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Grandma's House - Craft fun with kids.

Updated on September 19, 2013

Grandma's House - Craft fun with kids

Unplug the iPod and turn off the T.V. You're at Grandma's house now. Here you will find all those lost craft ideas and activities that will create lasting memories and open up the world of creating for your child. They will learn to take pride in their own accomplishments while you share special moments together. Keep your camera close by. Some of these things are pretty messy. But then again, that's what all the fun is isn't it?

Easy Paste

Just add a little water to flour a small bit at a time until the paste is gooey. It should be quite thick so it won't run all over the paper. Add a pinch of salt. This is, of course, non toxic and a great idea if you unexpectedly have a child that has run out of play ideas.

Cornstarch Finger Paint

3 tbsps. sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

2 cups cold water

Food coloring

Soap flakes or liquid dishwashing soap

Mix sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan over low heat. Add cold water and stir until mixture is thick. Remove from heat. Divide into four or five portions (in muffin tins or cups). Add a drop or two of food coloring to each portion and a pinch of soap flakes or soap. Stir and let cool. Store in airtight container.

Homemade Bubbles and Bubble Blower

What you'll need:

* 1/2 cup dish soap

* 1 1/2 cups water

* 2 teaspoons sugar

* Medium size mixing bowl or cup

* Spoon

* Sealed container (jar with lid)

Materials Needed for the Bubble Blower:

* 1 drinking straw (two if you cut the pop holder into smaller parts)

* 1 six-pack pop holder (the plastic that goes around pop cans)

* Scotch tape

* Bowl or pan

* Scissors, optional

How to make it:

1. Mix all three ingredients together. Don't stir or shake too much.

2. Store in a sealed container to prolong its effect.

Instructions for the Bubble Blower:

1. Tape the holder to the straw.

2. Pour bubbles into bowl or pan.

3. Dip into bubbles and twirl around. Makes LOTS of BIG bubbles.

Face Paint

1 tsp. corn starch

1/2 tsp. water

1/2 tsp. cold cream

Food coloring

small paint brushes

Stir together starch and cold cream until well-blended. Add water and stir. Add food coloring. Using a small brush paint designs on child's face. Remove with soap and water. Store in airtight container.

I wouldn't paint large areas of the face with this as it uses food coloring which is known to stain skin for a short while.

Baker's Dough

Baker's dough can be used for nearly anything that you would use clay for. It's often used for Christmas ornaments. It can be shaped and painted. You can make napkin rings, table place cards, and ornaments to name a few ideas.

1/2 cup salt

3/4 cup boiling water

2 cups flour

Aluminum foil

Place salt in bowl; pour boiling water over salt and stir. Cool. Add flour all at once and mix well by forming a ball and kneading the dough until it is smooth, soft and workable. Form your shapes and bake at 300 to 350 degrees (depending on the thickness of the piece) for 1 1/2 to 3 hours. You can also let it air dry but give it at least two to three days before painting it.

* After paint dries coat with polyurethane keep it shiny.

* Use a toothpick to make a hole before you bake the clay to use for stringing.

Things to make:

Christmas ornaments

Letters for your name

Napkin rings

Ring holders

Change holders

Kitchen pad holder

Place cards for dinner

Candle holders


This is fun and will give the kids something they can feel proud of! It will also let your grandchild show off what they are interested in.

Decoupage a foot stool they can stand on or a shelf or box that they can use to keep all their belongings in when they visit. Or you can send the project home with them.

* Get something to decoupage. Maybe a small foot stool that you've found at the thrift store or other appropriate item. Wash the item to be sure it is clean.

* Have the child collect pictures from magazines or even photographs of an event. If the pictures are from magazines have the child cut around the edges.

* Paint on a thin film of decoupage medium.

* Apply the art and let it dry for 5 minutes.

* Paint a thin film over the top.

* If the item, like a step stool, will get heavy traffic apply a coat of varnish.

Paper Mache

* 1 cup water

* 1/4 cup flour

* 5 cups lightly boiling water

Mix flour into one cup water until mixture is thin and runny, stir into boiling water. Gently boil and stir for 3 minutes. Cool before using. (Use with newspaper/newsprint strips for Paper mache). Be sure to wear old clothes. This can get messy.

Making a pinata or other round shape with paper mache is easy. Use a blown up balloon, add paper mache strips, let dry, then pop the balloon with a pin. You can make ornaments for your Christmas tree by covering balloons as you would a pinata.

You can also make jewelry, bowls. Create the shape by covering a bowl with foil and put the paper mache over that.

