Crafts as Toys- $1 Craft Kits for Kids
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.
All photos are by my brother.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.