Grand idea for a thread! I'm a sahm of three and am always willing to try new crafty things with the kids. I do have a few suggestions to add to the ones that are already here. We've had a great time making concrete stepping stones for the garden (and they make great grandparent gifts!) with handprints and small trinkets like Legos (ok, that one wasn't the brightest idea ever...those things never feel good to step on!), marbles, aquarium gravel, bottle caps (teeth-side down of course...and yeah, this one was one my husband did ), glitter (no, it doesn't last long, but it looks cool while it's there!), shark's teeth (my son's idea..we just made sure we imbedded them in the concrete very well!), shells. The boy made a "fossil" one for my dad a couple of years ago. He laid leaves, shells, branches, etc. in the concrete, then pulled them off after the concrete had a chance to set up a little. It turned out very cool.
My older daughter made this very cool mobile thing a few years ago using pony beads and jingle bells. I bent a piece of colored wire into a small circle and she helped tie on different lengths of string, then strung the beads and bells on the string. It hung from her ceiling until a few months ago when we had to take it down to make room for a canopy. And my son and I made a flashlight lighthouse yesterday out of a sports bottle for his room (a nautical/surf theme). My little one (16 months) has recently discovered the joy of markers and refuses to touch crayons anymore, so we're in the process of making a set of placemats. Oh yeah...one really fun thing my older daughter made last year was a butterfly mobile. She drew outlines of butterflies with a permanent marker, then colored with washable markers. Then we coated the back of the paper with baby oil to make it transparent, let it dry and cut them out, punched a hole in the top of each and tied them on a wire circle with fishing line. She added some embellishments like sequins and glitter to some of them and some beads to the fishing line as well. It turned out very pretty and oh so sparkly. It was a gift tho and I forgot to take a photo of it before we sent it, I'll have to see if she wants to make another one.
This summer I'll be teaching the older girl-child to sew some simple things and they'll be constructing their own journals (w/ some sheets of handmade paper) to use as a nature/summer journal. We have a Midsummer celebration every year for a bunch of little ones so we've been trying to figure out what all the kids could make there. There's a range of ages to appease so it's quite the challenge. Pinwheels maybe, or pipe cleaner bubble blowers...last year we made necklaces and glowstick fireflies out of soda bottles and foam sheets.
I love the idea about the wooden frames! I had kind of a duh moment when I read that...I have bought those and decorated them myself, why didn't I think of the kids doing it before? I'll definitely have to pick some up for them. I may have to use that idea this year for Midsummer, too!
Ok, none of this stuff was particularly inventive or original, but the kids had fun doing it.
I look forward to more posts on this topic.