Melted Crayon Design

Wax paper


Crayon shavings

Make the shavings using a crayon sharpener or by carefully shaving with a knife.

Place several layers of newspaper on a table or floor. Put a sheet of wax paper on this. Lay the crayon shavings on the wax paper. Put another sheet of wax paper on top of the shavings. Then cover all of this with another sheet of newspaper. Iron with a slightly warm iron until the crayon shavings are melted. Trim the edges and hang in a window.

"Sand" Painting

White cornmeal

Food coloring

Heavy Paper

Add a few drops of food coloring to some white cornmeal.

Mix until all the cornmeal is covered.

Do different colors.

Draw a design on heavy paper.

Sprinkle with the colored cornmeal.

Work slowly until all the areas are covered.

Rice Art

Heavy paper or cardboard

White rice

Food coloring

White glue

Cover the table with newspaper.

Put some rice in a small glass bowl.

Add a few drops of food coloring.

Stir with a fork until all the rice is completely covered with color.

Make several colors.

Draw a picture on heavy paper or cardboard.

Spread glue on one area of the picture, using a toothpick to spread evenly.

Add the colored rice to the area.

Do the same to the other areas of the picture until you have done all the areas.

Let dry completely then brush glue over the entire picture.

Paper Roll Decorating

Paper from magazines or catalogs

Knitting needle or pencil

Tear pages from the magazine. Starting from one corner of the page roll it around a knitting needle or pencil until you reach the other corner. Glue the corner to secure and remove from the knitting needle or pencil. Make as many as needed. Decorate boxes for waste baskets, coffee cans for canisters, and smaller cans to hold pencils, bobby pins, etc.

Make A Puzzle

Picture or child's drawing

Light cardboard


Glue the picture to the cardboard. Let dry. Turn over and draw curving lines that interlock on the back. cut out to create a puzzle.

Sandpaper Pictures

Fine sandpaper


Draw a picture or design on the sandpaper with crayons. Press very hard. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Put the sandpaper picture on the cookie sheet. Bake in the oven at 250 degrees F for 10 to 15 seconds.

Art Placemats

Clear contact paper

Child's artwork

Collect your child's artwork. Cover with clear contact paper. If the artwork is smaller than a placemant then put the art on construction paper so that there is a border around it. Cover with another sheet of contact paper.

Handy Scoop

Plastic jug with a top such as a bleach bottle.

Clean and dry the jug thoroughly. Cut the jug on the diagonal to remove the bottom and one side. Start the cut just under the handle in a V to either end. Put the lid on for a scoop or take the lid off for a funnel.

Quick crafts

Decorate just about anything with yarn, felt, construction paper, acrylic paints, markers etc.

Cut plastic bottles such as dish detergent bottles in half to make pen holders or eyeglass holders. The inside can be lined with felt to protect the glasses. You can also use washed cans or jars.

Colored Pasta Jewelry

Select pasta with holes for stringing. Elbow macaroni works well. Put a few drops of food coloring in a plastic bag. Add some pasta. Shake the bag until the pasta is coated and now a pretty color. Let dry on a paper plate. String with yarn or string.

You can also make designs by using different kinds of pasta. Draw a picture and add the pasta with craft glue.

Seed Jewelry

Various dried seeds



Pierce a hole in each seed with a heated needle.

Thread the seeds together to make necklaces and bracelets.

Potato Jewelry


Tempera Paint

Needle & thread


Cut the potatoes into 3/4 inch cubes. Push a toothpick into the center of each. Let dry 3 to 4 days until very hard. Remove from the toothpicks. Paint and string together for necklaces.


Plastic jug or bottle (bleach bottle works well)

Fabric, paint, markers, etc.

Stick such as chop sticks or thin dowels

Wash and dry the jug. Cut the shape of a barrette from the curved side of the jug. The shape should be an oval that is wider on either ends and narrows in the middle. Make a hold in each of the wider ends for the stick to go through. A hole punch works well for this. Cover with fabric and glue the edges to the inside, or draw and paint designs. To use, bunch the hair into a pony tail. Place the barrette over the hair. Insert the stick into one of the holes from the front, slide the stick behind the hair, out the other side and into the second hole coming up from behind.

Paper Bag Puppets

You need a paper bag small enough for your child's hand. Lay it flat with the bottom folded over, as the bags are designed to do. Color a face on the bag using the fold for a mouth.

Rainy Day Fun

* Hide buttons around the house. When they find enough buttons give them a prize.

* Scavenger Hunt. Write up a list of items to find. The list can be exact names or hints such as "Find something blue". As they find the items they mark it off their list.

Mystery Animals

This is an activity for a group of children.

