to use their imagination and invent stories from the environment they re in. You might be inside brushing your teeth, or outside in a sunny garden. Get your child to look at what is around them and to tell a story about who might live there, where and how they would live, what they would be called and what they would do where they live are they a fairy? An angel? A knight? Or perhaps a soldier? They can set their imagination free when creating the characters and story, even acting some of it out or pretending to be the character they ve created themselves. Recommended age: 3+ Attributed to Daz Smith

3 Leaf Prints Create personal, unique pieces of art straight from your back garden or local park with this simple, fun activity. Leaves of different shapes and sizes Paper plates or pieces of paper/card Paint in a variety of colours make sure they are non-toxic Paint brushes Cup of water to wash the paint brushes in First of all, go outside with your child to collect different shaped and sized leaves that have fallen from trees, hedges and plants. Once they have a good variety, get out different coloured paints and your paint brushes along with pieces of paper/card or paper plates for them to create their art on. Using the paints, allow your child to paint the leaves in lots of colours, printing them on the paper/card or paper plates to create different shapes and pictures to display around the house Recommended age: 3+ Attributed to Daniel R. Blume *Parental supervision is needed during each activity to ensure all small objects are not swallowed

4 Musical Instruments - Make your own tin can xylophone This is an easy and great way to make a homemade instrument, but watch the sharp edges around the empty tin cans. Empty, clean tin cans of various sizes Rubber bands or tape Pencils, pens or wooden spoons First, begin by getting together your rubber bands and empty tin cans. Next, wrap a rubber band around two cans and begin adding more cans to the circle to make it as big as you like. To ensure the cans are secure, use more rubber bands if necessary (or secure the cans with tape if you have this to hand). Once you have grouped them together, you re ready to begin making music Take your pencils, pens or wooden spoons and watch your child create music from your old baked bean and soup cans

5 Puppet Theatre A box theatre with puppets is a great way for children create and act out a story. Set the stage: A cardboard box Sheets of paper Crayons Glue/tape Scissors* Your cardboard box is the stage cut out the back of the box and place on a table for your child to stand behind and act out their play. Arm your child with some paper and crayons for them to draw different scenes to decorate the box and set the scenes, perhaps of their favourite fairytale. Make the puppet actors: You can make puppet actors from a variety of household products such as: Cardboard to make finger puppets Wooden spoons to make cartoon puppets And you can use the crayons to draw on the faces of the stars of the show Cardboard puppets: Take some leftover cardboard and cut them into figurines, then using tape stick straws to the back so your child is able to move them about on stage for the performance. Wooden spoon puppets: Wooden spoons are a great base for faces to be drawn on, and you could use some household string or cotton wool as hair for the puppet as well. Or let your child s imagination run wild simply by using their hands as the puppets themselves - take some water soluble pens and let them draw faces on their hands and use the fingers for the puppets hair. * These are for parents to use and adult supervision is always necessary when using sharp items

6 Cardboard Castle This is a great, simple way to create your own medieval castle in your back garden. Cardboard boxes of varying sizes Scissors* Tape Paint/pens Take your largest box to be the centre of the castle and seal it entirely with tape. Next, arrange the remaining cardboard boxes on and around the sealed box to represent turrets and towers, using the tape to secure the boxes together cut them in to different shapes using the scissors. Draw a half-oval and cut this out on the front of the main box for the drawbridge, and cut squares for windows around the castle walls for your child to defend their fortress from inside. Paint the walls and features of the castle in any colour that your child wants it could be an old, medieval castle for a king and his knights or a bright, dazzling fortress for a princess to live in * These are for parents to use and adult supervision is always necessary when using sharp items

7 Nature Trails Take your child on a nature walk of parks, woods or forests in your area - or even the back garden Outdoor wear Bucket/bowl for collecting items Paper or card Glue On your walk, collect interesting items your find on your way such as flowers, rocks, twigs, leaves and pinecones. Once you re home, your child can gather together all the items that they ve found on your nature trail and create different patterns and designs glued on to paper or card to create their very own unique sculptures and artwork. Display them on the wall or the fridge so they can be inspired each time they go outside even creating a different piece of art with seasonal items found from nature trails all year round. "#$%$&'(%)&*+, "#$%$&'(%-&..($+ %

8 Bark Rubbing Create unique pieces of art for your home by using nature as your canvas to make colourful bark rubbings as decoration. Paper Crayons A tree Take some coloured crayons and paper out with you on a walk, and using different trees and logs you come across place the paper over the bark and rub your crayon over the surface to reveal the pattern underneath. Gather various bark rubbings in different colours from different trees for your child to create a collage of their artwork.

9 Shopkeeper Give your child and their friends items from the kitchen and around the house for them to set up their own shop. Kitchen items cans, bottles, fruit, vegetables, cereals, for example Old credit/bank/library cards Paper cut out coins Box to keep the money in Set up a table to be the counter and let your child arrange the household items out for their customers to choose from. Their friends can use old bank and library cards, and paper money to purchase items from the homemade shop. They ve probably seen you do your weekly shop, and will be able recreate the scenario at home, playing shopkeeper or customer.

10 Dress up box Items from around the house can make great imaginative costumes and fancy dress items for your child. Bed sheets Pillow cases Hats Boxes Their imaginations can run wild a sheet can become a princess s dress, a knight s cape or even a ghost, and a box can allow them to become a robot or a car. A box of pens and paints means they can also draw or paint on details of their chosen creation, personalising their outfit in whatever direction their creativity takes them.

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