Good ideas for stuff to make with children :)

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Idleknight

Forager
Aug 14, 2013
245
0
United Kingdom, Near Hinckley
Fire lighters made from dipping various things in wax, my kids love making them and we time how long they can last.
As well as recycled candle wax we have also been experimenting with beeswax. The lip balm we made from beeswax and coconut oil, is also pretty handy on wood.
I agree with putting together kit is kind of an activity, they have their own tinderboxes which they love playing about with. I also put them together a bag with den making materials.
 
May 15, 2017
8
0
Pilsdon
I've got some ideas, I'm preparing myself for training in the woods with children. I have some games with a kind of script, but also some ideas how to make them busy for a few hours.
  • landart- it's changing, transforming certain area into something creative. Using leaves, stones, branches to make something beautiful. No paints and crayons, just natural colours of the nature. It may be the pattern or a figure. Depends on the subject you choose!
  • making for example robot, machine which takes us back in time. They have to make it with everything they can find around. In the end they have to tell you the name and what it can do.
  • making a shelter! And hiding inside. You can help them a little. Using only branches and twine. :camping:

  • weave garlands! Not only for girls.
  • I remember me and my cousins loved to make little dams- swimming polls on the rivers and in the brook and we took our dolls for luxury holidays where they had private swimming polls
That's if for now that comes to my mind. It's checked, a lot of fun guaranteed!
 

grip

Forager
Nov 30, 2009
130
11
here and there
Acorn cup snakes are a good one for kids, my kids loved making them.

Just collect cups of all different sizes i dry mine under the wood stove for a day or two drill a 2mm hole through with a cordless drill then thread them onto strings large for the head smaller behind tapering up to large in the middle and then back down to small at the tail.

When they are finished they're quite realistic............. kids love em!
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,656
1,619
McBride, BC
Somewhere in the last week, I have seen a set of butterflies, all different, all more than 12" x 12", made as glue-ups of overlapping autumn colored leaves.
A bit late for us here at 53N but a great concept to collect and use on a rainy day. Huge bag of leaves, carpenter's glue, heavy white paper.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,860
1,923
S. Lanarkshire
Funny you should mention making things with leaves. I showed a friend how to make Roses from leaves just the other day up at the Falls of Clyde. It's a lovely bouquet.
I'll see if I can find an online link to how to make them.

M

This is for maple leaves, but I find that our own Sycamore leaves work really well.
M

[video=youtube;e1A7IGRjdls]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1A7IGRjdls[/video]
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I am not lying, that is one of the nicest things I have seen being created 'from nature'.

I used to make 'animals' from conkers and wood sticks ( matchsticks or those wooden sticks you use to check bread)

Some maple species have fruit with a wing. Peel out the seed, the inside is sticky. Put on your nose and you are a Rhino. Put on forehead, a Unicorn!

I used to make flutes/whistles from willow bark and twigs.

Also used to pleat willow shoots and make whips.

Bow and arrows from willow and a string, but I guess that is not Kosher these days?
 

LadySmyth

Tenderfoot
Jan 6, 2017
61
0
UK
Funny you should mention making things with leaves. I showed a friend how to make Roses from leaves just the other day up at the Falls of Clyde. It's a lovely bouquet.
I'll see if I can find an online link to how to make them.

M

This is for maple leaves, but I find that our own Sycamore leaves work really well.
M

[video=youtube;e1A7IGRjdls]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1A7IGRjdls[/video]
they're beautiful!

Sent from my LG-H818 using Tapatalk
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Now it is time for you Brits to take up the ancient art of Snow ball throwing/fighting!
We used to do that a lot when I lived in Sweden.
Is there anything more invigorating than being hit with a snowball, then the snow slides under your collar???
Brrrrrrr.......
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
4,831
1,445
55
W.Sussex
Now it is time for you Brits to take up the ancient art of Snow ball throwing/fighting!
We used to do that a lot when I lived in Sweden.
Is there anything more invigorating than being hit with a snowball, then the snow slides under your collar???
Brrrrrrr.......
Friend of mine I was with this afternoon caught an absolute cracker on the back of his head today. I can't repeat what he said, but it didn't include the word invigorating. :D

Luckily the snow is dry powder, wet snowballs are like being hit by a cricket ball.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,656
1,619
McBride, BC
You are in your car on a warm spring day with the window rolled down.
Somebody throws a snowball at you and you see it coming.
You just know, in your heart-of-hearts, that the damn electric car window will NOT close fast enough..
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,656
1,619
McBride, BC
Buy snow sliding stuff for your kids. Waxed the toboggan? Send them off to the local park.
Make supper. Expect them to come home, soaking wet, gobs of snow falling off, hungry, cold and tired.
Feed them. You are a god. The snow melts, it dries up. It did last winter.

