Merry-go-rounds are a classic addition to amusement parks or neighbourhood carnivals. Bring the fun of a carousel into your own home or classroom with engaging and kid-friendly merry-go-round crafts. Though young children may not be able to grasp the mechanical technicalities of functioning carousels, simple, colourful crafts that embrace the whimsy of merry-go-rounds are an age-appropriate alternative.
A simple cardboard merry-go-round is a realistic craft alternative to the real thing. If you are working with young children, prepare the cardboard bases for the carousels ahead of time by fitting two identical cardboard circles on the top and bottom of a paper towel tube. Invite the child to scan children's magazines for pictures of animals to serve as the merry-go-round horses. Skewers or Popsicle sticks are suitable poles for the animals, so help small children line up their animals and tape them to the sticks. The skewers pierce the top and bottom cardboard pieces, and children can paint or colour the cardboard circles to finish decorating their merry-go-round.
Merry-go-round horses are often elaborately adorned with golden manes or bejewelled bridles. Transform plain cutouts into decorated horses worthy of a carnival merry-go-round with a carousel horse craft. Online templates provide useful outlines for children. Older children may opt to draw their own carousel horses. Adhesive gems, glitter pens, yarn, rhinestones and watercolour paints provide children with a range of options for decorating their merry-go-round horses. For a three-dimensional twist, invite children to collect stuffed horses or figurines to decorate in class and create a display to show off their colourful creations.
Round craft hoops, like small plastic rings or wooden cross stitching hoops, serve as the frame for the top of a merry-go-round mobile. Children glue coloured images or magazine cut-outs to 6- to 8-inch long pieces of coloured yarn and then tie the pieces around the hoop. Small children will need supervision as they use a hot glue gun to attach a piece of felt or cloth to the hoop so that an inch-long border hangs over edge of the hoop. Glitter, paint or ribbons add colour to the top or sides of the mobile. An adult then pokes a hole through the top of the cloth and threads a piece of ribbon through the top so that it can be hung above a desk or bed.
Edible crafts engage children's love for art and food. Keep the project healthy with an apple and peanut butter merry-go-round craft. Each child receives an apple sliced in half width wise. Children then cut two to three drinking straws in half to serve as the carousel poles. Children may need assistance sticking the straws into the bottom piece of the apple and then securing the other half on the top of the straws. Peanut butter, or another sticky edible like honey, is spread on the backs of several animal shaped cookies. The sticky peanut butter holds the cookies to the straws to create an edible carousel craft.