Working on projects together can help strengthen your relationship with your child, but sometimes it’s difficult to come up with ideas for enjoyable bonding craft activities. These three projects are fun to make and will produce items that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Homemade Fire Starters
If you enjoy camping, this craft will come in handy when it’s time to settle around the campfire. These homemade fire starters are made from materials found around the house, and with help, can be made by kids as young as 5 years old.
- Toilet paper rolls
- Brown paper
- Dryer lint
- Have your child stuff each toilet paper roll with dryer lint.
- Show your child how to roll the toilet paper rolls in brown paper.
- Use the string to tie and close the brown paper at each end of the toilet paper roll. If your child can tie a bow, hold the toilet paper roll and ask your child to tie the bows. If your child can’t tie, have your child hold the toilet paper roll while you tie the bow.
Homemade Seed Pots
This project is perfect for dads and kids that like to garden. These biodegradable seed pots are made from toilet paper rolls, so they’re very eco-friendly.
- Toilet paper rolls
- Potting soil
- Shorten your toilet paper rolls by cutting them in half.
- Cut four slits in the bottom end of the toilet paper rolls, then fold the two tabs formed by the slits to make a bottom.
- Place potting soil in the tubes.
- Put seeds in the soil.
Cover the seeds with plastic wrap and place them in a plastic tube. Keep them covered and moist until the seeds start to grow. When they sprout, turn on a shop light just a few inches above the soil and keep the light on for 16 hours each day until the weather outside is warm enough for the seeds to be planted.
Pinewood Derby Car
Pinewood derby cars are like a rite of passage for boy scouts, which makes them a perfect project for father and son. There’s not one specific way that pinewood derby cars have to be made, so when making your pinewood derby car, you can take liberties with the design. Let your child give input throughout the process so the resulting creation will be a joint effort.
- Block of pinewood
- Band saw
- Acrylic paint
- Paint brush
- Four plastic wheels and two axles
- Several small nails
- Use the band saw to cut your block of pinewood into the shape of a car body. You can either design the car body yourself, or you can find car designs online.
- Use the rasp and sandpaper to soften the edges and sand the grainy parts of the block, so the surface is smooth.
- Attach the axles to the bottom of the car. This can be done in different ways, depending on the types of wheels and derby car you’re building, but typically the axles consist of two wooden strips (one in the front and one in the back) attached to the bottom of the derby car.
- Paint the body of the pinewood block with acrylic paint. Paint the block so that it appears to be a car with a windshield, passenger windows and other typical car features.
- Nail the wheels to the axle. Use nails that are small enough to fit through the holes in the plastic wheels. If the nails are a tight fit, use graphite to reduce the friction between the wheels and the car body.
Making these crafts and similar projects with your children can strengthen your relationship and create fond memories. You can solidify these memories with framed pictures or shadow boxes. As time passes, the kind of activities you work on with your child will change. Having a beautifully framed record of these specific events may be very important in the future.