There is a short holiday trailer parked across the street.
Above it (yes, above it) I can see kids playing on snow piles further down the street.
 

VaughnT

Forager
Oct 23, 2013
159
21
Lost in South Carolina
Projects for kids are always a good thing to think about. In the blacksmithing realm, I try to always have a few things that kids can make with relative quickness while also getting them involved in layout, marking, simple hand tools, etc.

For out in the woods, one of the best things for kids big and small is the soup can lantern. All it takes to make is a thick limb that'll fit into the can, and a small nail that you can use to pierce the can. A bail can be made with the wire from a coat hanger.

More complex designs can be used for older kids who are better with their hands. You can put windows, doors and roofs on the thing if you want to tinker around with different tools. Nails can be used as rivets, or copper ground wire works.

I highly recommend the book Bent Ironwork by Paul Hasluck for simple ironwork projects that kids can accomplish without a lot of tools and materials. You can scale the pieces up or down, change things around however you like. It's a great read, too.


To give you an idea of just how awesome you can get by recycling tin cans, you really need to check out:

http://www.lostcrafts.com/Tin-Toys/Tin-Toys-Main.html

It's another example of how much we've lost, honestly. Being able to work to that level might be something reserved for the older kids, but, by golly, it's also great for us old fogies that want to try our hand at something different!



Still looking for a hardcopy of the Thatcher's "Making Tin Can Toys". I'd swear I had a copy around here, but it must have grown legs on me.
 
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hanzo

Nomad
Feb 12, 2006
424
5
57
Hawaii
hanzosoutdoors.blogspot.com
My kids and the kids we have taken camping may be more barbaric than UK kids. We have taken them since age 1. Oldest is now 17.

We have made cordage from natural materials, bow drills, trap triggers and even Apache throwing stars (when they were a little older). They love fire, so anything fire related was a hit. With cordage, then I taught them knots. We made cordage from something as simple as grass to bark. Maybe they enjoyed the throwing stars a bit much. Guess they like throwing things. They liked the bola too. But safety first. Made those with old tennis balls.
 
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oldtimer

Full Member
Our local Primary School has called me in again to work with the children. I have been asked to teach some ceramic skills, something I used to do years ago when I was a Primary School teacher and part-time art lecturer on Teacher Training courses.
While preparing to work with the children, I came across an article I had written years ago for teachers entitled "Primitive Pottery". I needed to retype it and update it slightly in Word so that the class teacher could have a copy.

It occurred to me that it may be of interest to members wanting to learn a new bushcraft skill for themselves, those looking for an activity for children or youth group such as Scouts or indeed even serving teachers.. I recalled this old thread that Toddy started and thought of offering a copy to interested members. If you would like a copy, send me a PM with your email address and I will send you one.

The article deals with making pottery without a workshop, wheels, kilns and using only improvised tools and equipment. I cover types of clay, improvising tools, three hand-building techniques and methods of firing without a kiln. A short list of suggestions for further reading is also included.
 
Feb 22, 2019
5
2
14
High Wycombe
I really like elder as its uses are endless. This is how to make a simple, little box, great for storing matches. Select a green piece with a decent sized pith (otherwise the size does not really matter) then remove the pith and if you want to peel the bark and bevel the tops. Now using a piece of seasoned wood, carve a dowel to fit in the bottom of the piece of elder and cut it flush with the bottom. Hopefully the elder should shrink onto the dowel and create a tight fit. Then carve another dowel to fit in the top make it so it has a good place to hold onto when taking the lid on and off. Be careful that the elder does not shrink onto the lid. This quite easy, only takes about ten minutes and even I can do it and I am a child!

Thanks and have a good time making one
 

Dai

Jun 7, 2020
7
4
Wales
I enjoyed looking through these ideas so thought I would add one: spinning tops. Cut a disk of wood about 5cm diameter, 2cm thick. Make a hole through the center (I used a 4mm palm drill). Whittle down a stick so it can be pushed through but jams with about 3cm through, slightly sharpen this end (I used a pencil sharpener) then cut down the other end of the stick to a nice length to spin with fingertips (about 3cm again). The tops can then be decorated with paint, felts, etching or burning. The closer the disk is to circular the better and tools can be matched to age/competence e.g. whittling with a peeler or a knife, the hole with a palm drill or awl or hand drill. Unfortunately I left the one I made in school so can not put a photo up atm.

In the spirit of full disclosure this idea is not my own but came from 'Easy wood carving for children' by Frank Egholm, which has many great ideas. Some do not seem easy to me, a novice getting back into bushcraft to use in outdoor learning lessons, but they are rated 1 to 3 and it gives the option of progression which hopefully will be well useful as I (and the children) get more competent!
 
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