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.
78. Italian food stores carry macaroni in many unusual shapes and it is fun to work with.
79. Pieces of uncooked macaroni can be colored with paints, crayons, or nail polish. It can be strung to make long decorative chains.
80. Shell macaroni makes especially pretty jewelry. Punch holes with a heated ice pick tip; then your child can string the pieces on yam or string to make a necklace, or on elastic thread to make a bracelet. The shells may be colored, or covered with colorless nail polish to make an ivory-colored piece of jewelry. Very handsome!
81. Alphabet macaroni can be glued on small pieces of soft wood to make words or names. Tongue depressors (from the drugstore), popsicle sticks, or pieces of balsa wood cut into suitable shapes are useful.
82. A lapel pin can be made by scooping a shallow trough in the other side of a piece of wood and attaching a safety pin with plastic wood or glue.
83. The lapel pin can carry a name or a seasonal greeting. For a "Merry Christmas" pin, color the tops of the macaroni letters with red nail polish. A matching "Happy New Year" pin for the other lapel might have the letters colored with green poster paint. The wood can be varnished or covered with colorless nail polish.
84. Alphabet macaroni can be used in many other ways -for instance, to make a set of place cards. For this purpose, cardboard can be used instead of wood. Or the letters could be used to label small boxes for pins, paper clips, etc. However, work with alphabet macaroni is likely to be too fine and exacting for young children and will probably be better for those who are older.
85. Storybook faces can be made out of eggshells. For example, to complete the shape of the head and make the hair of Humpty-Dumpty just fill with cotton a shell which has been broken close to one end. Draw the features on the shell with pencil, crayon, or paint.
86. A doll's cradle is easily made from an eggshell broken lengthwise. The mattress can be made of a bit of crushed tissue paper or cotton.
87. Crushed eggshells can be used for decorating boxes (see Item 153) or for collage pictures (see Item 229).
88. Eggshell toys are more suitable to an older child for they take care in handling. Even so, be sure to have a goodly supply on hand. Brown eggs are best for faces since the color more nearly resembles skin tones than do white eggs.
89. When saving eggshells, break them in various ways; different shapes will suggest further ideas for their use.
90. Eggshells will stand firmly if they are glued to thin powder puffs, bottle tops, or to their original carton.
91. The simplest and most time-honored instrument for homemade music is a comb, with a piece of tissue paper or cellophane wrapped around it. The child just presses his mouth against the comb and hums.
92. Cut six pieces of string ranging in length from 3 to 9 inches. Tie one end of each string to a nail. Fasten the strings about two inches apart to a stick. To play tunes on this simple instrument use another nail for striking. (Be sure the stick is held high enough so that the nails swing freely).
93. Fill glasses with varying amounts of water. When tapped with a spoon they make notes. It is possible to make the scale with this simple equipment; tones will be clearer if you use thin glasses.
94. A paper plate makes a satisfactory tambourine for a younger child. Punch a few holes around the edge of the plate and attach small bells. (Those used for Christmas decorations are ideal. )
95. A simple horn can be made by covering one end of a cardboard roll with tissue paper held in place by a rubber band. Make three or four holes, along one side, with a nail. To make music, blow into the open end and cover and uncover the holes with the fingers.
96. Any dime store has a supply of small musical instruments-harmonicas, toy flutes, ocarinas, xylophones, etc., which are fun for a child, even though they may be hard on an adult's ear.
97. If your child likes music, help him to build a comprehensive collection of records, either classical or jazz, or both. He can easily become a "disc jockey" and entertain his friends with prearranged concerts.
98. Turn peanut shells into wonderful finger puppets. Make caps for each finger from peanut shell halves. Draw the faces with ink. Finger puppets are especially good for a child whose hands are not strong.
99. An old glove, preferably white, can be used to make finger puppets by painting a face on each finger. The whole glove can be worn or the fingers of the glove can be cut off, just the length of the child's finger, and slipped on separately.
100. Have you forgotten about clothespin people? Draw faces on the round ends of the clothespins and dress them in bits of cloth or paper.
101. Your child will have no trouble making clothespin people stand up if he puts their "feet" into small bits of plasticine or clay.
102. Here's another way to make people. Take a pipe cleaner and two cleansing tissues. Roll one tissue into a ball. Place the second tissue over the ball, and wrap a pipe cleaner around the "neck" to make the head. The ends of the pipe cleaner can be extended for arms. Crayon, pencil, or ink make the face.
103. Here is another playmate to add to your child's doll collection: an old white sock stuffed with cotton or rags and tied at the neck and wrist with ribbon or cord, the face drawn on with crayon.
104. Paper dolls are perennial favorites. To preserve them, cover them completely with cellophane tape, back and front. This will keep them clean and they won't tear.