5 tidy-up crafts

Written by Gabrielle Meredith-Elsworth

It only seems like 5 minutes since we were furiously Googling, ‘Fun things to do in the school holidays’.

Now it’s more of a frantic, ‘FREE ideas to keep my kids busy,’ and ‘Tell me Google, will the school holidays ever end?’ Also ‘How do I get felt tip off the sofa?’ and ‘How much does a full-time nanny actually cost?’

If you’re feeling all end-of-holidays frazzled, don’t worry! These clever crafts also tidy the house. And the best bit? Kids can do them by themselves.

1) A very regal desk tidy: Tidy house, tidy mind!

You’ll need: 6 toilet roll tubes, a shoebox lid, masking tape, paint and a black felt tip

What to do:

1. Cut two toilet roll tubes in half. Now your kids can arrange all the tubes in the shape of a castle and secure together using masking tape.
2. Get out the paints! Ask your children to make the castle a royal colour of their choice, and to paint the inside of the lid blue to make a moat or green to create grass.
3. Once everything’s dry, your child can glue the tubes on top of the shoebox. Then they can draw windows and other details with the black felt tip.
4. Fill with stationery and await their first homework assignment.

2) Treasure chest: A DIY storage box for bits and bobs

What you’ll need: a shoebox, paint, craft bits to decorate (like stickers or foam shapes)

What to do:

1. Ask your child to paint the whole box and lid a colour of their choice.
2. Once dry, let your child loose with the decoration. Add stickers, foam shapes, anything they want.
3. Now have fun filling it with ‘treasure’!

3) Car garage: Zoom toy cars into this handy hideaway

What you’ll need: a shoebox, as many toilet roll tubes as will fit in the shoebox (very scientific!), strong glue, felt tips

What to do:

1. Ask your little one to paint and decorate the outside of the shoebox.
2. Glue the toilet roll tubes inside the shoebox. How many tubes you need will depend on the shoebox size, so it’s a good idea to have a load to hand. Wait for the glue to dry.
3. Stand the box on its side. Now, your child can put a toy car in each tube.
4. You could also ask them to make a sign for the garage.

4) Roarsome idea: this crafty crayon pot will spread a little calm

What you’ll need: yogurt pot, yellow, white and blue paper, black pen, orange tissue paper, glue, scissors and tape

What you do:

1. Help your child to measure and cut the paper so they can wrap it around the yogurt pot. Secure with tape.
2. Now, they can cut and stick on circles of paper to make the eyes.
3. Then use a black pen to colour black pupils in the middle. And draw on a nose and mouth.
4. Next, they cut and stick on pieces of tissue paper to make the mane.
5. Finally, they can pop all of their crayons inside.

5) In the bag: A fun way to tidy little toys away

What you’ll need: a paper bag (yellow if possible), yellow, black, red and white paint

What to do:

1. If you’ve got a white bag, ask your child to paint it bright yellow all over.
2. When dry, they draw a face on it. Ta-da!