On one of our many rainy days recently, I blindly (and with no small amount of desperation) plunged my hand into a tub of craft supplies and pulled out a packet of coloured matchsticks. This sort of lucky dip is not uncommon for me, because otherwise my head spins with ideas of things to do with my kids (thank you Pinterest!) and it takes me ages to choose one! My strategy in this situation is to do a lucky dip and we then have to do some sort of activity/game/craft with whatever I pull out.
So, coloured matchsticks...
Don't you just love it when your mind, which was previously jammed full of ideas, suddenly empties out completely leaving you totally blank? What was I going to do with matchsticks?
Eden solved it for me: "Mum, let's make some sticky pictures!" (meaning pictures with sticks).
We grabbed some construction paper as it's sturdier than normal paper, some PVA glue, and a texta and got to work. I drew some simple shapes under the direction of my daughters, and they outlined the shapes with PVA. Then it was a simple matter of filling the lines in with the matchsticks.
This activity is good for developing fine motor skills, and can be used as a precursor to letter writing for preschoolers - just get them to 'trace' a large letter with the sticks. You could also use it to explore textures; I did a sample square for my girls, lining the sticks up in different directions to give a different textual experience (see below right).
We got about half an hour's worth of play from this activity. I think Eden would have been amenable to spending some more time making more pictures, but Ava got a bit hungry (read: grumpy) and we had to cut it short. Still, half an hour is not bad for a two year old!
I hope you have fun if you decide to give it a go with your kids! Thanks for reading, and happy playing ! ~ L.