Whether it's a rainy day and you need something to entertain the kids or you've been stuck inside for too long and want an artistic outlet to engage and educate young minds, papercrafting can help! It's great fun for the whole family, therapeutic and can really help with mindfulness too. Canon's Creative Park is a free online multi-faceted resource that allows anyone with a Canon printer to download hundreds of exciting papercraft projects. In particular the Family Fun Time section holds a bounty of stimulating options, including games, reward charts, mazes, maths aids, multilingual alphabets - to name just a few - so fire up the printer and let's get started!
- A printer – find out which printer is right for you
- Scissors/utility knife
- Glue stick and wood glue
- Ruler or set square
- Object with pointed tip
Everyone loves a board game, and Sugoroku gives you the chance to create your own. In this board game adventure, up to eight animal adventurers traverse through a range of habitats to find the treasure chest waiting at the finish. With dozens of blank spaces, parents (or children) can create bespoke steps and instructions for a uniquely personalised gaming experience. Why not add quiz questions or maths problems for your children to solve to bring an educational element to the fun?
Crafting tip: you can use ordinary paper to print the game, or try Matte Photo Paper for a more durable finish.
Fans of fairy tales will get a kick out of this paper puppet trio depicting Little Red Riding Hood, her Grandmother and the Big Bad Wolf. Once cut and folded as per the easy-to-follow instructions, these puppets can be customised with questions, riddles and jokes.
Crafting tip: Let your child use tweezers when picking up and attaching the small parts - not only will this lead to a neater finish but will help to improve their fine motor skills too.
As well as being great fun, Creative Park's papercrafts can also be an interactive way of sharing knowledge with your child. For example this rainbow-coloured windmill isn't just for playing with in the wind, it could be used as an education tool to explain how wind power works and the basic principles of transferring energy.
Crafting tip: be sure to fold and crease along the fold lines and add those all important curves before gluing.
Art and fashion lovers alike can be inspired to create t-shirts and tote bags with Creative Park's range of iron-on transfers, featuring animals, plants, pictograms and more. If you can't find anything that suits your taste, why not design your own for a totally original look? Simply create a picture to print onto Canon's Light or Dark Fabric Iron-on transfer paper and iron it onto a a fabric accessory of your choice.
Crafting tip: before spending money on new fabrics, try revamping your existing wardrobe first.
Tuck away anything from treats to trinkets in these crafty keep-safe boxes, in a range of charming designs such as cupcakes, ice cream, fruit and even vehicles. Once your children have made and filled their boxes, give them the choice of turning them into gifts for someone special, or simply savouring for themselves.
Crafting tip: use a dried-up ballpoint pen, stencil pen or other pointed object and ruler to score along the lines for sharper, neater folds.
Colouring in is one of the most calming and creative activities for children to do. It focuses the mind on the present and helps to quieten anxious and stressful thoughts. Alongside a bounty of brilliant colouring sheets – including this dinosaur piece for younger children – Creative Park holds a fun and varied collection of spot the differences, mazes, and dot-to-dots to keep your children entertained and encourage mindfulness.
Crafting tip: head to Creative Park's 'Play' section, within the 'Educational' area and you'll discover a wide selection of print outs to choose from.
Written by Natalie Denton