If you've been home schooling during the pandemic the chances are that you'll be searching around for things to keep the kids entertained over weekends and the long summer holidays, having used all your go-to activities and new ideas over the past twelve months.  The good news is that kids are generally quite easily entertained, and if they really connect with an activity they'll be happy spending hours, even days working on a project.

 

Jewellery making is an activity that is ideal for kids of any age – the only difference is the materials you use.  Smaller children can use pasta shapes, glue, glitter and string to make fun jewellery while older children can experiment with beads, spare necklace chains, ribbons and modelling clay.  You can even use old clothing as the basis for jewellery – wrapping a length of large beads in fabric, tying a knot between each bead, creates a quirky and fun necklace that can be made in any colour or pattern.  Whatever the age of your children, making jewellery stimulates their creativity and helps practice and refine fine motor skills, all while helping them explore and develop their personal style.

 

Pinterest has some great examples of jewellery made from all manner of materials, so this is a fantastic place to get inspiration.  Encourage kids to create a mood board of ideas, looking at colours and textures they like from flipping through magazines or browsing the internet before they make a decision on materials.  If you have pieces of jewellery you don't wear any more, such as beaded bracelets and necklaces then turn them over to the kids so they can up cycle the materials into something they would love to wear.  Check your sewing box for pretty buttons, embroidery floss and ribbons that can be used as well.

 

You can pick up supplies quite cheaply online – lengths of leather strap, beads, clasps and charms can all be found easily and made into beautiful creations.  Learning to plait friendship bracelets is a skill we can all remember from our childhoods and it's still just as appealing to kids today – after they've been separated from their friends for a while, they will love to make each other friendship bracelets and necklaces they can wear as a reminder when they can't see their friends in person.

 

Encourage older children and teens to have a look at professional jewellery and have a go at some easier metalwork techniques.  The wire wrapping technique is easy to do, but looks stunning, making it the perfect way for arty teens to get into jewellery making.  Earring backs, brooch backs and various styles of necklace clasps can be bought in bulk for a good price, allowing them the freedom to experiment with lots of different styles.  If they really take to it then you can look at investing in some tools and materials for trying out embossing, metal cutting and punching, and who knows, they might go on to become a famous jewellery designer?