My mum always seemed to come up with great ideas to keep my sister and I amused on rainy days when we were growing up. One of my happy early craft memories was decorating paper doll chains and as I grew older, being allowed to use the safety scissors to cut them myself.
Younger children will have fun decorating the paper dolls but they might want you to help with some features to get them going. My son and his friend wanted faces drawn on before they got stuck into sticking. Older children can practise cutting with safety scissors and doing more detailed colouring in or glue on decorations.
Time: 10 minutes plus decorating time
Age: Under 5's, 5-10's
Scissors (safety children's scissors if they're doing the cutting)
Crayon, paints, felt tips, glue, tissue paper or anything you like for decorating.
Cut a sheet of A3 paper down the middle lengthways
Cut paper in half
Take one half and fold like a concertina
Once it's all folded, draw one half of a doll with the centre on the folded edge.
Draw right to the edges so that the dolls will join when you unfold
So that your dolls join, make sure there are a couple of touch points on the outer edge, at the hands and for girls at the skirt or boys at the feet.
Cut out your shape and unfold. If you want a longer chain then you can stick several together.
Your kids can decorate anyway they want. My son is only 2.5 years so he enjoyed sticking on pieces of tissue paper and older kids will enjoy colouring in more detail.
You don't have to restrict yourself to chains of boys or girls but could try angels, stars, butterflies or rabbits.