Give each child a piece of paper and some crayons or markers. Select one part of an animal for them to draw, maybe the head or one foot or a tail. None of the children should see what the others are drawing. After all are done have them cut out their parts and glue or tape them all together. Have the children think of a name for their very odd creature.

20 Questions & Variations

One person has the answer. The others ask up to 20 questions that are answered yes or no. Who ever guesses correctly wins, of course, but if 20 questions are asked an no one guesses then the first person wins. If someone wants to make a guess and guesses wrong they are out of the game.

Things to ask about:


A country or location to take a vacation

A famous person


Toss & Catch Game

Plastic jug such as a gallon milk jug


String or yarn

Cut the bottom off the jug leaving the handle intact. Cut a piece of string about 18 inches long. Punch a hole through the cut edge of the jug at the bottom edge opposite the handle. Tie the string to this hole. Punch a hole in one end of the sponge. Tie the other end of the string to the sponge through this hole.

Play the game by holding onto the handle of the jug and, with a swinging motion, toss the sponge up and catch it with the jug. Do not touch the sponge with your hands.

Bowling Game

10 empty bathroom tissue tubes

Tennis ball

Color the tubes or cover with contact paper. Number them from 1 to 10. Line them up for the bowling in a triangle shape with the 1 at the front. Roll the tennis ball along the floor to knock down the tubes.

Balloon Basketball

Laundry basket


Blow up 5 to 6 balloons. Use the laundry basket for a goal.

Hide the button

My grandmother use to have us play this game.

While everyone else is out of the room, one player places the object somewhere in plain sight. The other players then return to search. Whenever a player sees the object, he sits down where he is, being careful not to give away the object's location. No one is allowed to speak. It's a fun and quiet game!

Have a picnic!

Get paper plates, napkins, plastic forks, make sandwiches and drink. Pack them up in a box or bag. Lay out a blanket on the living room floor and have a picnic.

Make Your Own Butter

Whipping or heavy cream


Large glass jar with tight lid

(A Mayonnaise jar works well)

Let the cream stand at room temperature for a few hours. Fill the large jar with the cream. Shake vigorously. You may rest if you become tired.

After about 15-20 minutes your butter should come. The butter will be the lumps that float in the cream and are called curds. Keep shaking until no more curds form. Scoop the curds out. The remaining liquid is buttermilk. Store in the refrigerator to drink later.

The butter curds will be soft and mushy. Put them in a bowl and rinse with cold water until any remaining milk is removed.

Cool in refrigerator. After an hour or so the butter will be firm enough to mold together. Add salt to taste. Shape into balls, sticks, or butter pats. You may also use cookie cutters to shape the butter. Store in the refrigerator.

Interesting Recipes from around the Internet

I haven't tried these yet but they look like they would be fun!

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag from Kaboose

What you'll need:

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup milk or half & half

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons rock salt

1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc)

1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag

Ice cubes

How to make it:

Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.

Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.

Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully.

Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes.

Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Enjoy!


A 1/2 cup milk will make about 1 scoop of ice cream, so double the recipe if you want more. But don't increase the proportions more that that -- a large amount might be too big for kids to pick-up because the ice itself is heavy.

Yogurt on a Stick from Martha Stewart

A container of yogurt transformed into an ice pop isn't just a yummy treat for kids -- its lid can catch messy drips. Open a 6-ounce container of fruit yogurt; drain excess liquid, and stir. Add a couple of teaspoons of berries and granola on top, pressing into yogurt a bit. Cut a slit in the lid, just large enough to insert a large craft stick. Put lid back on; insert stick halfway into yogurt. Freeze at least 5 hours. To unmold, dip cup into bowl of warm water.

Bird Feeder Pine Cones

Pine cones - medium to large

Peanut butter

Bird seed

Fill the spaces in the pine cone with peanut butter by putting a couple spoonfuls in a bowl and using a table knife or your fingers to put the peanut butter in the spaces. Roll the pine cone in bird seed. Tie a string at the top. Hang the bird feeder in a tree.

Colored Celery

One celery stalk with the leaves

2 glasses of water

Food coloring - 2 different colors

Cut the celery half way up from the bottom to form two "legs". Fill the glasses with water. In one glass add 4-5 drops of one of the colors and add 4-5 drops of the other color to the other glass of water. Put the glasses side by side. Stand the celery in the glasses by putting each "leg" of the celery into each glass. Wait overnight. The colors will move up the celery and color the leaves.

Object Rubbings

Pencil or crayon

White paper

Small objects such as coins, paper clips, keys, string, thin buttons, bobby pins, safety pins, etc.

