Contact is one resource that I make sure we always have on hand. It ticks all the boxes – it’s versatile (as you will see), I create lots of activities with it to appeal to the different ages of my children (aged 2,4 and 6) and it is inexpensive.
Some of our favourite activities designed to encourage children to “think outside the box” as they create with contact include:
1. Contact covered blocks.
One way to mix it up with wooden blocks is to secure clear contact (sticky side facing out) to wooden blocks. Wrap the contact around the blocks (sticky side facing out) and then use a small amount of tape to hold the contact in place. Add some craft supplies and let your imagination run wild as you make all sorts of creations.
Some materials to add use with contact covered blocks include: wool (older children can cut this to the desired length they require), pieces of foam (once again, some fine motor skills can be strengthened by cutting this into the desired shapes), feathers, pom poms, straws, buttons, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, coloured sticks, ribbon and lace.
Older children enjoy cutting the materials into different shapes and lengths for their creations.
Miss Six created the block family featured below. I love the sweet details such as the fringe on the third character with a set of red pipe cleaner wings.
Some more contact covered block creations:
My children enjoying winding pipe cleaners around their fingers to make “curly tails” like the set featured in the photo below.
We have also had some fun creating themed contact covered block creations such as a Christmas scene.
2. Contact Fairy House (this same concept could be applied to make a pirate ship, a teepee or a host of other creations.)
The preparation to make a contact fairy house involved: cutting out a roof for a fairy house as well as another large piece of contact. There was also some fairy pictures, stickers and wands provided so that they could be used to decorate the fairy house.
To make the contact fairy house we went out into our garden and collected leaves, flowers and twigs. We then came inside and my daughter applied the leaves to the contact roof (already cut). We had looked at various pictures of fairy houses as inspiration.
Once my daughter finished sticking leaves onto the fairy roof we secured the roof to the contact (with clear tape). We added some twigs to complete the house as well as some fairy themed embellishments.
This made a lovely fairy house that was very much enjoyed as we used it as the scene for many fairy stories involving fairy puppets and figurines.
3. Contact Party Hats and Birthday Cake
We have lots of birthday celebrations for favourite toys in our home. One easy way to create a festive feel is to make some fun party hats. Covering party hats in clear contact (sticky side facing out) is a mess free way to transform a plain hat into something fancy.
An invitation to decorate contact covered party hats (clear contact secured to the hat with the sticky side facing out):
The materials used here included: cupcake wrappers, coloured straws, pom poms, feathers, ribbon and circle stickers.
One of the reasons contact works so well is that it is a resource that can be used by younger children and older children. It’s easy to modify experiences to suit different ages.
Here are some of my son’s favourite pooches decked out in their finest party hats.
Add some birthday cakes (shoe boxes also covered in clear contact – with the sticky side facing out – and decorated) and you are ready to have a toy party.
4. Bottle Top Creations
Use contact as a blank canvas to create unique creations that inspire children to think in creative ways. Creating with recycled materials, such as bottle tops is perfect for this.
Supply bottle tops and invite children to create a picture using mostly bottle tops. You might like to add some extra pieces to add to the creations, items such as feathers, pom poms, paint cards and coloured paper.
Gotta love a material that can be easily used by children of three different ages in three different ways.
Some bottle top inspired creations:
My two year olds bottle top creation:
5. Collage – Textured and Themed
Contact is a great resource for younger children to use to create their very first collage and you can easily enhance the sensory experience by providing different textured materials.
Possible materials to use when creating a contact collage (age appropriate materials need to be carefully considered): pictures, honeycomb craft mesh, different textured pieces of fabric, coloured foam sticks, foam stickers, feathers, flowers (fake or real), pieces of wool and yarn, textured coloured pieces of card.
You may like to gather and supply materials according to a theme.
Themed collages could include:
* Natural resources – flowers, leaves, shells, sand.
* Soft materials – soft fabrics, feathers, pom poms,
* Pick a letter, for example create a collage with materials starting with P – pom poms, patty pans, pink paper, paper, pipe cleaners.
* Sparkly collage – sprinkle some glitter, add some foil, sequins, maybe some sparkly gift wrap or some shiny bows.
Contact certainly is a versatile resource, it’s one of those materials that is handy to have and lots of fun to create with.