Kids want to learn, grow, and explore the world around them. They want to create new things and dabble in various activities to understand what they like and don’t. One great way to explore your child’s creativity is with DIY crafts.
The Best Crafts for Kids
There are a few crafts that are fun to do all year long. These top arts and crafts projects for kids will keep them occupied for hours at any time of the year.
Making puppets allows your kids to complete a craft project and get a new toy at the end. The simplest way to make a puppet is by attaching googly eyes to an old sock. Add some flair to your puppet by giving it yarn for hair and drawing lips with marker or lipstick.
If you want to get more creative, you can use felt to make homemade finger puppets. You will need scissors to cut the felt to the correct size for this project. Supervise older children while cutting, and cut the felt for younger children. Next, add glitter, googly eyes, hair, and other flairs to personalize your finger puppets.
Scrapbooking is the perfect craft for lazy days. Making a scrapbook allows a child to explore their creative side, but it also helps them remember good times and gives them a keepsake for when they are older.
If the kids are interested in scrapbooking, save anything that might be scrapbook worthy. Keep tickets from shows and parks you attend, take tons of pictures, clip newspaper articles that might feature your child, and save their drawings and holiday cards. These items you can keep in a box and pull out when it’s time to work on the scrapbook.
Build a Birdbox
Woodworking is a fantastic crafting opportunity for older kids. It allows children to build something with their own hands and help another living creature.
To enhance your child’s engineering skills, help them plan and build a bird box from scratch. You will need wood, nails, wood glue, math, and dangerous tools like a saw, so please be sure your child is supervised (or do the cutting for them).
However, if that’s too much, you can opt to purchase a bird box kit. The kits are far easier to put together but don’t require much critical thinking. Both are excellent options and will provide your children with hours of creative entertainment.
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Drawing may not technically be considered a craft, but it’s an art form and a great activity to keep your kids busy on a rainy day.
Keep a sketchbook and colored pencils available so you have a go-to activity when you need some peace. Drawing can help kids explore their imaginations or fine-tune their artistic abilities. Another bonus of drawing is that it requires minimal clean-up or supervision.
Make a SunCatcher
Suncatchers are colorful ornaments you hang outside to “catch” beautiful sunlight arrays. There are numerous ways to make sun catchers, making it a perfect craft opportunity for kids of all ages.
The most appealing suncatchers use stained glass. Stained glass can be complicated since it requires cutting and staining real glass. Using stained glass to make a suncatcher might be an overwhelming craft for young children, but teenagers may enjoy the challenge.
Younger kids can make simple sun catchers with colored beads, tissue paper, and even upcycled plastic. They can use nearly any transparent item to create a suncatcher and will only need wire and creativity to make the perfect design.
Needlework such as knitting, crocheting, and sewing is a fun craft and a valuable skill. Teach your kids to thread a needle, sew patterns into clothes, knit a scarf, or crochet a blanket.
These fun crafts will give your children hours of entertainment and a sense of accomplishment when they create something useful out of their work. Needlework is a valuable skill they can continue to use and develop well into adulthood.
Paper mâché is a system of using paper and a homemade glue mixture to create a work of art. Kids can make many items with paper mâché, from decorative masks to bowls to figurines. You will need newspaper, flour, water, and a base to which you can adhere the paper. Items such as Styrofoam, balloons, and even chicken wire make great bases!
To make a paper mâché craft, first create your glue. Mix flour and water until you have a heavy cream-like consistency. Next, rip your paper into strips. Soak the strips in the glue mixture until they are fully saturated. Adhere the paper to the base to complete the structure. Once dry, you can remove the base for a sturdy paper mâché craft.
Household Paper Crafts
One of the best things about children’s crafts is that they don’t need to be complicated. Kids have incredible imaginations and can use everyday items to create beautiful things. Use things you already have in your house to create paper roll crafts or paper plate crafts. Let your kids use these items to open up their imaginations.
Your kids can make all sorts of things using a toilet paper roll as a base. Critters, rocket ships, and snowmen are possibilities for a single roll. You can combine rolls to create robots, birdhouses, or castles.
Paper plates are similarly useful. Make paper plate turtles, fans, fish, and faces of all kinds. There is no limit to what you can create with papers you have around the house.
To make the best of household paper crafts, have construction paper and crayons. These items will help your kids decorate their papercrafts however they wish.
