15-Minute Mother: Shield

Seedling Shield
Take 15 minutes ­– an achievable amount of time to fit into the cracks of a day – and fully engage in the shared pursuit of creating/building/making or doing something. Just one rule, switch off your phone. Afterwards the children will be satisfied and you’ll be able to get on with the necessities, minus the self-reproach.

mrfoxmagazine-seedlingsbuildashield Seedling Design Your Own Coat of Arms and Shield, £27.95

Although it looks simple enough, this takes significantly longer than 15 minutes. More like 45, in fact. That said, you can make it over the space of a few days, if patience allows. It involves your child choosing four things that are important to him and then representing them by drawing in pencil before painting each one on the four parts of the shield. After which you’ll be left with a very happy little child, holding a colourful, personalised shield that’s strong enough to survive many a battle and perfect for encouraging creative role play. I’m not usually a sucker for a pretty box but in this case the product lives up to the packaging. A real hit.

Tried and tested: Keep the drawings simple, especially for younger children, to ensure the final result is nice to look at.

Sarah Hall is a freelance writer and advertising copywriter. She has three children, two girls aged 6 and 2, and a boy aged 4. Her perfect winter Sunday is to apply as many layers as possible, and find a countryside hill to struggle up with the children in tow.

Do you have any tried and tested arts and crafts that take 15 minutes or less that you can recommend to our readers?