All of the arts and crafts ideas below are easy to do, don't worry!
They require no more than card, scissors, elastic, glue or tape and crayons or paints, and all look great on the wall (or on the child!)
N.B. Some of these ideas have been designed with an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) and working as a nanny or governess job environment in mind, and are intended for children who are studying or learning English.
A treasure map
The treasure map was great fun for us to do, and so easy! We ripped the corners and edges from an A3 piece of card to make it look old and authentic, and then stained the card with a wet tea bag on both sides before drying it with a hair dryer. Next, we drew the outline of the island in pencil before going over it once more in black pen and colouring it all in with coloured pencils. It took a little time to come up with creative ‘locations’ on our treasure island but the end result was great.
Mask making is another activity that is very straightforward. For each of our masks, we sketched the design by hand on A4 paper or printed off a template from Google, before gluing the paper down onto some thicker card (cereal box or similar). We then coloured the masks in, cut them out with scissors, hole punched some ear holes and tied elastic through them to secure the mask. Then a little colouring was all that was needed to finish up. For adults, eye-holes can be more comfortably cut out using a stanley knife rather than scissors.
Making masks is always great fun for dressing up and imaginative play, they also provide opportunities to make hilarious videos afterwards. See above for inspiration!
Novelty vocabulary displays
For children who don’t speak English as their first language or are studying it, learning vocabulary is always one of the less exciting activities. Spice it up a little with an interesting wall display, using their favourite animal as a centrepiece. As their vocabulary improves, it is always rewarding for both children (and their parents!) to see the progress they are making. Just sketch the idea in pencil, go over it in pen, colour in together with your child and you’re up and away!
A letter to Harry Potter
I have a student who is mad about Harry Potter, so a letter from Hogwarts was an inevitability. We tea stained an A4 piece of card before drying with a hairdryer. I penciled in some lines (to ensure the writing came out straight) and a Hogwarts crest, and we composed the letter according to the Harry Potter books. After this we went over the crest once more in black pen and we used an eraser to rub out the lines used for writing and the pencil marks behind the crest. A little colouring and we were all done! Why not try a letter to or from your child’s favourite film or book character? Easy to do, and a great wall display that gets a lot of attention from visitors to the house!
Prepositions of place
This is an EFL display activity I made to help learn prepositions of place for a young student who was having trouble grasping the differences between ' through', ‘on’ and ‘under’, ‘over’ and ‘up’ etc. It was very beneficial to have this up on the wall and, in just a few days, the child had grasped the subtle differences between all of the above. Give it a try!
Puppets and a stage (Harry Potter or similar)
My student Max (the Harry Potter fanatic) saw the Harry Potter Puppet Pals video on YouTube and was obsessed with it, so we decided to give this one a try too. We hand sketched the characters in pencil before going over them in pen and rubbing out the pencil lines with an eraser. We stuck them onto card, coloured them in with crayons and felt tips, cut them out and then simply sellotaped them onto smaller card sticks to make them hand-held. Later we painted a shoe-box red and cut the front out to make a stage. Easy to do and we made some great videos which the kids and their parents thoroughly enjoyed.