School is out for the next sixty plus days and that translates into summer bliss for kids of all ages. Sure they are as happy as clams at high tide right now, relaxing, hanging out without a care in the world, but there will be those cloudy days when the “I’m s-o-o-o bored” expressions are heard far and wide. Where there is a wool there is a way, and all it takes is a few moments sorting through your yarn stash to prepare a summer survival kit complete with a few other essentials to keep the kids smiling and feeling creative.
Top Ten Yarn Crafts For Kids-
1. Making pom poms is a rite of passage in every childhood, and this hilarious snowman character from Frozen is just too cute to resist. Materials: White worsted weight yarn, cardboard, scissors, blunt darning needle, orange and black felt, glue, black pipe cleaner, googly eyes. How To: Cut two 3 ins doughnut shapes out of cardboard with a 1 ins diameter opening in center. Thread a long length of yarn onto darning needle, holding both pieces of cardboard together in one hand, insert needle through center hole and wrap tightly around cardboard. Repeat until completely covered and center hole is full. Hold firmly in place, insert tip of scissors between cardboard circles and cut through yarn. Tie a separate length of yarn tightly around center core. Remove cardboard and trim pom pom to create an even look. Glue felt mouth and nose on as shown above. Cut pipe cleaner in half, push both through to center of pom pom and back up to create 4 ends. Glue eyes in place.
2. Put a spin on an everyday household item with the right mix of sparkles, colourful yarn and playful imagination. Materials: Wooden clothes pins (old-fashioned), glue, craft paint, paintbrush, multi-coloured worsted yarn, sparkly craft foam, scissors. How To: Paint eyes, mouth and body as shown above, cut craft foam in a tail shape to fit inside clothes pin, glue in place. Cut 15-20 pieces of yarn in 12 ins lengths, tie in middle with a separate piece of yarn. Glue to top of pin.
3. Inspired by folk art created by the Huichol people of Mexico as an offering to the gods, this is a great craft for kids of all ages (adults might even end up joining in the fun zone). Materials: Peel and stick vinyl floor tile, worsted or chunky weight yarns in a variety of bright colours, scissors. How To: Peel off backing on the reverse side of floor tile, working from the center out, press yarn ends into place to create desired image.
4. Kool-Aid dyeing is especially appealing to budding artists and also a win-win situation (guess who gets to knit the one of a kind yarn when it is fully dry). Cover an outdoor table with plastic, set up a few skeins of pure wool, and watch the magic happen. Materials: Assorted Kool-Aid flavors, water, vinegar, microwaveable glass dish, plastic squirt bottles, and a few skeins of undyed wool. How To: View the tutorial here.
5. Sometimes the simplest of crafts can hold the greatest charms. These pint-sized butterflies make great fridge magnets, gift toppers and birthday party decorations. Materials: Popsicle sticks, glue, colourful worsted weight yarn, scissors, pipe cleaners, small beads and googly eyes. How To: Glue two popsicle sticks together in a wide X. Let dry. Starting approx. half an inch from outside edge, wrap yarn around sticks until completely covered. Tuck in ends. Wrap a pipe cleaner twice around center, leaving 3 ins at beginning and end, shape with fingers and attach a bead to each end. Glue eyes to front.
6. A project that will keep little hands busy until its time for a snack and what a wonderful way to upcycle all those yarn ends. Materials: Assorted yarns, scissors, diluted white glue, plastic wrap, medium or large bowl. How To: Turn medium or large size bowl upside down, cover with plastic wrap. Dilute white glue in a smaller bowl, dip yarn in bowl. Run yarn through fingers to remove excess glue, place over plastic wrap in a loose fashion. Leave until fully dry (one or two days).
7. Find a purpose for unused cds and let the kids create stunning artwork at the same time. Materials: Old cds, a variety of colourful yarns, large blunt darning needle, and scissors. How To: View tutorial here.
8. This quirky craft decorated countless rec rooms during the seventies and is making a serious comeback (see pinterest for oodles of impressive designs). Materials: Colourful yarn, nails, hammer, pencil, pre-cut wooden board, scissors. How To: Draw a simple shape or design on board with pencil. Hammer nails approx. every inch following design outline. Tie yarn end onto one nail to start and tightly pull across to wrap around an opposite nail. Repeat until design is well-covered in yarn. Tie off end and tuck in.
9. Looking for a birthday party activity that is simple enough for small fry? Materials: Worsted weight yarn, paper roll, scissors, blunt darning needle. How To: Precut paper rolls in half and make a side opening. Wind yarn around as shown above. Tuck in ends with darning needle. Decorate as desired.
10. No tools required! This is a super craft to entertain the kids in the backseat of the car while travelling long distances and may encourage interest in actual knitting later on. Materials: Worsted or chunky weight yarn, scissors. How To: View tutorial here.