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Holiday Crafts for Kids
The holidays give us ample opportunity to make crafts as a family. Here are terrific holiday decorations that your kids can make for various occasions.
St. Patrick’s Day Craft Ideas
St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a holiday known for its family celebrations, but it does offer a few unique crafting ideas for kids to enjoy.
It’s also one of the beginning holidays of the year with fun crafting opportunities, so don’t let them go to waste!
The most fun thing to have your children build for St. Patrick’s Day is a Leprechaun trap. There is no standard way to make a trap, so it’s an activity that lets your children use their imaginations to craft the perfect snare.
Some will choose to decorate a box, others will use string, and others may decide to make a popsicle stick or pipe cleaner cage. Take the kids to a craft store and let them pick the materials they will use to create a perfect trap.
Four-leaf clovers are an iconic St. Patrick’s Day celebration. They are also easy to make. Grab some green construction paper and decorations (markers and glitter are the best!) and let your kids cut out a variety of four-leaf clovers.
Post them on the windows or hand them on the refrigerator for a lively St. Patrick’s Day theme in the house.
Easter Crafts for Kids
Easter is the “welcome to spring” holiday and a celebration of life and regrowth. Children’s Easter crafts follow a long tradition of representing new life.
Dying hard-boiled eggs is an Easter tradition with a long history. Eggs represent new life and, as such, are the perfect decoration for a holiday that celebrates life.
To dye Easter eggs, you must first make hard-boiled eggs. Next, dip the eggs in various food coloring. Using multiple colors will create fun designs and help your kids learn the basics of color theory. Watch their astonishment when primary-colored dyes mix to create various orange, purple, and green shades. Most stores now offer easy-to-use dye kits complete with stickers and dippers to make this fun activity easier to clean and allow for more decorative options.
Cascarones are a Mexican spin on the tradition of dyed eggs. Instead of hard boiling an egg, cut a bit of shell from the top of the egg and drain it. Next, rinse the egg to clean it out. Now you have an empty, clean shell that’s perfect for Cascarones!
Although part of the fun is decorating the outside with dyes and stickers like with other Easter eggs, Cascarones are a bit different in that you can fill the shell with goodies. Many people fill them with confetti for an epic party atmosphere when cracked, but others fill them with small toys for use in an egg hunt.
Bunnies are the quintessential Easter animal, and what better way to celebrate than by making a variety of Easter Bunny crafts?
There are many ways to make bunnies. You can use popsicle sticks and cotton balls for ears and noses or a paper plate cut out. If you’d like to get more inventive, you can use felt cutouts, googly eyes, and fabric pens. The only limit to how you can create an Easter bunny is your imagination.
The spookiest holiday of the year is also one of the best for crafting. All the fall season’s ghouls, goblins, and hallmarks make for fantastic crafting opportunities.
Here are some craft ideas for Halloween that the kids will love.
Spiders are a fun Halloween craft because there are so many different ways to make them. One of the easiest ways to make them is with black pipe cleaners and googly eyes. Cross four pipe cleaners over each other and add small googly eyes to the center for the easiest DIY craft spider!
You can make more complex spiders with construction paper, Styrofoam, cotton balls, and other items you might have lying around the house. You can even use a toilet paper roll for the body and pipe cleaners for the legs. The possibilities are endless with the ingenuity of a child.
Pumpkins are excellent subjects for paper plate crafts. The plate is already round, so you have to color it orange, add a face, and use construction paper to add a stem.
However, you don’t have to stick to paper plates for your pumpkin crafts. Another easy way to make a pumpkin is by taping strips of orange construction paper together to create a ball. Add a green tip for an easy yet flimsy pumpkin craft.
The best crafts for Halloween are the ones that involve real pumpkins, though. Use one in the traditional way to carve a jack-o-lantern or avoid using knives by coloring monster faces on small pumpkins. You can also get creative and make wigs, hats, and other clothing items for your pumpkins out of felt or string.
The best thing about Halloween crafts is all the monsters you can make. Vampires, werewolves, witches, and Frankenstein are all iconic monsters you can make with colored construction paper, but you can also get creative and make your own monsters.
Try attaching popsicle sticks and googly eyes to toilet paper rolls, gluing cotton balls with pipe-cleaner antennae, or drawing monster faces on paper plates. There is no limit to what types of fun monsters you can create with your imagination.
Thanksgiving crafts often get forgotten, as the holiday falls between the two best holidays for crafting, Halloween and Christmas. However, there are some fun things you can make to celebrate the Thanksgiving spirit!
