I think my DD2 has too much free time in her hands so she loves digging for things (esp. tissue boxes, empty toilet/paper towel rolls etc. which I put aside for recycling) and create things from what she can find. Just to share some simple "crafts" that she made by herself when she was 3 yrs old (she just turned 4 recently) so parents here can either do with their children if they’re too young or you can throw all the materials at them and let them occupy themselves.
It’s a pity that I didn’t take photos as I was so used to all the "junk" she created around the house that I didn’t think much of them. Being a laisser-faire mum, I wouldn’t have thought of these "crafts". On hind sight, I thought doing these crafts with your children might contribute to some good bonding time. I’ve put in parenthesis what she actually did to highlight areas that may need help. Just a word of caution though, DD2 is quite good with her scissors so she’ll use scissors to cut the string/tape etc. on her own. If your child is not very proficient with it, I’ll suggest that you supervise the activity or help with the cutting. My DD2 enjoyed doing the crafts using recycling materials (kept her occupied for quite a while ) and I hope your children wld too.
Craft 1: Binoculars
Double-sided tape/glue, 2 empty toilet or paper towel rolls, string or think thread, stickers/colour pencils/scraps of coloured paper (for decoration purposes).
Cut a long piece of double sided tape and stick it along the longitudinal side of the empty paper towel roll (DD2 used these as she likes “long” binoculars, can use toilet rolls too). Peel off the top piece of the double-sided tape (she came to me for help with the peeling).
Stick the 2 paper towel rolls together. Cut a long string and attach the ends to each side of the paper towel rolls. (DD2 used double sided tape but I wld recommend using masking tape or scotch tape as it wld be more secure).
Stick stickers on the rolls to embellish it. (DD2 stuck one row of stickers on each side of the binoculars). Other alternatives which I can think of now is to glue pieces of coloured scrap paper or use markers/colour pencils to draw on the binoculars.
DD2 actually made 2 binoculars, one for her sister. After that, she hung the binoculars round her neck and played pirates by herself (of course she wore a hat and put on some accessories to make her look like pirate). She played spy/detective with her sister (when DD1 came home from school).
Loop and space out the rubber bands round the tissue box. (I know it’s the wrong direction, but heck, it produces different tones when you pluck them).
Use masking tape to stick an empty paper towel roll on one side of the tissue box. (It kept dropping off when she showed me her guitar so I helped her secure the guitar “handle”).
And viola, a make belief guitar is formed. DD2 used it and pretended she was singing in a rock band or something.
Craft 3: Train
Tissue boxes (need many of these) and masking tape/double-sided tape.
Use glue or masking tape/double-sided tape to stick 3 (or 4 to make a bigger base) tissue boxes together like an L shape (these are the “seats” of the train. (DD2 used glue initially but it wasn’t strong enough so I suggested that she used masking tape/double-sided tape instead.)
Make a few of these and stick them in a row, one behind the other.
A long trail of train “seats” is formed. (DD2 carried all her favourite soft toys and placed them on the “seats”.)
Loop and attach/stick a long piece of thick thread/rope/string around the backing of the first tissue box “seat” to pull the train along. (DD2 tried to use rubber bands and masking tape to join tissues that were all rolled up into strips (me angry that she wasted so much of my tissue paper! ) to form a chain of some sort for this purpose but it couldn’t pull properly so I suggested that she used string/ribbon or rope).
She was very happy with her new “toy” and played with it for a few days, pretending to be the train captain. She even put her own kiddie chair in front of the train and sat on it, pretending to take her “passengers” to many places.
Above are just some of the things she created herself amongst many others while I was busy. However, she would come to me whenever she encountered problems and I would help her a little or suggest alternatives. Hope you find them useful. Your children might create other stuffs from all the “junk’ at home. So sit back and let them enjoy!!