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Crafts as Toys- $1 Craft Kits for Kids

Updated on July 11, 2018
rmcrayne profile image

Rose Mary, an Occupational Therapist since 1987, is experienced with pre-term infants, early intervention, school therapy, and home health.

Tired of TV and video games? Looking for something new, but productive for your kids to do? Have you ever thought of crafts as creative play toys? I recently went to my local Michael’s arts and crafts store and found all of these items, for just $1 each. Off and on, I’ve been a life-long crafter, as has my sister. Crafts can be fun, and facilitate many developmental skills. Kids can work on visual perceptual skills, fine motor skills and creativity and imagination.

Crafts also make good gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, for parents and grandparents, that can be keepsakes for many years to come. When my grandmother passed away, we found cards that my dad had made for her when he was in elementary school.


3D Wooden squirrel, koala, and seahorse kits.
3D Wooden squirrel, koala, and seahorse kits. | Source

Wooden 3D Pictures

These wooden 3D Picture kits have several sheets of precut shapes to punch out. Pieces are assembled into various animals and sea creatures. Assembly is challenging and requires visual discrimination of the various shapes and sizes of pieces, and spatial relations to orient pieces correctly. Fine motor skills are of course utilized to punch out pieces and assemble them.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
All Dolled Up and Crafty Kit Necklace kits.  Crosses, butterflies, ice cream, flip flops.   Butterfly All Dolled Up and Crafty Kit Necklace kits.  Princess Beads Necklace kit.
All Dolled Up and Crafty Kit Necklace kits.  Crosses, butterflies, ice cream, flip flops.
All Dolled Up and Crafty Kit Necklace kits. Crosses, butterflies, ice cream, flip flops. | Source
Butterfly All Dolled Up and Crafty Kit Necklace kits.
Butterfly All Dolled Up and Crafty Kit Necklace kits. | Source
Princess Beads Necklace kit.
Princess Beads Necklace kit. | Source

Necklace Kits

A nice variety of necklace kits are available with many designs and themes. Everything you need is included.

Kids use visual discrimination skills for matching and sequencing shapes to the directions, or can be creative and come up with their own variations. Fine motor skills include palm-to-finger translation skills.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cat and fish plaster figurines. Plaster figurines and magnets.  Animals, fish, cars, butterfly.
Cat and fish plaster figurines.
Cat and fish plaster figurines. | Source
Plaster figurines and magnets.  Animals, fish, cars, butterfly.
Plaster figurines and magnets. Animals, fish, cars, butterfly. | Source

Plaster Figures

Many plaster figurines are available, such as animals, fish, butterflies and cars. Kits include figurines, 4 paint colors and paint brush. You could use additional craft paints and glossy sealers on figurines. Skills include coordination and manipulation of the paint brush. Bilateral hand skills are involved for holding the figurine with one hand and brush with the other.

HumVee, car, plane, helicopter and castle tower wooden and foam models.
HumVee, car, plane, helicopter and castle tower wooden and foam models. | Source

Wood Model Kits, Foam Model Kits

Wooden models of cars, planes and building structures are available. Foam model kits are also available.

Kids use visual discrimination to match pieces to assembly instructions, spatial concepts to orient pieces and visual-motor and fine motor skills for painting and assembly. Hand skills include palm-to-finger translation, shift and rotation.

Kids can be creative in painting and decorating their models. Some of these kits are quite tedious to assemble, would require patience and would not be suitable for children under 8 years old.

Stand-up figures of fish, cross, unicorn, flower, car, dog, dolphin and unicorn.
Stand-up figures of fish, cross, unicorn, flower, car, dog, dolphin and unicorn. | Source
Bee with flower, and monkey puzzles.  Castle, princess, flowers and jungle animals photo frames.
Bee with flower, and monkey puzzles. Castle, princess, flowers and jungle animals photo frames. | Source

Balsa Wood Puzzles, Frames and Stand-Ups

There is a large selection of wood pictures available for decorating: flowers, unicorns, horses, fish, dog, dolphins, bees, jungle animals, castles and princesses. Small puzzles, photo frames and stand-up figures are available.

