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5 ways to show your kids there is fun beyond the iPad

Squidge, stretch, shape and stamp — Kids love learning with their hands, it's one of the ways they begin exploring the amazing world around them — and a great way to engage their thirsty brains!

The science shows that kids are more engaged and focused when they're working on hands-on projects. So here are 5 easy ideas to get their minds racing and help nurture their creative side... or give you back some time on your iPad.

Busy Hands. Busy Brains.

1. Cloud Dough = uninhibited imagination

There are endless things you can buy to keep your kids entertained, but here's an idea they can create themselves.

Cloud Dough looks like flour, but when pressed it holds it shape. Kids of all ages will love this (and let's be honest, parents too!) It's a simple and easy way for them to challenge their creativity. The consistency of the dough is lovely to feel and hold, so while they'll have a sensory blast, you can sit back and relax.

All you need to do is mix eight parts white flour to one part vegetable oil and mix it up in a bowl. Then you can sit back and watch them explore.

2. Explore colours and shapes

Kids love bright colours, it's a huge part of their world. They are drawn to it and play with colour like they play with toys.

So while the Sticky Note window art craze continues to sweep across the internet, we spotted this brilliant no fuss way for the kids to join in the fun.

It's great for developing their fine motor skills and a fantastic way to test their inventiveness.

3 Let them put their stamp on things

There's something magic about the feeling you get when you create something yourself. No matter what age you are. This idea lets your kids literally put their own stamp on things. Their imagination will run wild. Sugru-er Lise and her kids created Sugru stamps in the shapes of monsters and used them to create awesome collages using paint.

Sugru mouldable glue bonds to most materials, so it's super easy to turn practically anything into a unique stamp, ideal if you're making your own DIY Christmas cards or need to liven up gift tags.

4 One word... LEGO!

Kids love to play. It's their default mode. So why not embrace it.

This genius little idea is as easy as they come — customise LEGO blocks with numbers or letters of the alphabet.

5 Create story stones

Kids love stories. They love to listen to them, read them and watch them. But most of all they love to invent them. This idea lets their imagination run wild!

Help your kids to create and develop their own characters, worlds and stories. Spend an afternoon hunting for the perfect stones in the garden and have fun painting them together.