Child Activities

Here in our Child Activities section we have strived to provide care takers with an array of child activities that can keep kids busy for hours in any child care facility.  Check out some of our articles on craft ideas, creating play centers, reading centers or music centers, pretend games, how to use newpaper for fun, how to make fitness fun and how to combat boredom.  Also check out some of our great child craft ideas below. These ideas willl help little artists to unleash their creativity with so much fun painting, drawing and colouring.

Eggshell Pictures


* Eggshells
* Food colouring
* Paper Towels
* Paper
* Liquid glue

Gently wash out the egg shells. Mix the food colouring with water and have the children drop the shells in the colouring to tint them. Place the coloured shells onto the paper towel to dry. Have the children gently crumble the dried shells. Next have the children take the glue and make a design with it on their paper then sprinkle the broken shells on the glue to complete the design.

Painter's Week


* Construction paper in a variety
of colours
* Tempera paint mixed with dish soap
* Shaving cream
* Food colouring
* Boxes of all sizes
* Straws
* Plastic spoons

Children of all ages like to paint. This week's Craft Tip involved a week of painting fun.

Straw Painting
Put a plastic spoon in each colour of paint. Allow the children to take spoonfuls of the paint and put it on their paper. Have them take their straws and gently blow the paint around.

Shaving Cream Painting
What could be more fun than playing with shaving cream? Simply let the children spray the shaving cream on their coloured paper and either use their finger or a plastic spoon to make a picture from the mound of fluff. Add a few drops of food colour and watch the fun begin. Best of all, cleaning up is a breeze.

Finger Painting
This timeless fun activity will have the children laughing as they use their hands and fingers to paint pictures on paper. They can even paint their hand and make a hand print to work around.

Window Painting
Who said you have to wait for a special occasion to paint the windows? Simply mix detergent with the paint so it will wash off easily, and let the children finger-paint their own section of window.

Box Painting
Boxes to make great boats, buildings, bricks, mailboxes, just about anything you can imagine. Gather up as many different size boxes as you can and let the children paint and decorate them to make a village, a windmill, whatever suits their fancy.

Colourful Button Flowers


* Construction paper in a variety
of colours
* Buttons
* Long pipe cleaners
* Scissors
* Glue

Help the children cut our medium size flowers from the construction paper. It might help if you trace or draw the flowers on the paper first. Glue a button in the middle of the flower. When the glue is dry, help the children to poke the pipe cleaner through one of the holes in the button and through the paper drawing it out the back of the flower. Poke the other end of the pipe cleaner through the second hole of the button and finish pulling the pipe cleaner all the way through to secure the button to the flower. Twist the pipe cleaner at the back of the flower and bend to make the stem of the flower.

Adapted from: Button Flowers, Squigley's Arts and Crafts

Popcorn Art


* Popcorn
* Coloured paper
* Glue
* Yarn, ribbon, crayons, etc. to decorate around the popcorn

Pop a fair amount of popcorn. As it is popping, you can talk to the children about the sound, why it pops, the smell, taste, and how they like to eat their popcorn.

Give each child a piece of coloured paper and let them glue pieces of popcorn on the paper to make any design they like. (Of course, they can eat while they decorate.) Let them use the crayons, yarn, stickers, etc. to complete their picture.

Baby Dinosaur Footprints


* Coloured art paper
* Foam meat trays
* Dampened paper towel
* Tempra paint

This fun craft can be used to make simple art hangings or gift wrapping. Pour a small amount of different coloured paint into separate foam meat trays. Place pieces of dampened paper towel beside the trays for the children to wipe off their hands before they use a different paint colour. Have the children make a lose fist with their hand dipping the outside part of their fits into the paint, then pressing or dabbing their fists onto their coloured paper to make the baby dinosaur footprints. The children can use different coloured paints for the prints and even use their fingers to make toes etc. Allow the prints to dry before hanging as some of the paint may be quite thick and still runny on the children's artwork.

Adapted from: Little Dinosaur Footprints, CWSR Child Care Support Service newsletter, July/Aug. /93, Cranbrook, BC.



* White construction paper,
* Coloured streamers or ribbon
cut to 2' each
* Markers, crayons
* Glue, staples or tape
* Hole punch
* String

Have the children decorate their construction paper with whatever designs they fancy for the main piece of the windsock. When finished, flip the paper over and glue the pieces of ribbon or tissue paper to the underside of the artwork to make the windsock tails. When the glue has dried, roll the construction paper into a cylinder with the artwork showing on the outside. Glue the sides of the paper together or use staples or tape to ensure the cylinder maintains its shape. Next, punch two holes on two sides of the cylinder near the top (opposite side of the streamers). Have the children thread the string through the holes to make a handle for their windsock. Tie the ends to each hole. Extra string can be attached to the handle to give the children more room to fly their windsocks outside or to hang them.

Adapted from: Floral Windsock,

M-O-M Bracelet

# Large coloured beads
# Lettered beads that spell out MOM
# Elastic thread

Have the children put the beads into separate bowls according to their colours so they can choose to either make a colourful bracelet or choose beads in the colour they think their Mom will enjoy. Give each child a long piece of elastic thread and help them tie a bead on the end of the
thread to secure the threaded beads. Next have the children lay out their beads in front of them as they will be putting them on the bracelet. Help them to place the lettered beads in the middle of their sequenced beads. This gives you an opportunity to help them put the letters M-O-M in the middle of the bracelet. Have them thread the beads in the order they were laid out on the table. When they have finished, help them tie the ends of the elastic together to complete the bracelet. Cut off the extra elastic.

