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★ Fun KID'S Activities, Games, Arts and Crafts | How to Entertain Your Children ! ★

Updated on February 16, 2016
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Fun Ideas to Occupy Kids or Young Teens

This page is a huge roundup of the most fun and creative ideas around the web to occupy and educate your kids. Maybe it's a wet weekend or it's the summer holidays and you have run out of ideas - or maybe you just want to tear your children away from the TV and computer - well this page is for you!

Below you will find original ideas for keeping young children to early teens interested and engaged, with outdoor activities, games, arts and crafts, kitchen science experiments, child-friendly recipes and much more besides.

I hope that you find this useful and inspiring :)

Cardboard Castles

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A Little Introduction

Kids love to kept busy, which means that it's up to the parents to come up with ideas for keeping them happy and interested. On days when you are just out of inspiration, I hope this page will help you out!

I've compiled a very long list of indoor and outdoor activities, artistic ideas, crafts, fun games, educational experiments, kid-friendly recipes and much more besides. Some of the ideas take a bit of preparation, whilst others just need basic household items, so there's bound to be something here you can do without even having to plan in advance.

I've also added a section linking to the best kid's blogs and websites (there are hundreds of good ones but I've just picked my favorites), plus a section listing DIY projects that parents can make for the kids, such as tipi tents, treehouses and puppets.

I hope you and your children have fun with these ideas :)

Games and Activities

Not involving the TV or computer!

Painting With Light

A fun photography project to do with your children.
A fun photography project to do with your children. | Source

How to Make a Doorway Puppet Theater

A puppet theater would be a great DIY for you to make for your children, and it is sure to encourage plenty of imaginative play.

Things You Will Need:

* Bedsheet, curtain or large piece of fabric: you will need a piece just bigger than the doorway you are going to use.

* Sewing machine (or fabric glue, a needle and some thread)

* Fabric for the mini theater curtains

* Fabric that will frame the opening of the theater (felt would be a good choice), OR you could use wide ribbon (approx. 1" wide).

* Narrow ribbon (approx. 0.5" wide)

* Puppets

* Ruler

* Dowel (0.5" diameter maximum)

* A saw to cut the dowel

* Pen

* Scissors

* Tension curtain rod to fit your doorway (optional)


- Cut a rectangle of fabric that is the same height as the opening of the doorway, with a width equal to the width of the doorway + 1". Hemming all of the edges at this point is recommended to keep them looking neat.

- Mark out where you want the opening of the theater to be (depending on the heights of your kids), and how big you would like it to be. Using a regular doorway, the theater opening is likely to be around 14" wide.

- Cut this rectangle out as shown by the black lines in the second diagram, where 'A' represents the height you want for the opening. Cutting along the lines as shown will leave 1" flaps of excess fabric at the top and bottom of the opening, which can then be folded over onto the back of the fabric and sewn to create two sleeves. These sleeves will house the wooden dowel, so make sure that the sleeves are wide enough for the diameter of dowel you are using before you sew them.

- Cut two 11" lengths of narrow ribbon and fold each of them in half. Sew the folded edges onto the reverse of the main fabric piece, one piece of folded ribbon on each side of the opening, about halfway down the fabric edge. These are ribbon ties that will hold the curtain open.

- Cut the fabric you want to use as the curtain into a rectangle, where the width is equal to the width of the opening + 0.5", and the height equals the height of the opening + 2".

- Cut the piece of curtain fabric straight down the middle and then hem all of the edges (with 1/4" hems).

- Line up the curtain pieces over the opening on the reverse side of the main fabric piece. Sew straight across the top edges of the curtain pieces, just above where the dowel sleeve is sewn down.

- Cut 4 strips out of the fabric you will be using for framing the opening. The strips will look best if they have 45 degree diagonal joins at the corners, and slightly overlap the edges of the opening.

- If you are using felt, you can use fabric glue to stick the strips around the opening. If you are using a thinner fabric or a wide ribbon, it would be best to sew it, but make sure that the curtains and ribbon ties are out of the way whilst you do this, and also make sure you don't sew over the dowel sleeves at the top and bottom either.

