So, right on cue at the start of the summer holidays, the rain comes. Stuck indoors and feeling the pressure to entertain? Something impressive, constructive, minimum effort, maximum results? Look no further than good old fashioned paper.
There a fantastic truckload of resources at your finger tips for even those with absolutely no arts and crafts know-how. They'll bag you major 'wow' points with the kids for managing something rather more impressive than a paper aeroplane. And they're all free. Simply print, cut and fold...
Patterns for Colouring is a regularly updated blog featuring free downloadable funked-up patterns to colour in, by top notch graphic designer Carton Hibbert. He was inspired to create the library of patterns following a lifetime's love of colouring, and two small boys to keep entertained and away from computer games.
Marshall Alexander is a Dutch 'paper engineer' (see image above) who provides a host of groovy monsters and creatures to print, cut and fold into 3-D models.For the more adventurous there are also blank model templates for you to decorate yourself.
In complete contrast, The Toymaker features traditional fairy-story style models for families to create together. Toymaker's creator, Marilyn Scott-Waters says, "Welcome to my odd, little world of paper toys, holiday cards, valentines, sun boxes, baskets and bags, origami and ephemera. My goal is to help grownups and kids spend time together making things. It is my wish to amuse and delight".
Origami Club does exactly what it says on the tin. All manner of paper folded goodness from animals, to furniture, clothes, spaceships, food, bugs, sea creatures, letters, numbers and a special section of things to make from newspaper. What I especially love about this site is that you can also print off your own Japanese paper.
Finally Canon's Paper Craft site seems to be a combination of all of the above, sitting somewhere between origami, sculpture and model making. From the easy model planes we've road tested (and given a big thumbs up) in our house, to the Taj Mahal. Hm, not quite up to that one just yet!