There are numerous ways to make turkey crafts. The first craft most of us learn as children is the drawing of a turkey using our handprints. Take this to the next level by tracing little hands on construction paper, cutting out the turkeys, and adding various colored papers to the tail to make it stand out.
It’s easy to make a cornucopia out of construction paper. Roll the paper into a cone shape and staple, glue, or tape it.
If you want to add flair to your paper cornucopia, affix strips of tissue paper all around it to give it a shaggy-edged texture.
Older children might prefer to weave a natural cornucopia using willow or reed. Weaving a basket is a far more complex task, but the result might be a basket your family can use for generations.
Make a perfect pilgrim hat using popsicle sticks and felt. Glue the popsicle sticks together in the shape of a hat, then use colored felt to cover them with the iconic pilgrim hat design.
Another easy pilgrim craft is to make a pilgrim’s head using a paper plate and construction paper. Decorate the round paper plate as the pilgrim’s face, and cut a rounded section of the paper plate to create ruffled collars and bonnets for the female pilgrims. Next, make a construction paper hat, and glue all the pieces together for a decorative paper pilgrim.
Easy Christmas Crafts
Christmas is the top holiday for decorations. Numerous arts and crafts projects are fun for kids of all ages.
Personalized Christmas Ornaments
Personalized Christmas ornaments are the craft that keeps on giving. Not only are these ornaments fun to make, but they are tangible items that can bring joy to your family for years to come.
The fun thing about making Christmas ornaments is that the kids should get better each year. You can start with simple paper crafts that a toddler can make, and by the time your child is a pre-teen, they can make complex ornaments with gemstones, resin, or any other crafting materials.
Each year as you decorate the tree, you can reminisce about the good old times everyone had creating the different ornaments. When the kids leave the nest, you’ll have a complete set of Christmas decorations just as unique as your family.
Construction Paper Snowflakes
One of the easiest crafts for kids is construction paper snowflakes. Fold a piece of construction paper in half (diagonally) a few times, then make some snips, and voila! You have an instant Christmas decoration.
Creative children will want to experiment with folding the construction paper differently. Although the results may not be snowflakes, that’s okay. When kids craft, it’s not about creating the perfect item. It’s about exploring their creativity and seeing what works. Embrace the weird snowflakes just as much as you embrace the perfect ones.
Christmas trees are the perfect Christmas craft for kids. There are tons of different ways to make Christmas trees. Your children can easily make construction paper cutouts, or they can create solid Christmas trees with a few popsicle sticks, glue, and green paint.
There are hundreds of different ways to make Christmas trees. You can use paper plates, Styrofoam, or cotton balls, or get inventive with different ways to fold construction paper. The possibilities are endless.
Kids can make Christmas wreaths with wire, tree branches, and decorations like flowers, ribbons, or holly. You can also choose synthetic materials to make your wreath last multiple seasons.
Creating a wreath is a little more complicated than some other ideas on this list and is best suited for older children. There’s a lot of wire and wrapping work involved, and some younger kids may not have enough dexterity or hand strength for this task.
Making a gingerbread house is the quintessential Christmas craft. It’s so seared into our culture as an iconic part of Christmas that most crafting companies sell complete kits with pre-made gingerbread to make it easy on families.
The kits include everything you need to craft the perfect house for the iconic gingerbread man, from fondant frosting to gumdrop decorations. Get a different kit for each child and let them explore their various personalities in the way they decorate the house.
Benefits of Crafting for Children
Crafting has numerous benefits. According to Scholastic, crafting can help preschool-aged children develop fine motor skills and learn pattern recognition. Older children can learn critical thinking skills and dedication to a project, and crafting can help boost teenagers’ self-esteem with a sense of accomplishment.
Crafting can also help children gain an interest in the arts. Although they may not grow up to be the next Picasso, fostering an appreciation of the arts can help them become well-rounded adults. They will learn to appreciate arts of all styles and understand the cultural value inherent in many works.
Let Your Kids Explore Their Creative Side
These craft ideas for children are just the tip of the iceberg. Let your kids explore their creativity and get imaginative. Kids love making stuff that speaks to them, so allow them to create in their own way.
These children’s craft ideas will get you started, but let your kid’s creative sides guide you. Happy Crafting!
This post originally appeared on Hello Sensible.
Guest Author: Melanie Allen
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self-educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, art, gaming, and her cats.