- If you are going to hang the theater from a tension rod, fold over enough fabric (approx. 2") at the top edge to go around the rod, and then sew this onto the reverse side of the fabric. This will create a sleeve for the rod to go through. If you are not using a rod, you can take two lengths of narrow ribbon around 5" long and sew each one on to each of the top corners so that they form loops. You can hang these hoops on nails hammered into the door frame.

- Saw the dowel into two pieces that are the same width as the opening. Slip each piece into each of the dowel sleeves. This will keep the edges straight.

- Finished!

Puff Paint

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Wax Crayon Cakes

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Faux Stained Glass

All you need is colored tissue paper and black construction paper to create some easy art that has a stained glass effect when light is behind it.
All you need is colored tissue paper and black construction paper to create some easy art that has a stained glass effect when light is behind it. | Source

Coloring Flowers

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Teach Your Kids to Finger Knit!

Finger knitting is a much easier and safer way for kids to knit than to use needles, and it improves manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination. They can make themselves scarves/headbands/bracelets/necklaces and anything else they can think of - it's a great creative craft.

If you prefer written instructions click here.

Salt Dough Shapes

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Cardboard Playhouse

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Milk Carton Halloween Village

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Balloon Rocket

All you need is string, sellotape, a balloon and a straw - I personally used to love shooting balloon rockets between trees as a kid!
All you need is string, sellotape, a balloon and a straw - I personally used to love shooting balloon rockets between trees as a kid! | Source

Melted Crayon Hot Rocks

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Play Conkers!

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How to Make a Hot Air Balloon

Homemade Tipi

Photo by Juhan Sohin.

Click Here for instructions on building a lace tipi from A Beautiful Mess.

More Fun Ideas

- Camp out in the back yard. Put up the tent together, read stories, and have a mini cookout.

- Have a water fight.

- Play dress-up. You could go the full hog and make complete costumes, face-paint and hairstyles then put on a catwalk show!

- Put on a play or puppet show.

- Cook with your kids - or you could bake some cupcakes, and they just do the decorating.

- Put on a film premiere. You can do this outside by projecting a film onto a screen, or just turn off all of the lights indoors, close the curtains, get everyone comfy and dish out the popcorn, drinks and ice-creams. Everyone could get dressed up for the occasion!

- Give each of your kids pens and a journal/sketchbook so they can write or draw in it whenever they like.

- You don't need much to keep kids entertained - often, it's the simple things that are the best. Such as cardboard dens and castles, or newspaper huts.

- Each of your children could plant a sunflower and see how tall they could grow them. It could be made into a competition.

- Make a plaster and sand handmade fossil, and create a really nice end product.

- Use cardboard and other bits 'n' bobs to make your own little houses.

- Go camping in a tent in the back yard.

How To Make a Helicopter

Fun Childrens Recipes

Recipes to cook with your kids.

Rainbow Coconut Ice

Photo by MiniEco - Click here for the recipe used.

Dyed Pastas

For each color, mix about 2 teaspoons of rubbing alcohol (preferably) or vinegar with 10 to 12 drops of food coloring (regular and neon colors) in a ziplock bag.

Add 1/2 cup of dried pasta to each bag and shake it to cover the pasta with dye. Leave the pasta in the dye for about 5 minutes, shaking it occasionally (longer for more intense colors).

Spoon the pasta out of the bag, and place it on paper towels. Turn the pasta pieces over after about 15 minutes. Let them dry completely.

Then the dyed pasta can be used for all kinds of art and jewelry making.

Photo and pasta craft by Kimberly.

DIY Projects for Parents

There are some great things parents can make for their kids too, from tents to treehouses.

Cupcake Baking & Decorating

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Do/Did you homeschool your kids?

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Please Comment On My Lens!

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    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 6 years ago

      Great page! Lensrolled to my Think Outside The Box lens. Thanks for sharing!

    • Superwife profile image

      Superwife 5 years ago

      really great ideas, you have a great lens here!

    • EndeavourToys profile image

      EndeavourToys 5 years ago

      Lots of fun ideas here! Thanks for collecting and sharing all this information.

    • fathomblueEG profile image

      fathomblueEG 4 years ago

      Wow what a ton of fun!! This is the coolest kiddy fun lens ever!

    • profile image

      laura-cross-3914 4 years ago

      Ahh what a fab lens. Some great ideas. I have a similar lens but for babies and toddlers. x

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