Have you ever had a group of kids over to your house for a sleepover, or at least to baby-sit them for a few hours? If you did then, you would know how difficult it could be to capture their attention span. But to capture their interest is exactly what you should do lest you want to clean a whole lot of mess later.
One way to capture their interests is to make paper crafts. If you're having a group of boys over, then I suggest you try out some toy soldier patterns. You can buy some toy soldier patterns over the Internet, or you can just look for web sites and blogs—yes there are blogs devoted to paper crafts for children—for some free patterns. It will take you some time to really get to the free ones so do this before the planned sleepover or play date and print out them out.
Below is a listing and description of free toy soldier patterns.
- Freebies: Printable Paper Toy Soldiers Ornaments - This one is very easy to make and is suitable for pre-school children. All you need is lots of old toilet paper tubes, some glue, and scissors for cutting and paper for printing the patterns. Just print the patterns on regular paper and cut them out. If you want the toy soldiers to stand, use a card stock instead of regular paper. Once you have the cutouts, ask the boys to roll them into the toilet paper tube and secure with glue. For better results, show them how to do this, too.
- Toy Soldier Paper Dolls - This is project by Monica Garrett-Hughes. You have to download and print the two toy solider paper doll patterns on the site. If you're having pre-school boys over, you can modify the project to fit their level. You can make uniform-like drawings on the paper dolls and ask the boys to color them. Use card stock when you print the paper dolls so you can attach barbeque sticks on the back of the paper dolls and use them as paper puppets. Ask the boys to stage their own battle scene using the toy solider paper puppets. But if you want to go ahead and follow the project in its entirety, then do so. It will take a lot of preparation beforehand such as cutting trimmings and uniforms and creating the background for the project.
- Mary of the WACS: A cutout paper doll booklet of 1943.
If you're having pre-school girls over, then use the paper doll and dresses patterns from this page. There are different dresses for different weather conditions. There are also patterns for sleepy time clothes. This is a sure hit among girls. Just print them and cut them out.
Paper crafts are great way to catch children's attention and have them participate in group activity. It's also a nice bonding time for a parent and child. Make use of the web sites above for some quality time with your child or children.