Manufacturers typically recommend keeping matchsticks away from children, but in this case, kids can use matchsticks to create a variety of crafts. Kids will have a blast making projects with these forbidden items. However, make sure to clip the combustible ends off of the matchsticks before allowing your kids to work with them.
Toy Fish Bowl
Your kids can create a toy fish bowl from an oatmeal tube with a lid. Cut a deep "U" in one side of the tube using a razor blade or scissors to make a deep "window" to view the fish. Have the kids paint the inside of the clean tube using water-diluted glue. Press blue scrapbook paper onto the tube for the water background. Kids can then create their own fish from heavy construction paper. Puncture a hole in the top of the fish and tie it onto a string. Thread the string through a hole in the lid and tie the extra string onto a matchstick over the hole to keep the fish swimming in his tank. Cover the opening in the tube with blue plastic wrap for a window to see your construction paper fish.
Kids can make a bluebird using two polystyrene balls and matchsticks. Skewer two polystyrene balls on opposite ends of a matchstick. Kids should paint the polystyrene balls with blue acrylic paint. Put glue on the balls before the kids completely press them together. Use matchsticks to poke holes on either side and three on the back of the bottom ball. Poke another hole into the top ball. Have kids put glue on the ends of six blue feathers, and insert them into the holes. They then glue on wiggle eyes and poke a piece of matchstick into the face for the beak. Cut a final matchstick in half and put them in the front of the bottom ball to keep the balls upright.
Make a bouquet of lilies using white construction paper and your child's handprint. Have kids trace their handprints onto white construction paper. While you are cutting out the handprints, kids should color a matchstick green using markers. Kids can wrap the handprints into a cone shape and tape the cone securely together. They can curl the paper fingers back to form petals. Wrap the center of a yellow pipe cleaner around the matchstick and curl the ends to make the flower's stem. Drop the matchstick into the hole in the handprint cone. Kids can make a bouquet of these flowers to use in an Easter centerpiece.
Your kids can also make a litter of piglets with pink balloons. Have kids blow the balloons up a little bit and tie off the ends. The tied end will be the tail of your piglet. Kids tape the lid of a soda bottle onto the front of the balloon to make the nose. Cover white lids with pink construction paper. Cut a matchstick into quarters and glue them to the base for your pig's feet. Have kids cut out triangles from pink construction paper with safety scissors and tape them onto the balloon for ears. They can then draw eyes onto the balloon with black markers to finish their pig.
Brooke Bowers has been a professional writer since 2006. She writes fiction novels as Bela Valentine. Her first novel, "The SoulKeeper," was published in 2009 and her work has appeared in "The American Poetry Society" and "The Pegasus Society of Poets" anthologies. Brooke is attending East Tennessee State University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English.