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Keeping the kids entertained over the holidays

Holidays are great although when you’ve got kids in tow it can be tricky to keep them entertained, not to mention expensive too! That’s why we’ve put together some kid friendly DIY projects utilising unwanted materials to help you keep the kids occupied over the holidays without spending a fortune.

Pallets

One of the most readily available materials out there is the humble pallet.

Generally you can pick them up for nothing and they are a great source of sound timber that would otherwise be burnt or thrown out. When sourcing pallets just be mindful of the fact that some pallets may have had undesirable items stored on them, so best to ask the place you are getting them from what was stored on them first. Also watch out for sharp nails and staples that may be sticking out. Pallets are great as a base for tree huts and the palings on them are generally made from hardwood, so they will last a long time outside. There are a huge number of projects you can do with them, from go-carts, planter boxes and tool boxes to cubby houses, bookshelves and chairs. For a lot of simple projects you’ll only need a handsaw, square, a sander and some paint for colour.

Teepee

Building a Tee Pee is a really simple project that will keep the kids occupied for hours both inside and out. You could use any number of materials to form the structure, like bamboo, tee tree or even 4 or 5 broom handles. Once you’ve got something for the structure, simply bunch the sticks together and tie together around the top with rope or piece of fabric.

Spread the sticks out evenly in a circular shape.

To cover the Tee Pee you could use a couple of old bed sheets, a drop cloth, even a tarpaulin or if you’re planning on keeping it outside you could grow a creeper around it that’ll soon create a secret garden space to play in.

Magnetic blackboard frame

An old window sash can make a great blackboard by simply swapping the glass out for a piece of painted MDF.

Take an old window sash and remove the glass. This can be done safely by laying the sash over a rubbish bin, placing an old towel over the glass and then tapping the glass out with a hammer or block of wood. If you want to paint the sash, then this is the time to do it.

To fill the window panels, purchase a piece of 5mm MDF (customwood) and cut to size.

Paint the board with the magnetic paint. Once dry apply a coat of blackboard paint and when dry slip into the frame.

Keep the MDF in place with picture frame tacks or small brads.

Planter boxes

Building a planter box is such a great project for the kids. Not only is it a very easy project to build, but also the kids can plant strawberries or whatever other type of plant they like. You can build these out of an old pallet or fence paling.

Take the timber you are using and cut 3 pieces to the same length. (1x bottom, 2x sides) Use 40mm galvanised flathead nails and nail through the bottom piece into the sides. Measure the piece required for the ends and cut to length. Nail in place through the sides and bottom. Drill a few drainage holes in the bottom

If using tanalised timber and planting edibles in the planter then its best to line the planter with polythene.