Tag Archives: creative development

Engaged and Educated: Affordable Hobby Ideas for Children

Engaged and Educated: Affordable Hobby Ideas for Children by guest blogger  Emily Graham  of  Mighty Moms. 

It can be hard to find fun, affordable, and beneficial ways to keep your child engaged. Video games, chat rooms, and cartoons are fun, but they don’t promise much in the way of learning or developing wholesome interests. Consider getting your child started in a hobby that could lead to an abiding interest, an activity that can provide an engaging cognitive challenge and produce a strong sense of accomplishment and self-pride. Sometimes, a hobby can be a heaven-sent means of keeping a young person out of trouble. Whatever the reason for starting one, a hobby can even change a young person’s life for the better. Here are some suggestions.

Starter Kits

If you’re unsure of where to start in your search for a hobby, check online retailers for starter kits and hobby essentials. When you’re operating on a budget, you can save money by doing extensive online research and watching for sales and discounts from retailers like Walmart.

Knitting/Crocheting

This is one of the most affordable and enjoyable hobbies for any child, and it can be a great way for young and old to spend time and learn together. All you need is a crochet hook and some yarn to get started. Look for savings and promo codes from Target as you gather materials. No need to spend money on patterns, many of which can be found for free on the internet. Your child will enjoy making items that can be given as birthday or Christmas gifts to friends and family.

Solve a Puzzle

Puzzles are just the thing to keep a young person occupied and learn problem-solving strategies, particularly through crossword puzzles or Sudoku, collections of which can be purchased for no more than $3. Jigsaw puzzles (which usually run around $20) provide tangible evidence of a child’s skill and determination. Once it’s put together, simply apply a little puzzle glue, mount your child’s handiwork and have it framed as a trophy that will elicit proud memories.

Painting and Drawing

Children love to express themselves creatively by drawing and painting, both of which are excellent ways for youngsters to pass their time. It can be a therapeutic means of self-expression, a medium for working out frustrations and anxieties, and an enjoyable way for a child to develop hand-eye and fine motor skills. And it’s an inexpensive hobby — pencils, brushes, paints, and paper are generally inexpensive materials. Check for daily offers and coupons for stores like Amazon on paint supplies and other items that can help a child get started with a hobby.

Music

Musical ability can open up a new world of creative endeavor for a child. Learning to play an instrument is an excellent hobby that boosts cognitive functioning, improves mathematical abilities, and sharpens motor skills. Finding an instrument at affordable prices can be difficult, so watch for online savings options through websites like Honey.

Experimentation

Most children enjoy hobbies that show them how to create things like “edible glass.” What’s more, all your child requires is vegetable oil, food coloring, salt, and water to create globs of lava that move up and down in a glass beaker. Beginner science is an educational and inexpensive hobby, especially if you can use items that you already have lying around the house.

Hobbies are healthy ways for children to use their time and discover fascinating new worlds of discovery. The best part: They don’t need to be expensive endeavors; indeed, many can be enjoyed for under $20. You never know — you might set your child on a life-changing path.

Thanks to Emily for sharing her ideas!

Let it Snow! Kids Love Making these Glitzy Snowflake Garlands

Kids love making these snowflake garlands to wrap around trees or hang from windows and ceilings. We’ve made hundreds of them at Art Truck events and they are always a hit. You decide the length and number of flakes. Best part? No mess, easy-to find supplies make it a cinch. It’s super easy – here’s how:

Project Duration: 20 minutes to two hours

Supplies

  1. White cardstock (pastel blue or grey are nice, too)
  2. Curly ribbon – we like silver, white and blue.
  3. Glue sticks – try Elmer’s Washable brand.
  4. Gems or sequins from Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or S&S.
  5. Snowflake punch -we love Martha Stewart for great  design and quality.

Assembly

  1. Punch out 10 snowflakes using puncher;
  2. Cut ribbon length at least 2 feet (a little longer is better);
  3. Take one flake, place glue in center;
  4. Leaving 6 inches at top of ribbon strand, place ribbon in center of flake;
  5. Now, turn it over, add a bit of glue to center and “sandwich” another flake on top;
  6. Repeat until you have at least 5 snowflakes on your chain;
  7. Once flakes are on ribbon, adhere gems or sequins to center of flakes with glue.

Hang on or around a favorite tree or anywhere you’d like to add some bling and sparkle.

What is your favorite garland-making craft? We invite you to share your photos, ideas and follow our blog.

Creatively yours,

Maura

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DIY: Add Some Sparkle to Your Thanksgiving Table

Are you looking for a fresh way to decorate your Thanksgiving table? Here is a simple way to create a sparkling tabletop with zero mess. Here at The Art Truck, it’s our experience that children always have a blast using bling to make unique sculptures and your kids will love creating these decorations while you are busy with food preparations. Supplies are super minimal, especially if you already have gourds or mini pumpkins on hand.

Items you’ll need:

  1. Assorted mini pumpkins and gourds (these typically can be found at your local farm stand or supermarket)
  1. Glue Dots
  1. Gems in assorted colors and sizes

Supplies are available at Michael’s craft stores, Walmart and on amazon.

Three easy steps:

  1. Roll out glue dots and place gem on the dot.
  2. Pull dot and gem from paper.
  3. Place gem with glue dot on gourd.

Glitzy Gourd CollageRepeat until your pumpkin or gourd is gem-studded, glitzy and just right!

Then pile your sculptural gems into a bountiful basket of bling for a sparkling centerpiece, scatter them around your table or use them as name card holders.

You can find more project ideas along with news and information on creativity from The Art Truck on our blog.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Maura O’Shea