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Other Craft Ideas

Indian eyes

2 sticks for each child
Wool in four or more colours


1. The teacher helps the child to tie the 2 sticks together to form a cross.
2. The child holds the cross steady in one hand and with the other hand winds the wool around one stick in a circle.
3. The child then moves onto the next stick and does the same, moving the cross around as they do so. (See diagram)
4. After the child has wound on 2-3cm then change the colour of the wool.
5. After every 2-3cm, change the wool colour.
6. Make a loop at the top of one of the sticks to hang the 'Indian Eye'.
7. Could also hang 2 little bells on the side sticks that would chime in a breeze.

This is quite a difficult process for the children to understand at first but most children do manage.


Empty box, eg a shoe box
String or plastic string or strips of material
Hole punch


1. Use the hole punch to pierce holes every 2cm along the two sides of the box, ensuring that the holes are opposite each other.
2. Thread strings straight across the width of the box, making the strings parallel to each other.
3. Now the children are ready to weave.
4. Weave strips of material or plastic string over and under the string strung across the box. See diagram below.
5. Explain to the children that with the first string they must weave first over and then under, over and under etc. With the second string they must weave first under and then over, under and over etc.

Once the piece of weaving is finished, remove the weaving, either by destroying the box by cutting down to the holes and removing the weaving as a whole piece, or by cutting the side strings and carefully tying them together to stop the weaving unravelling.


Strip of corrugated cardboard, about 40cm long for each child (peel one side of the cardboard away so that one side is ridged)
Drinking straws, cut into small pieces
Crayons or colouring pencils


1. Give each child a length of the corrugated card.
2. The child then decorates the side with ridges with patterns or stripes of colour.
3. Curl the strip into a snail shape and hold in place with sellotape.
4. Stick on 2 pieces of straw for snail feelers.
5. Draw on a face.
6. If making into a mobile attach a piece of string and hang up.


Circle of thin card for each child , about 30cm in diameter.
Colouring pencils, crayons or felt-tip pens.


1. The child decorates both sides of the circle.
2. The circle then needs to be cut in one long continuous spiral. If the child is able to do this, draw a spiral in pencil as a guideline; otherwise, cut the spiral for the child. Children should always be supervised when using scissors.
3. Pierce a hole in the middle of the circle .
4. Thread through a piece of string and hang up to catch a breeze.


A circle of thin card for each child, about 20cm across
Colouring pencils, crayons or felt-tip pens


1. Using the ruler divide the circle into 8 segments on both sides of the card.
2. Colour the different sections different colours.
3. Make 2 holes very near the centre of the circle (see diagram).
4. Thread a long piece of string through both holes and tie the string to make a loop.
5. Help the children to place their hands apart with the string behind their fingers.
6. Then twist the circle over and over.
7. As the circle is let go and starts to spin, tell the child to pull the string taut and then relax their hands.
8. As the circle spins all the colours become blurred; if it spins fast enough, the colours appear white. There is also a 'whizzing' sound as it turns quickly.

Newspaper palm tree

A large newspaper for each child
A plastic container or flowerpot for each child
Marker pens or coloured paper
Sand or plasticine


1. Write the child's name on the bottom of the pot using permanent marker.
2. Decorate the outside of the pot using markers or by glueing coloured paper onto it.
3. Fill the pot half full with either sand or plasticine.
4. Open up the newspaper, halve it and lay one half over the other (see diagram).
5. Roll the newspaper into a tube.
6. Cut 3 slits down the side of the tube to at least half way down.
7. Use fingers to gently pull out the inside branches.
8. Pull the whole thing upwards to make a palm tree.

Children should always be supervised when using scissors.

Invisible patterns

Lemon juice
Paint brushes
White paper
Candle and matches


1. Give each child a piece of paper.
2. The child then paints a pattern using the lemon juice.
3. Allow about 5 minutes for this to dry.
4. Light the candle and hold the paper just above.
5. As the lemon juice warms it will turn brown and so revealing a previously hidden pattern.

Paper bird mobile

Thin card for bird body: either give the children a pre-cut shape or make stencils
Crayons, colouring pencils or felt-tip pens
Thin elastic
Decorative paper: shiny or wrapping paper is best, about 20cm x 20cm.


1. Use the stencil to draw around and cut out a bird body.
2. Draw on an eye and beak on both sides.
3. Colour both sides of the bird.
4. With the scissors make a slit through the middle of the bird about 3cm long.
5. Fold the square of decorative paper back and forth like a concertina.
6. Slot this through the slit and gently pull the folded paper to make wings.
7. Make a hole along the back of the bird and thread through the elastic.
8. Hang the bird and pull gently to help the bird fly.

Potted gardens

Small plastic pots - those used for ice-cream are ideal
Permanent markers
Old plasticine or sand
Dried grasses, flowers and leaves


Send the children, in a safe area, to collect grasses, leaves, sticks and flowers.
The children can then push their 'finds' into the sand or plasticine to create a miniature garden.

Modelling Materials

Add one cup of soap flakes to 2 litres of water and a few drops of food colouring; whisk together.

Mix together a small packet of cornflour with a cup of water and a few drops of food colouring. As it is mixed, the texture goes through a variety of stages, all of which can be used.

Cornflour paste
This paste can be added to powder paint to make finger paint. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornflour with a little water to form a paste. Add 1 cup of water and cook to a custard consistency.

Mix the following together in a saucepan and heat for 4 - 5 minutes: 2 cups of plain flour, 1 cup of salt, 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar.

[ Source: VSO Books Working papers in Development series - - with kind permission to take over this publication on this Library for sustainable development and Basic Human Needs CD-Rom series]