Kits come with a small set of markers, but you could certainly add more variety from markers you have on hand. You could also use paints. Kids use visual-motor and fine motor control to stay within the lines for coloring.

Fuse beads showing owl.
Fuse beads showing owl. | Source

Fuse Beads

Make animals, flowers or endless other projects from these colorful plastic tubes. When you’re done, cover with wax paper and use a warm iron to “fuse” the “beads” together. Plastic beads, or tubes are very small and would therefore be too frustrating for children under 6 or with fine motor difficulties.

Kids use visual discrimination and spatial relations to reproduce pictures from designs. Ultra fine motor manipulation skills are used in handling beads. Use tweezers to practice tool use.

Elephant design on mug.
Elephant design on mug. | Source

Design a Mug

Provide your own markers or paints to decorate of many available kit pictures, with many to choose from. Get creative and use visual-motor skills, starting with blank paper and draw and color your own design. You could also cut or tear construction paper or tissue paper to create a custom design.

Spiderman mini-poster.
Spiderman mini-poster. | Source

Posters and Mini Posters

There are posters and mini posters available in endless designs, including many Disney characters, Pixar favorites and other popular movie figures. Use the supplied markers or supply your own markers, crayons, colored pencils or paints. Kids use visual perceptual and visual-motor skills to complete picture.

© 2009 rmcrayne

Thanks for reading

Submit a Comment

  • rmcrayne profile imageAUTHOR

    rmcrayne 

    7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

    Thanks for visiting and commenting Multiman.

  • profile image

    Multiman 

    7 years ago

    Good crafts article I will likely use soon.

  • rmcrayne profile imageAUTHOR

    rmcrayne 

    8 years ago from San Antonio Texas

    You are so right Icbenefield. Most kids just want quality time from adults, and are very forgiving about the specifics.

  • lcbenefield profile image

    lcbenefield 

    8 years ago from Georgia

    I enjoy crafting with my two nieces who are 9 and 10. There were some great ideas in this hub. Thanks. They don't really care about the type of craft we work on. They are just thrilled that I'm taking the time to hang out with them.

  • rmcrayne profile imageAUTHOR

    rmcrayne 

    8 years ago from San Antonio Texas

    Thanks for visiting and commenting Leenie. Thanks also for the new resource. I'll be sure to include it also when I present to parents in my community education classes.

  • Leenie Pooh profile image

    Leenie Pooh 

    8 years ago

    I love those bins at Michaels with craft kits and other toys. I stop into Michaels every now and then throughout the year, peruse the bins and use my finds for stocking stuffers, birthday party favor bags and rainy day entertainment.

    I found a website that has a section on using recyclable items for kids crafts projects. I'll often turn there for ideas too. Check it out http://www.kco1.net/blog/category/children/crafts-... - love the blog name "Irish Attic". Maybe cuz I'm Irish.

  • rmcrayne profile imageAUTHOR

    rmcrayne 

    8 years ago from San Antonio Texas

    Thanks for reading and commenting myownworld and ethel. What do you say, let's get to crafting!

  • ethel smith profile image

    Ethel Smith 

    8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

    Such fun

  • myownworld profile image

    myownworld 

    8 years ago from uk

    I love toys that encourage kids to use their imagination! great ideas....(i love those balsa wood crafts)...thank you for sharing.

  • rmcrayne profile imageAUTHOR

    rmcrayne 

    8 years ago from San Antonio Texas

    Thanks for stopping by lynne. Great point about home schooling.

  • profile image

    lynnechandler 

    8 years ago

    Nicely done. I've done most of these over time and while great to beat the boredome they also make great art projects for school or home schooling moms and dads.

  • rmcrayne profile imageAUTHOR

    rmcrayne 

    8 years ago from San Antonio Texas

    Thanks LR for reading and commenting. Who knows what wonderful keepsakes you can make!

  • Lily Rose profile image

    Lily Rose 

    8 years ago from A Coast

    Great craft ideas, RM! I love to do crafts but don't always have the time and my girls are a little too young for some - I'm looking forward to being able to do more with them as they grow.

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