Printer Fun for Kids
We often think of our computer and printer as an office tool which is meant for work and work alone. You may use your printer for a shopping list, homework or to print documents and emails. You have probably never considered having fun with your kids and printer. You can show the real versatility of your computer and printer to your kids by trying some of our fun projects. They are cheap, easy and will provide you with hours of fun!
Write a book
Creating a story with your kids can be a great way to have fun together and create a keepsake which you can hold on to for years. This doesn’t have to be a novel, it can be a short fun story which you can add pictures to and print out. Prompt your kids to think of a character and let them conjure up all sorts of adventures this character could have.
A very simple way to entertain your kids is to search online for “colouring pages”. You will find lots of simple outlines of all sorts of images. Some parents may think that colouring books are old fashioned, but they are a great way to teach children about colours, shapes and space. Save them to your desktop, print them out and let your kid’s imagination run wild. Ensure you show your children the process of finding the images and printing them as this is half the fun! If you want to save ink, make sure you print the outlines in draft mode. If you want more defined bold outlines set your printer settings to ‘high quality’.
Little girls love to dress up dolls in all shapes and sizes. You can draw a simple outline of a person either on your computer or on paper and scan it in. Let your child add features to the doll and then print the doll out on your printer. It is a good idea to ensure you print the doll out in high quality, unlike printing colour pages; this is not a place to save on your printer ink. Next, design some clothes on the computer for your doll. This is simple, design some simple clothing shapes and let your child fill them in with colour or more elaborate designs and patterns. Programs like paint be will ideal for this project. Finally, print out the clothes and attach them to the doll!
If you have an older child, designing a calendar together can be a great project. Firstly, select some pictures together; these can be fun pictures you find on the internet or some family photographs. Next, design a layout for the calendar, there are many templates available on Microsoft Publisher and Apple iPhoto. Once you have chosen a picture for each month and added them to your calendar, you are ready to print the calendar. If possible, print the calendar on good quality glossy or matt photo paper and either bind it together or keeps the sheets separate to hang on the wall.
Make your own stickers
If you have some blank label sheets for your printer you can easily design and print your own stickers. You can choose some of your favourite images or even draw ones of your own. Let your child draw some pictures and scan them in to the computer, then print them out on stickers. Kids can use their stickers on CD’s, notebooks, school bags and various other items. This is a great way to make a lasting impression of your child’s artwork.
Scrapbooking is a great product for older children as it is quite involved. If they enjoy this it can be a hobby that continues into adulthood. Let your kids make their very own scrapbook. Firstly, begin by searching for some good scrapbook templates on the internet or your photo editing program. Once you have found some templates, find pictures and decorative borders you can include. Finally select the family photos you would like to include and get scrapbooking!
Make a 3D model
This is for the older children as it can be quite complex. Search online for 3D models that you can print out. There are some good ones from the Star Wars series. You can print out various parts of the model, cut each one out and with some very careful folding and gluing you can have a realistic looking model made out of just paper.
A fun way to use your printer and challenge both yourself and your kids is to print out some origami patterns. You can find lots of these on the internet. Sometimes the written instructions can be confusing so a printed page with folding instructions will be better, especially for beginners.
Make a mask
Let your child design a mask on the computer. Design a simple and basic outline for the mask and then let your child add their own design or pictures. Once you child has their mask just how they want it, print it out. Punch some holes on both sides and add some string to tie it on with and you will have an instant mask!
This is a very simple project which can provide hours of fun. You will need some thicker paper or card for this one. Search online for some playing card images, print them out then cut them out. You could even come up with your own card game or design your own pictures and scan them.