Kids love arts and crafts — unfortunately moms don’t always! Here are six simple crafts to entertain the kids without making a huge mess.
Paper chain snakes
To celebrate the year of the Snake, why not let your child create their own. The paper chain snake is simple to make and a great way to decorate. Start with two to three different coloured sheets of construction paper. Slice each sheet into strips of about five to 10 centimetres wide. Curl them into ring shapes, and glue or tape the ends together. Do the same with the next colour, and tie them to the first rings. Keep doing this until you have a multicoloured strand of rings. Glue eyes and a tongue to the first ring, and just like that, your snake is ready.
Toilet paper roll snake
Start with about five to six empty toilet paper rolls. Cover each roll in a different coloured sheet of construction paper. Punch two holes at the top and bottom of each roll (one hole directly across from the other), except for two rolls. Those two will be the head and the tail and will need holes only at one end, not at both. Then run a string through each hole, attaching one roll to the next to create a long snake. Don’t tie the ribbon too tightly; keep it loose so the snake can wiggle around. Decorate the head with eyes and a felt tongue to make it more realistic.
The educational snake
Cut out 10 oval shapes about the size of your palm, and number them from one to 10. Make sure the pieces are different colours. Have your child glue each piece together in numerical order, so while making a colourful snake, he or she is also brushing up on counting. For added learning, have your child identify the colours being used.
Egg carton snake
This one is really simple and lots of fun. First, cover your work surface with newspaper to make for easy cleanup. Then take an empty egg carton, and cut out the 12 individual egg holders. Cut them all to the same height, and turn them over. Have your child paint each piece a different colour, then glue each piece to the other. (Or instead of glue, you can punch holes in the bottoms and pass string through them or simply staple them together.) Paint eyes and a tongue on the first piece, and you’re done.
Take an old necktie (or buy a very inexpensive new one), and fill it with cotton balls to make it puffy. Then draw a pair of eyes and a tongue on construction paper, cut them out, and glue them to the bottom of the tie. Fill the tie only about three-quarters of the way, starting from the widest part (the face). Leave some empty space so you can still tie it. Your son will love the idea of wearing a snake necktie!
Wooden spoon snake
Take an old wooden spoon, or buy a very inexpensive new one at your local dollar store. Using a paintbrush, have your child paint any design he or she would like to see on the snake. Ideally they should paint the snake one colour from top to bottom. The widest part of the spoon will be the face, so they can paint eyes there. You can also buy some red felt so your child can cut out a long tongue and glue it to the edge. Then the shaft can be painted in different colours or patterns to make it look like a real snake.