Paper Plate Sun

# Paper plates
# Yellow construction paper
# Yellow paint
# Markers
# Scissors
# Glue
# Googly eyes (optional)

Have the children paint the back of the paper plate yellow. While the paint is drying help them to trace their hands on the yellow construction paper so each child has seven hands. Cut out the hands and glue them to the back of the paper plate to resemble the sun's rays. Finally, have the children draw a face on the sun using the googly eyes and markers.

Adapted from: Enchanted Learning Software's - Sun Paper Plate Craft

Winter Lacing Project


* Wool or ribbon
* Single hole punch
* Scissors
* Pencil card stock
* Poster board or construction paper

This craft is from DLTK's Craft Pages, an excellent art and craft resource for parents and child care providers.

1. Print snowflake template ( of choice or make your own.
2. Trace onto a thick piece of cardboard (cardboard backs from paper pads or old boxes work well).
3. Cut out this template
4. Allow the children to trace the template onto a piece of card stock or poster board (or construction paper...or thicker card stock for lacing projects, or have an adult do this prior to craft time.
5. Allow the children to cut out their card stock shapes OR have an adult do this prior to craft time.
6. Allow the children to make holes around their shape (about an inch or two apart).
7. Provide the children with a length of wool or ribbon. You can wrap some scotch tape around the end of the wool to make it more like a shoe lace.
8. Have the child thread the wool through the holes.
9. Practice tying knots and/or bows to tie off in the center.
10. Let the children use glitter to further decorate their completed project.

Sugar Cube Art


* Sugar Cube
* Heavy cardboard or paper places
* Glue
* Cardboard
* Optional - Paint, cotton batten, other decorations

Give each child a piece of heavy cardboard or paper plate to glue their artwork on. Place sugar cubes on the table. Have the children glue the cubes to together to make a winter scene such as igloos, winter forts, winter houses, etc.

To make the project more fun, let the children glue cotton batten on their cardboard to look like snow and sprinkle with small sparkles, or allow the children to pain their sugar cubes lightly. You can also add other decorations to make the winter scene complete.

Snowman Magnet


* Large white pompoms
* Wiggly eyes
* Red and black felt
* Crayon tips (for the nose)
* Popsicle stick
* Adhesive Magnetic Strip
* Markers
* Glue
* Scissors

Give each child three white pompoms and help them glue them onto the popsicle stick. Cut out long strips of red felt, about 1/2" wide for the scarf and have the children tie it around the snowman's neck. Glue on the wiggle eyes. Cut out top hats with the black felt and while the children are gluing these in place cut our three small black felt buttons for each child and help them glue them on the snowman. Glue on a tip of a crayon for the nose. Using the markers, let the children draw a mouth on the snowman. Finally, glue a magnet strip to the back of the popsicle stick.

Paper Mustache


* Construction paper
* Scissors
* Crayons or markers
* Tape
* Mirror

Let the children draw different mustaches on the paper then cut them out. If they are having difficulty you might have to draw them. Roll a small piece of tape so it is sticky on all sides then place the strip on the mustache. When completed the children can then stick their mustaches on their faces then glance in the mirror to see how silly they look. You could also make a beard, goofy eyebrows, etc. to complete the look.

Menu Making


* Construction paper
* Crayons or markers
* Magazines
* Scissors
* Glue

Draw a blank menu on a large piece of construction. Include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. You can make it fancy like a restaurant menu or with block outlines like the menu you post for the parents. Have the children look through the magazines

and cut out pictures of "good" food items that they can use for menu, such as eggs, milk, bread, fruit, etc. You can use a copy of the Federal Food Guide to talk to the children at the same time about good meal planning. Work with them to plan out what they would like to eat for each meal and snack and have them glue the pictures on the menu or draw pictures of the food they want to eat. For the children who can print, llow them to list the foods on the menu, or you can do it. Decorate the menu to be fun, then post it on the wall. Serve the foods on the menu the next day.

As an additional craft, you can help the children make up recipe cards for each item on the menu that takes preparation. You can post these beside the menu for added fun. Or you could choose a theme for the menu such as Mexican food day, or Meatless day, etc., and work the menu on a monthly or weekly basis to reinforce the value of good nutrition and meal planning. Other ideas include making designer tablecloths and dinner party decorations to go with your menu or theme.

Adapted from: Draw a Menu, Kitchen Time: 202 Activities for Entertaining Your Child While You Cook, by Steve and Ruth Bennett, Penguin Books

Popcorn & Cranberry Necklace


* Popcorn
* Plastic Needle
* Thread
* Cranberries

Pop at least three cups of popcorn and let cool. Have the children cut a piece of string long enough when folded in two to make a necklace then have them string the thread through their needle and tie a knot on the end (smaller children will need assistance). Show them how to stick the needle through a piece of popcorn and draw it down the treat close to the knot. Have the children continue stringing the popcorn alternating with some cranberries until they reach about 6" from the end of their thread. Cut the needle off, then tie the thread in a knot at the end of the popcorn. Tie the ends together to make a necklace. The children can also make bracelets at the same time.

Spicy Air Fresheners


* Cheesecloth
* Cinnamon sticks (broken), dried orange peel, clove
* Small elastics
* Yarn or ribbon

Makes a great Christmas or Thanksgiving gift.

Cut out squares of cheesecloth big enough for the children to put the mix in and tie together. Put cinnamon stick pieces, cloves and dried orange peel in separate bowls. Let the children take some of each and place it in the middle of their cheesecloth square. Help thechildren gather the edges of the cloth together and secure with and elastic, leaving a nice ruffle at the top. Decorate with a ribbon or
yarn bow.

The spicy air freshener can be used as is or you can do up a decorative tag to attach to the ribbon with a note: "Place in small container of water and simmer."