There's more to oatmeal than just a warm, fibrous meal. With a little creativity, oatmeal can be your new material for an arts and crafts project. Whether at school or at home, you can show kids how to use oatmeal to make unique, artistic creations.
Oatmeal makes for a sturdy clay that can be manipulated into various shapes and structures. To make oatmeal clay you need to combine 1 cup of raw oats, 2/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup water and optional food coloring to give your dough a color. The elements must be mixed well and then kneaded together until it reaches a sticky and sturdy consistency. Then, when the oatmeal clay is ready, kids can roll it around, make logs, balls or anything they want out of it.
This oatmeal craft idea is a twist on an art project that kids commonly do with glue and sand. To begin, kids are given a thick sheet of colorful construction paper and a container of liquid glue. Using the glue, kids draw a picture on their piece of paper. Before the glue has a chance to dry -- kids must act quickly! -- they pour raw oatmeal flakes over the paper so that the entire sheet is covered. Allow the sheets of paper to settle like this for a few moments. Then, have the kids shake off the excess oatmeal flakes and the remaining oatmeal is glued to the paper in the outline of your drawing. To make these glue pictures more colorful, you can add food coloring to various batches of oatmeal so that they liven up your picture.
Sunset jars are easy crafts for kids to make that will remind them of the colors of the sunset. Prepare four separate bowls of oatmeal and food coloring choices in yellow, pink, orange and purple. Then, have students add one color of food coloring to each bowl and mix up the oatmeal so that each bowl is a different color. The kids will then combine the colorful oatmeal into a glass jar in layers to resemble a sunset -- or sunrise. When they are finished they will be able to see oatmeal in stacked colorful hues through the glass jar.
Oatmeal Box Piggy Banks
After you use the oatmeal for a craft project, reserve the cannisters and show kids how to make something creative with them. Piggy banks are one idea for putting those empty oatmeal canisters to use. Students can decorate the outside of the can with colorful construction paper, markers, stickers and glue. They can even paste on a picture of an item that they want to save up money to buy, such as a new bike or a pet puppy. A slit is cut into the lid where kids can drop coins every time they make money doing chores or find loose change on the ground.
Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.