6 “Crafty” Ways to De-Stress over the Holidays

Friday December 22, 2017
By Kumon Canada
Parenting Tips

The holidays are finally here! Time for some much needed rest. While time off might be enough for some adults to de-stress, children need to keep busy.  Crafting is an activity that requires periods of intense focus, not unlike meditation, a practice that organizations like the Mayo Clinic say has shown to reduce stress. Crafting might also get us into “flow states”, something Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi believes give us a sense of purpose. Finding an activity that can put you in such a state can elevate your mood and overall sense of well-being. 

But crafting is also fun! To help you get the most out of your time-off this holiday season, we put together a list of 6 crafts that are fun and give kids a visual way to think about math. Enjoy!

 

1. Modular Origami

Skill level: Advanced
Materials needed: Coloured construction or origami paper, ruler

Modular origami is a technique that can be used to build some pretty interesting and impressive models of mathematical objects. In modular origami, you combine multiple units folded from single pieces of paper into more complicated forms.

Try it here: Modular Origami Craft

 

2. Pencil Power

Skill level: Moderate
Materials needed: Pencils, rubber bands

How long can you make a pencil antenna before it topples over? Can you make a long pencil pointer and write with it? (How long can you make it before you lose control?) Can you make other buildings or geometric shapes out of pencils and rubber bands? Test your craftiness and find out!

Try it here: Pencil Power Craft

 

3. Threaded Icosihenagon

Skill level: Moderate
Materials needed: Plastic container lid, paper fasteners, thread

If you’re thinking, “what’s an icosihenagon”, that’s all the more reason to give this one a try! It’s simply a polygon with 21 sides and it can make for a beautiful decoration or ornament.

Try it here: Threaded Icosihenagon Craft

 

4. Symmetrical Aliens

Skill level: Elementary
Materials needed: Crayon, coloured paper, scissors, googly eyes, etc.

This lesson is based on symmetry so as far as teaching kids cool subjects, this one is perfect. In my opinion, there is nothing more pleasing to the ear than hearing a six year old explain symmetry, let alone saying it.

It’s a fun word…lots of syllables that when spoken correctly (or very near to it) earns a pretty respected look from parents and teachers. Kids LOVE this word.

So now turn the word into creepy, strange, whimsical ALIENs and you have one hour of pure joy on your hands!

Try it here: Symmetrical Aliens Craft

 

5. Hexagon Tree

Skill level: Elementary
Materials needed: Pencil, ruler, compass, construction paper, scissors, pipe cleaners

You can make a tree out of hexagons which get smaller in size as you build the tree from bottom to top. Use stiff green paper. You can make your hexagons with a compass and ruler.

Try it here: Hexagon Tree Craft

 

6. Fun with Möbius Strips

Skill level: Elementary
Materials needed: Paper strips, scissors, pencil, tape or glue, ruler (optional)

Have you ever made a Möbius strip? We’ve made simple ones before as part of our creative math learning explorations but a little blurb in a math games book inspired my 9 year old math whiz to take the Möbius strip to the next level. In case you don’t know what a Möbius strip is, it’s a one-sided non-orientable surface. In other words, it’s a surface with only one side. Sound crazy? It sort of is.

Try it here: Möbius Strips Craft


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