If your child lives in a world full of magical fairies, fierce dragons or enchanting princesses, incorporate her imagination into craft time to encourage even more creative exploration. By the time you're finished with these crafts, your home will be covered in fantasy artwork, your recycling box will be empty and snack time will never be the same again.
Help prepare your youngster for his fantasy adventures by stocking the playroom with plenty of handmade costume accessories. You can make a king's or queen's crown from a strip of cardboard -- just cut to shape, help your child cover it with aluminum foil, decorate with paint or foam shapes, and staple or glue the ends together. Tiaras are another simple children's craft. Start by folding a piece of felt in half and cut a 3- or 4-pointed tine shape through both layers. Glue the felt around an ordinary headband and decorate with fabric paint. Your young prince or knight can transform an ordinary bed sheet into a cape. Cut it to size for him and let him decorate the fabric with child-safe fabric paint and puffy paint. You can make princess hats from construction paper cones, a knight's shield from cardboard or magic wands from wooden dowels and ribbon.
Encourage your youngster to care for the environment with activities that utilize items destined for the trash bin or recycling box. You can make a simple, little castle for your child's dolls from an empty rice box, or wow her with a fort-size castle instead. Start with an old stove- or dryer-size box, then cut out ramparts along the top, and doors and windows from the sides. Now you and your young artist can paint the castle and add any adornments you can imagine. If dragons are more your child's style, make one from an old egg carton to decorate the dining table. Cut off the lid and cut the bottom into a dozen individual cups. Flip the cups over, join them together with chenille sticks and decorate with non-toxic paint and construction paper features.
No child's dinner table chair is complete without a royal chair covering. Make one from a pillowcase by writing “King,” “Queen” or the title of your child's choice across one side with a sparkly fabric pen. Decorate with a felt crown, embellished with metallic or sparkly paint dots, and complete the cover with a simple ribbon trim. You can also help your kiddo make fantasy-themed coasters from craft foam cut in wing, shield and princess hat shapes. During the holidays, or any time of the year, make adorable salt dough ornaments to hang around the home. Help your child mold these by hand or press them into candy or modeling clay molds, dry thoroughly and decorate with non-toxic paint.
Your little princess or fairy might be hungry, but that's no reason for craft time to end. Introduce your youngster to gastronomical creativity with a variety of crafts in the kitchen. You can make pretzel rod fairy wands by dunking the pretzels in lukewarm candy melts and then dipping the snacks in colored sugars. Fantasy-themed sugar cookies are a simple treat; just mix up the batter and cut into your child's favorite shapes. Bake and decorate with royal icing and sprinkles. For a healthier snack, cut slabs of melon into the fantasy shapes instead. Incorporate a little art into craft time, too, by filling a pastry bag with peanut butter, room temperature cream cheese or cheese spread. Let your child explore her artistic side by squeezing the bag to decorate slices of bread or slabs of fruit.