One of the fun things about being an art eduction student was scrounging around for interesting and free things to use for art making. Sometimes I'd find things online, like worksheets and origami patterns, and in dumpsters--I kid you not! I actually have taken art supplies like wood, and once, an unused 18'x24" drawing pad, from a trash bin. It helps living in a college town filled with art students who have no respect for the environment.
All these goodies need a home, and frankly, I'd be embarrassed if you saw my attic. There are so many items up there, branded with the "possible art project" tag. Mr. Geek doesn't go up there much, since he prefers being in a happy mood. By the way, does anyone need a box of cast-off spools of embroidery thread from a defunct t-shirt embroidery company?
Or better yet, an idea for how to use them?
As usual, I'm off topic. What I want to share are some ideas for making a boredom bag or box for your kids to use this summer. It's essentially a go-to resource for worksheets and self-guided arts/crafts projects. It can save your sanity!
I created one back in college to be used as an art teacher resource to have on hand for those kids who always finish their projects early and are looking for something to do. I took a scrapbook paper organizer bag
and devoted each pocket to some sort of art theme, like puppetmaking, animation, drawing, etc.Then I stocked this baby full of coloring pages and worksheets. This would be a great item to tote along to places like the doctor's office (am I being naive here?), long car trips and soccer games to occupy sideline siblings. I keep some scissors, tape, a glue stick, and markers/crayons in the boredom bag, along with other items, as detailed below:1. Paper dolls, puppets, cut outs.
Many of the items in this area were taken from museums and nature preserves, which often have free worksheets for kids. I save them and include them in the bag, since you'd rather visit the exhibits at those places instead of sitting around coloring.
2. Paper bags, for impromptu puppet-making, blank cardstock for impromptu card-making.
3. Postcards which I save from mailings or collect when out and about and you stumble upon a place with free ones. They're great for cutting up for collage or playing sorting games (people, places, things).
4. Coloring pages of famous paintings
5. Mad Libs books! So fun!
6. More art worksheets found online. Education.com and The Incredible Art Department have some good ones. I also have a few of the Anti-Coloring books, which I love.
They have a partial drawing that your kids can complete. The porthole sheet in the photo below is from one of those books. You fill it in by drawing the fish that might be in there.
I also love this sheet below, where you can design a floor plan for a house.
I was, and still am, dorky about these things. I love designing rooms, both on paper and in real life. You can also have some big sheets of paper to have kids draw treasure maps or fantasy maps. And of course, a stack of origami paper fits wonderfully into the bag.
There are so many more things to add to a boredom bag or box. Dollar Store Crafts has an cute and cheap idea for a Boredom Buster Art Box one that you can set up for summer. Create and enjoy!