Around our house we have a lot of different “Imagination Stations”.  I want my kids to have plenty of alternatives to video games, and am especially fond of activities that encourage maximum use of imagination.  There are stations for crafts, books and reading, puzzles, music, and building things.  There’s more fun to be had outside now that the weather is nice, but when the weather isn’t so great, or the kids have already had hours of outdoor fun and still want to keep playing inside, play areas with boxes of “things-to-do” SURE come in handy!  Very often, they keep my kids busy for hours.  Here’s one such box of fun, filled with craft foam and kid-safe scissors.

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I keep a mix of regular craft foam sheets and scraps on hand, as well as adhesive backed craft foam.  I like that my kids can stick pieces together if they want to, and I don’t have to worry about the gluey mess to clean!  Now, how about a few project ideas that you can make with craft foam?

Puppets

After watching a mermaid cartoon one afternoon, my daughter went to the craft foam box and started cutting out mermaid tails.  She asked for help cutting some torsos.  Of course, she had to make a mer-man for her brother at school because she didn’t want him to miss out on the fun :-) .

Get the mermaid template here:

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Lots of colder days were spent incorporating the mermaids into play scenarios with her other dolls, or in their own little puppet shows.

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Now that the weather is nice, the mermaids are having more adventures than ever…

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And they’re often found indoors hiding in various houseplants… er…. seaweed.

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When my son came home from school on the day we made the mermaids, he “dove” right in (excuse the pun!) and started making his own characters.  He kindly informed me that this one is the video game character, Sonic.

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We stuck all of the characters onto paper straws.  The ones my son created either “chase” each other, or do battle with his other action figures.  No mermaid play for him!

Since we have other random things around the house, we try and see how we can incorporate those into our craft foam projects.

Maracas

For Cinco de Mayo, we made some maracas with left-over plastic eggs from Easter.  We used painters tape to wrap around the center seam of the egg and around a plastic spoon once we had filled the egg with some dried beans or rice (details here).  Craft foam sticker shapes complete most of our fun projects.   We used a paper punch to cut little circles out of the various stickers.

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When you incorporate random objects with the craft foam (like we did with our plastic egg maracas), imaginations really unfold!  Here’s a random “extra” that practically every home has: toilet paper tubes.  They can become many things, but a super simple way to put one to use is by turning it into…

A Rocket

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Just cut a piece of foam large enough to wrap around and cover the tube, and then cut a circle shape out of the foam (after tracing a lid onto the foam to get the shape).  Cut the circle in half, and use one semi circle for the cone shaped top.

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Take one semi-circle, peel off adhesive backing, and fold into a cone shape, overlapping slightly so one end sticks to the other.

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Press the bottom of the cone to one end of the foam-covered TP tube.

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Once again, decorate with foam stickers.

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For the rocket ship, we had some pre-cut sunburst shapes, which got cut in half for the “fire” that comes out of the bottom.  Circles and hearts became the tops for mermaids.  The sticker shapes are also useful for decorating water bottles and …

Book Marks

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The re-usable wrap for the water bottle (secured at the back with self-adhesive velcro tabs) can become a cuff bracelet for a princess, or cuff for a little super hero when snack time is over.  (Get details on making the water bottle wrap here).  The options for switching up the design to go with any holiday or theme are endless!

Water Bottle Wraps

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You can add craft foam to a straw to make a

Silly Sipper

(mustache template here)….

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Or follow the basic directions for the rocket and get a jump on making some holiday decorations for the 4th of July!  Here I have them on the wall on either side of a picture:

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And here they are in an outdoor plant:

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No matter how you put it to use, there are hours of fun to be had with Craft Foam!

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Have ideas to share?  What kind of “Imagination Stations” do you have around the home or classroom for children?  Please share in the comments below!

Imagination Station Fun Craft Foam Projects for Kids

Here’s to many hours of imaginative, crafting fun!

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12 Comments
COMMENTS
  1. May 9th, 2013 at 7:39 pm
    Kristen S- Craft Gossip says:
    These are all great ideas! Just posted on Craft Gossip!

    http://lessonplans.craftgossip.com/?p=8078
    • May 13th, 2013 at 10:16 pm
      Stephanie says:
      Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Kristen!
  2. May 10th, 2013 at 10:37 am
    Missy says:
    Cute Stephanie! I have paper and markers (washable) an stickers in a box to pull out, but hadn't thought of craft foam...I'll have to try that!
    • May 10th, 2013 at 7:42 pm
      Nicolette says:
      My daughter will love those mermaids! I can just forsee all of the fabulous imaginary conversations!
      • June 1st, 2013 at 7:41 pm
        Stephanie says:
        I love the imaginary conversations! To make it easier, I just added a template for the mermaids.
  3. May 10th, 2013 at 4:51 pm
    Susan Lindeman says:
    Love the mermaids (and merman!) Any templates to share for them?
    • June 1st, 2013 at 7:17 pm
      Stephanie says:
      Hi Susan-

      Thanks for asking! A mermaid/merman template has been added, as per your request. Enjoy!
  4. May 15th, 2013 at 7:59 am
    Linnlee says:
    I love this imagination station! What kind of other stations do you have?
    • June 1st, 2013 at 7:34 pm
      Stephanie says:
      Hi Linnlee,

      Around our house we have the standard box of legos, a big hit with both of my kids (and most kids!) and recently, we added a box of large multicolored beads with different shapes from stars to hearts to animals. Along with some elastic string, that box has created hours of fun for both my son and daughter. My daughter wears her creations, while my son makes things for his mom or sister or grandma, or just for the fun of stringing the beads. We have an "imagination station" containing paper,colored pencils, markers, crayons, stickers, and scissors. We have scraps of fabric, ribbons, and buttons to use. There are containers of musical instruments (also encourage kids to make their own with random empty food containers) and special cubbies with books, puzzles and board games. Encourage kids to make up a new game. I have also saved empty yogurt containers, boxes, empty toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes, and have had my kids create many new things from those objects.
  5. May 17th, 2013 at 5:42 am
    99 Crafting says:
    Those are great foam craft ideas! I used to collect folders and draw mermaids and cut them out each to be made as paper mermaid dolls, but I never thought that they can be created through foam as puppets.
    • June 1st, 2013 at 7:39 pm
      Stephanie says:
      Thanks for sharing your memories, 99 crafting!

      Mermaids are timeless :-)

      By using the durable craft foam, the life of the paper dolls/puppets is extended greatly. My daughter has had hers for quite a while and they keep getting dragged out and played with over and over again.
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