During the school holidays I am always looking for something that all four of my kids can do together. Something that is interesting enough to entice the nine year olds, fun for the 6 year old, and easy enough for the three year old to join in without driving everyone insane.
Often we rely on our old faithful friend Lego, which everyone plays with for extended periods without too many arguments. Play dough is another activity that all of my kids enjoy, yes, even the nine year olds love a bit of play dough, though they would never admit it! Imaginative play often goes down well when everyone is getting along.
Simple, timeless, art activities also work well. Even when we are all getting on each others nerves a little, as long as each child has their own space to create, art is a great activity for everyone to do together, and that is what we went with this afternoon.
I took the ‘own space’ idea to the extreme today and plonked a pile of triangles and some markers on the table and told them to draw, colour, write and decorate in any way they wanted and later we’d turn the triangles into little flag bunting!
That was all the encouragement they needed and soon the demand for triangles outstripped my ability with the ruler and scissors so I whipped up a quite printable template to make my life easier. You can download the template here if you have a bunch of budding bunting makers!
It was so much fun to see how each of my kids decorated their flags. We had monsters, spots, chickens, puff-balls, rainbows, Frankenweenie, hearts, fish and more.
Before long I had a growing pile of one of a kind paper flags, so I started sewing.
Sewing your own paper bunting is super easy. Start by pulling some thread through your machine so you have a good length before the first flag. Then just feed in your first flag and sew along the top edge. Feed your next flag in just as you finish the first one and keep going until you have sewn all your flags in a long line. Then sew a little longer to get a good length of thread at the end and you are done.
Now you just need to find somewhere to hang your collaborative work of art!
What activities do you break out when you have to entertain a variety of ages?
Find more fun drawing activities here.
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Nae peters says
They’ve done well, looks great hanging up there
Eva @ The Multitasking Mummy says
Oh I just love bunting! I never thought of using the sewing machine though, will do this next time as I know heaps of things we can make bunting for :).
Kate - An Everyday Story says
I am a HUGE bunting fan…verging on obsessive ;) What a gorgeous collaborative piece of art your littles made :) And I love your lovely rural view through the window.
Love this, will be doing this at the weekend in the wet and windy UK!
I didn’t even think about sawing paper bunting. That’s such a cool and simple idea. They’d look so lovely in the girl’s cubby house!
I love this bunting Kate, looks just gorgeous hanging up.
Oh… I LOVE it! I have been planning a birthday banner, but this is better :) What a great idea!!!
Love it. Pinned it.
Danya Banya says
Love it! Would be a great collaborative party idea, especially if you did it at the start of the party and were able to duck off to sew it up and hang it by the end. Pinning!
[email protected] Little Bookcase says
This is beautiful. I love that your kids worked together on this. This would work really well as a collaborative story too.
Ike is not really old enough to help Cam, but she’d love to create one of these for her cubby house verandah.
I might just have to hole punch mine because I don’t have or know how to use a sewing machine.
Julie - Ladybug's Spots says
What a good idea. I have always loved the fun look of buntings hanging in a room but never got around to finding and buying some …glad for that now as I would much rather hang some up crafted by the littlies!
Gorgeous! It looks great hanging up and so nice that all the kids worked on it together. :)
Elise @ Creative Play Central says
I sat nodding and saying “aha” through the beginning of your post – I relate to everything you said about experiences which are enjoyable for children of different ages. Lego, Playdough and imaginative play are some of our favourite activities too.
The bunting makes me smile – so colourful and fun. I love that it is a collaborative piece of art and now your family and friends who visit can enjoy it.
This is such a gorgeous idea Kate. I love that all your children could get involved and it only requires simple sewing! How wonderful would these be in the classroom too!
[email protected] says
I would never have thought of sewing paper bunting…genius! Am programming at the moment (can’t you tell ;) ) and this will work perfectly for some of my older kids as a quiet time activity..very excited about this, have pinned of course !
[email protected] says
oh…and bless you for doing up a printable! I really hate drawing and cutting triangles!
Judy Lyon says
I love this idea! And I hope to connect it to our church (where we are located) in two ways – I will ask our Tuesday morning sewing group to help sew it together and then I would try to display the flags in the church area where the congregation can see it!