Red Ted Art – this blog by a crafty mum features a section where you can search for specific crafts, and also a huge array of crafty ideas – brilliant for when you’re looking for inspiration!
I particularly like the emphasis on natural materials; there are some beautiful ideas like these leaf lanterns and this handy list of nature crafts for autumn. Maybe it’ll inspire you to visit the Shipley Art Gallery to see the nature-inspired patterns featured on many of our ceramics, and then have a walk in nearby Saltwell Park to collect leaves and other natural materials?
The How To section includes some great tutorials, and there are also some handy videos. If you like this blog, you’ll love the Red Ted Art book which is available in the gift shop at the Shipley Art Gallery.
2. The Imagination Tree – this blog is also by a crafty mum, who is an Early Year’s teacher, meaning each activity is accompanied with an explanation about the child development benefits.
The 30 Day Hands on Play Challenge is full of great ideas for carving out time for creative play in your busy day, and you can sign up to receive emails with ideas for this and other crafting activities.
Activities are searchable by the child’s age group and the type of learning they support (e.g. literacy, numeracy, PHSE etc.)
As well as featuring creative activities, this blog has plenty of practical suggestions for making creative play at home really easy and practical – like having a stash of go-to resources that you can pull out at a moment’s notice, and loads of ideas for creating enticing creative spaces at home.
3. Family Explorers – this website contains everything you need to plan a brilliant day out to one of the North East’s family friendly attractions, including Shipley Art Gallery. You can leave a review of your visit, read what other families thought, and access fun tools to help with reviewing your day out. There’s also a section on discounts on venue entry and travel and if you sign up you can access all sorts of special offers.
4. Play Planner – this website has over 1,000 creative learning ideas and you can sign up to receive the free weekly Playplanner email which is packed with ideas for activities to try. The website has plenty of books available to buy; if you don’t want these it’s worth persevering with exploring the website, because it’s full of great ideas you can access for free.
You can search by learning area (e.g. language, arts and crafts, maths) and by festivals, helping you to do a creative activity relevant to the time of year. The section ‘The Garden Classroom’ includes some great ideas for outdoor creativity, and you can search by topic to find a whole load of themed activities, helping you to really delve into your child’s interests. I love the ‘Sensory’ section which includes things like lavender scented play doh, sensory tubs, ice, fizz and homemade chalk.
5. Attic 24 – this blog isn’t about children’s activities per se, but it’s a lovely, warm look at a love of crafting, which is inspiring in itself. From her rural home in the Yorkshire Dales, blogger Lucy shares her love of colours and crochet, describing her creative journey in a way that makes you feel you’re enjoying a relaxing country walk or sharing a cuppa with her. Her family’s forays into crafting projects regularly get a mention, painting a comforting picture of how creativity integrates with family life.
If you scroll back far enough you’ll find a blog post about the exhibition Blooming Marvellous – a life sized knitted garden which was on display at the Shipley Art Gallery between March and September 2015.