When you’re a parent, you dream of having a quiet weekend where you don’t have to shuttle your kids all over the place to parties, sports games and the mall. Of course, having your children home for the weekend can also bring its own set of challenges!
And I, as a parent, can tell you that this is because Gen Alpha has two extremes when going out is not an option.
They will either be at one end of the gamut and do activities that involve creating giant messes that will lead to an upturned kitchen and a permanent stain on your favourite couch.
Or they will sit as still as sloths, glued to their devices, and zoned out like zombies. The only movement will be of their tiny thumbs as they scroll endlessly through the world of TikTok.
Occasionally, when their bellies begin to growl, they will scurry into the kitchen like racoons, sniffing for some unhealthy snack that you may have in stock.
Hence the challenge.
However, that was before we cracked the code and figured out small ways to keep our sanity intact while keeping our kids entertained and involved in some productive activity.
Here are 5 creative crafts for a chilled weekend that will keep your kids busy while also ensuring the said project does not result in more cleaning up for you.
When shortlisting these creative crafts, I had two things in mind: first, a minimal mess, and second, something siblings could do together without arguing.
As a mum of three, I now know there is a pattern to how kids play.
Here is how it goes:
The kids will play along for around 15 minutes, followed by a small argument over something as trivial as who went first, after which I will be summoned to play judge, jury and executioner.
The plaintiff and the defendant will scream at each other, while I try to get some order in my makeshift court and make sense of the events and how they occurred.
The spatula takes the place of the gavel, and I eventually share my verdict.
I naively hope that that will be the end of a bitter trial and that I have been fair to both parties. However, both of them will still walk out and throw a tantrum over said project thereby forcing me to confiscate it – bringing us back to square one.
However, all that changed with these 5 tried-and-tested creative crafts. Infact, I noticed my children not only continued to play but also bonded with each other as they completed each of these 5 creative crafts.
1. Bath bombs
Okay, I said minimal messes, but I personally love this because guess who gets to use all the bath bombs? My girls love adding their favourite scents and making gifts for each other!
This creative craft activity requires only essential ingredients that can be easily found in your kitchen. These include bicarbonate soda, corn flour, citric acid, and Epsom salts. Mix all these dry ingredients and add a little bit of melted coconut oil to hold it together.
Then ask your kids to add their favourite essential oils, colouring, create patterns, and play with scents. Mine loved experimenting with different bath bomb moulds as well as trying other fun alternatives like orange and lemon peels.
Clean-up was a breeze, and bath time doesn’t feel like a chore anymore. It’s an absolute win-win!
2. Make bracelets and necklaces
When I was a kid, I loved making jewellery with my friends and siblings. In fact, I still have jewellery my sister and my best friend, Trish, made me in fifth grade.
Those tiny trinkets hold such sentimental value, so I shared mine with my girls. They wanted to learn how to do the Kumihimo pattern, which is why I got the Kumi Kreator Bead and Braider to help them get started.
The set came with 56 spools of colourful thread to create different combinations and patterns, as well as a book with instructions. (It kept the girls off my back with the endless questions which meant I could actually work in peace.)
While we used to tie a knot at the end of ours, this set included clasps that were easy to attach and gave a much neater finish.
The best part? The set included seven different friendship beads, including halves of a heart. And I can’t emphasise enough how much the girls loved having a sister to share it with! If this doesn’t help your kids bond, I don’t know what will.
And yes, I got a few new ones too to add to my collection.
3. Design wind chimes and dream catchers
When it comes to wind chimes and dream catchers, the possibilities are endless. All you need are simple supplies, super strong glue, and the girls to get creative.
From old keys, you may have laying around, to beads and even wooden sticks and leaves from the backyard, there are lots of options for creating customised pieces that are fun to make.
All you need to get them started is a simple frame for the dream catcher or the wind chime, and watch them decorate the entire house!
4. Have a canine fashion show
Another creative craft to keep the girls busy and learning was suggesting a canine fashion show one particularly rainy day. The pups weren’t too excited about the idea at first, but I think they secretly enjoyed all that attention.
For this one, I took a bunch of old, sparkly outfits (I was planning to part with them anyway) and even took the girls to the craft store to gather up some supplies.
They were given safety scissors, a simple guide to needle stitching, and fabric glue to really seal the deal. Both of them had to come up with four different outfits for the dog and let me tell you, the girls learned so much in those two days.
What was even better, the girls used their Kumi Kreator Bead and Braider to create matching accessories for the dogs, including stylish dog collars and cute straps for the dresses!
It was just so fun, no matter what the dogs say.
If you don’t have pets, not to worry, another great option is to give those old clothes of yours, or your kids’, a makeover. You could try tye-dyeing old t-shirts, or taking existing pieces of clothing and getting artistic to turn them into completely new outfits – not only fun but sustainability friendly too! Another idea is making custom t-shirts with fabric markers or paints – and don’t forget to make those matching accessories with the Kumi Kreator Bead and Braider.
5. Sparkly yarn light room decor
What can you make with school glue, corn starch, a ball of yarn, and a balloon? That’s right – yarn chandeliers for your room, patio, and even parties.
The girls were so excited to try different sizes and play around with the colours. I’d just recommend spreading out a large drop cloth or old bed sheet first so there’s minimal mess at the end. Or, if you have an outdoor area that’s undercover, even better!
To make your own: just blow up a balloon to the size you need and hang it on a string. Coat the balloon in petroleum jelly and make your glue by adding cornflour, non-toxic glue (to make the adhesive a little stronger), and water.
Dip your favourite coloured yarn in the glue and start wrapping the balloon with the yarn. Add glitter for a little extra sparkle.
Once it’s covered, let it dry (this can take up to 48 hours, depending on the size.) Then pop the balloon, and you will have your own yarn light decor. You can even add some battery-operated fairy lights inside to give it that extra sparkle.
This is a paid partnership between Kiindred and Cool Maker.