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kids crafts simple fun

Updated on May 31, 2010

Paper Crafts

Do you have kids who enjoy crafts? Do you have kids who just aren’t happy unless they’re making something? It’s great when you’re kids are really enthusiastic about something, but it can also drive you mad if you don’t have enough ideas to keep them busy.

What you need are some simple craft ideas that don’t need lots of materials and are fairly simple to do. Obviously there’s always painting and drawing, but unless you’re kids are budding Van Gogh’s they can soon get tired of painting whereas actually making something can keep most kids busy for hours.

Some kids just get the urge to do stuff others may need a little coaxing but once they get started they just have a whale of a time. So what sort of crafts can you do with the kids at home? For the little ones simple crafts like hand printing can be really good fun, as they actually get told to put paint on their hands or even their feet!

Simple paper crafts such as folding and cutting paper dollies or making simple paper chains. Maybe some easy origami or paper folding for the older kids. Teach them how to fold a paper ball which can be filled with water and thrown at people and they’ll be at it all day. Save this idea for summer though!

How about finger puppets? Again a very simple idea but they can really use their imagination on their creations. Paper plates can be used for all sorts of things such as creating designs by sticking dried pulses on to the plate to make colourful patterns.

Papier mache is an old favourite although it can be a little messy; you can make your paste with flour and water and tear old newspaper into strips or small squares, so it’s a real low cost craft. Get the kids to paste the paper onto old dishes or bowls which have been greased with Vaseline and after they’ve dried out in the airing cupboard or somewhere similar they can be removed from the dish and decorated with paints and glitter.

Kids Craft Projects

Book marks can be made just for fun or to give as presents to friends or family. They can be made by recycling old greeting cards, just cut book mark shaped pieces from old cards, punch a hole near one end (a hole punch makes a neat job) then thread short lengths of coloured thread or ribbon through the hole to make a tassel. You can also cut the book marks from plain card and then decorate it with acrylic paints and glitter.

Building miniature gardens is always entertaining; you can use an old tray or a strong shallow carton for the base of the garden and all sorts of found object for the plants. Twigs from the garden will make small trees, green felt can be used to imitate a lawn a small mirror makes an excellent pond. Modelling clay can be used to make planters and even flowers. The only limit is the imagination.

A holiday favourite is the good old snowman built using the cardboard tube from a toilet roll covered with cotton wool for the body with a cotton wool ball for his head. His hat can be made from card and his arms from small twigs. Glitter can be used for his eyes and nose.

Decorating pine cones is fun they can be painted and embellished with all sorts of glitter and beads from broken jewellery. When they’re decorated they can be used to make mobiles, use thread to hang them lengths of wire cut from old coat hangers.

Mobiles can easily be made from so many objects, old spoons and other cutlery from garage sales, or shapes cut from card and painted, such as animal shapes or fishes which can be painted and decorated with glitter.

How about a good old fashioned kite? Paper, string, glue and some garden canes can give loads of fun in making the kite then later more fun when out flying it. For something different try making miniature kites about six inches long.

Potato printing is a good old fashioned craft, the younger kids can just enjoy the printing after Mom or Dad has carved the potato for them while the older ones can also have the pleasure of carving their own potato for printing.

Pasta can be used for crafts too! There are so many interesting shapes in pasta, you can paint the individual pieces or cover them with glitter and then glue or string them together to make necklaces, bracelets, tiaras. Or you can stick the pieces around old picture frames. Alternatively you can be pre cut card mounts from a framer or art/craft shop and decorate those.

How about French knitting or spool knitting, in the old days of course we used wooden thread spools with 4 brads or pins hammered in one end. Now of course wooden spools may not be so easy to find, you may have to actually buy a ready made knitting spool from a craft shop. But it’s great fun to watch the knitting appear from the bottom of the spool.

For the older kids you may want to help them learn something which requires a little more dexterity like macramé. I know it’s possible to make very elaborate wall hangings and such with macramé but it’s also possible with some good old fashioned string or twine and a few simple flat knots to make very attractive hangers for plant pots, or even a gold fish bowl. If you get some leather thong then the girls in particular can make pretty bracelets or chokers.

Kids Craft Activities

Plaster casting can provide hours of fun, Be careful to follow the instructions for mixing the plaster very carefully. What to cast? Handprints and footprints are great fun to do, get a shallow bowl of damp sand, not too wet just enough that it will hold the impression of a hand or foot print then pour in the plaster and wait for it to set. While it’s freshly poured you could push a loop of string into one end of the wet plaster so the finished cast could be hung on the wall. When your cast is dry from lying in the sun or being placed in the linen cupboard it can be painted or decorated with glitter.

Plaster casts of young children’s hands and feet can make great keepsakes and wonderful gifts for grandparents.

Sea shells collected on the beach can be glued to all sorts of objects from bottles to cigar boxes which can then be used as bases for table lamps or holders for keepsakes. Larger shells can be painted and used as decorative objects in their own right.

Tin can stilts, can be made from old coffee cans, you’ll need two cans per child and some lengths of string or soft rope. Punch a hole in the side of a can about one inch from the end using a nail. To stop the can from crushing when you hit the nail find a piece of wood which will just fit inside the can, if you've got no bits of wood and you're not in a hurry fill the cans with water to about one inch from the top and put them in the freezer, when they're full of ice punch the holes in the sides then melt out the ice. Use a screwdriver to enlarge the hole until it’s big enough for your string or rope to pass through use the hammer to flatten any sharp edges. Make another hole on the opposite side of the can, cut two lengths of string or rope each length should be about 3 times the length from the kid’s knee to the floor. Now put one end of the rope through the hole on one side of the can and tie a large knot on the inside of the can. Repeat on the other side, do the same with the other can. Hey presto! a pair of stilts.


Submit a Comment
  • An Archigirl profile image

    An Archigirl 

    9 years ago

    simple yet creative! great ideas for kids-sounds fun:)

  • profile image

    \Brenda Scully 

    9 years ago

    i teach crafts..... i have just come to my grand daughters house.... and she gets this huge box out which she has just pulled out now.... this hubcame at the righ time thanks...

  • Julie-Ann Amos profile image

    Julie-Ann Amos 

    9 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

    Lots of nice ideas here thanks


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