This section is from the book "How To Help The Shut-In Child: 313 Hints For Homebound Children", by Margery D. McMullin. Also available from Amazon: How To Help The Shut-In Child: 313 Hints For Homebound Children.
105. Finger paints are always fun. Remember that they should be used on shiny surfaced paper-white shelf paper will do nicely.
106. You can make your own finger paints quite simply. Cream 1 cup of Linit starch and 1/2 cup of cold water. Add 1.5 cups of boiling water and & cup of soap flakes, then 1 tablespoon of glycerine. When the mixture is cool, color with food coloring tablets or with poster paints. Be sure to keep the mixture in tightly closed bottles or jars, to prevent spoilage.
107. Have you run out of water-color paints and are you far from a store? Make paint from shavings of crayons. Add enough noninflammable cleaning fluid to cover the shavings, and let them stand for a few minutes until they dissolve.
108. Colored crepe paper makes a good paint substitute. Place in a small dish with a little water; let it stand until the water has absorbed the color.
109. For a change from regular paints, why not try nail polish of various colors? If it is too thick to handle, thin it with nail polish remover.
110. A feather instead of a paint brush is fun. No chickens in your back yard? Then ask your butcher to save a few feathers for you.
111. Paper bags are good for drawing or painting when the side seams are cut open and the bag is flattened out. Bags are suitable for the younger child, whose art work is usually lavish with paper.
112. Some very nice designs, similar to those made by block printing, can be produced with thin water paint and raw vegetables. Cut the vegetables crosswise or lengthwise, dip in poster paint, and press down firmly on a paper or cloth. Onions, carrots, and potatoes are good for this; a cross section of a green pepper makes a very pretty design.
113. Spatter painting is fun to do, and useful as well. All that is needed are some water colors, a small paint brush, a little piece of wire screening, paper, and straight pins. Cut out a simple pattern of a leaf, a Christmas tree, or a heart, or some other uncomplicated design. Place this pattern on a piece of paper or card. Stand pins around the edge of the pattern to keep it from slipping or moving. Then dip the brush into the paint, and, holding the wire screen about an inch above the paper, run the wet brush across the wire screen so that the paint spatters all over the paper. Remove the design and the pattern will be white against a splattered background.
114. Some scouring powder mixed with a little water can be used for drawing on an old mirror. To make this more interesting, tint the mixture with pure food coloring.
115. Does your child have sculpturing tendencies? Encourage him to try soap carving. All you need is a large bar of soap and a dull knife. Use different colored soap for variety.
116. Encourage your child to paint lots of pictures or to model whole sets of animals, then help him plan an "art exhibit" in his own room.
117. A portable victrola no longer in use will make a fine pottery wheel for an amateur potter.
118. Your child can draw his own checkerboard on a piece of cardboard. For checkers, use bottle caps. Color half of them black and half of them red with poster paint or nail polish. There IS black nail polish, believe it or not!
119. An older child might enjoy making a chess set. Simplified pieces could be carved from soap or modeled in clay (the type that hardens) and painted.
120. Slats from old wooden Venetian blinds can be sawed by Father or Brother into pieces about four inches long and marked with black India ink for large dominoes.
121. The game of lotto, popular with children, simply 'calls for covering the squares on a "masterboard" with matching cards. Homemade picture lottos are fun to make as well as play with. Use an old deck of cards and a piece of cardboard. The child can find duplicate or similar pictures of objects in magazines, cut them out, and paste one set on the master board, the other on the playing cards.
122. A jigsaw puzzle is simple to make at home. The child may use a shirt cardboard. A picture he has drawn can be pasted on the cardboard, or he can cut a picture from a magazine. After pasting, let the paper dry thoroughly; then, with a pencil and ruler, divide the picture into odd shapes, as simple or complicated as is suited to the child's age. Straight lines are best for a homemade picture puzzle, since curved lines are hard to cut. Cut with a single edged razor blade- (needless to say, this operation should be done by an adult if the child is quite young. ) Use the ruler to steady the blade while cutting. Several strokes will probably be needed to cut each piece-do not try to cut through the cardboard all at once.