Put the small objects under the white paper. Using a pencil or crayon rub the paper where the object is underneath. This will make impressions on the paper. Be very careful that the objects do not slide around. If it doesn't work the first time try again with a slightly different pressure of the pencil. Rub the objects in random order and direction to create a picture.

Nature Book

Scrap book

Wax paper

Glue, tape

Collect various leaves, flowers, seeds, etc. Put the items between two sheets of wax paper and iron with a warm iron. Trim off excess paper to the shape of the leaves or other item. Tape into the scrapebook. Add the name, where it was found, and any other information concerning the item.

Some collections may include all parts of a plant. For example: For a cottonwood tree collect the leaf, stem, seed and some bark if possible or make a rubbing of the bark by placing a sheet of white paper over the tree and rubbing with a pencil until the exture of the bark appears. Label the tree and add additional informaiton that you find from books. Gglue or tape items too bulky to put between wax paper or that do poorly with rubbings right into the book


Dirt (or you may make a volcano with Baker's dough)

Baking soda


Mound the dirt into a mound 6 to 10 inches high. Make a hole down the middle using a spencil. Put 2 teaspoons of baking soda into the hole. Pour a small amount of vinegar into the hole. The baking soda and vinegar will react to form an eruption.

Crystal Formation

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

Add the salt to the water. Stir over low heat until the salt is competely dissolved. Pour into a jar and let it cool. Crystals will form.

Sewing Cards

Yarn or heavy string

Cardboard - 5" X 5" or larger

Draw simple designs on the cardboard. Use a coloring book for design ideas or just draw a house, apple, pear, or other simple design. Punch holes at the corners and along the lines. A paper hole punch works well on thinner cardboard. Color the design. Tape the ends of the yarn or string to prevent fraying and make it easier to sew. Use the yarn to "sew" the cards by going in and out of the holes.

Soap Carving

A large soft bar of soap such as Ivory

Leave the bar of soap unwrapped for 24 hours. Draw the outline of the shape you want onto the soap. Use a dull paring knife to carve the shape. Remove the larger sections from the soap until you have the general shape. Then, with smaller shavings, shape the piece and add details.


Oatmeal box - the round kind


Decorate the oatmeal box. Punch two holes opposite each other at one end of the box. Thread the yarn through the holes. Tie a know at each end of the yarn so that the knots are inside the box and the yarn can not slip out. Tape the top of the box closed.

Musical Shakers

Small containers with lids such as yogurt containers

Dry beans, rice or dry peas

Put the beans, rice or pes in the container. Experiment with different items or combinations of items for different sounds. When you have the desired items insidte the container fasten the lid securely with superglue or tape.

Decorate the outside with paints, markers, paper designs or contact paper.


Paper tube - Toilet tissue tube works well

Wax paper

Rubber band

Cover one end of the tube with the wax paper. Hold in place with the rubber band. Pull the wax paper tight. Punch a tiny hold in the center of the wax paper with a pin. Punch a larger hole halfway down the side of the tube.

To make music, hum into the open end of the kazoo. Use your finger to cover and uncover the hole on the side to change the sound.

Straw Whistle

A straw

Cut a "V" in one end of a plastic straw. Blow on that end to make a whistle. Practice until you get the correct amount of air and pressure to make a sound.

Leaf Painting

Large Leaf




Hold the leaf firmly on the paper. Use a sponge dabbed in paint and, rubbing or dabbing outwards, paint all around the outside edge of the leaf. Remove the leaf and let dry.

Pulled String Painting

Poster paint

Cardboard or paper plate



Put some poster paint on a paper plate or cardboard. Cover the string with paint. Fold the paper in half. Open the paper and lay the string in circles and squiggles on one side of the paper. Fold the paper over with the string inside. Press and hold the paper with one hand. Pull the string out with the other hand. Use one or more strings and colors.

Mirror Painting



Fold the paper in half. Put about 1/2 teaspoon of paint on the paper near the fold. Fold the paper with the paint inside. Press and rub the surface. Open to see the design.

Straw Blown Painting




Put some paint on the paper. Use the straw to gently blow the paint in different directions to creat a design. If the paint doesn't blow very easily add some water.

Magic Picture

White Paper

Paint (Water colors)

White crayon

Draw a picture on white paper with the white crayon. Make it simple and without too much detail. Paint over the paper with water colors. Paint either one color, a variety of colors or use colors needed for the picture such as blue for water and green for grass. The picture drawn with the white crayon will show though.

White Glue Printing

White glue

Tempura paint

Absorbent paper like rice paper, newspaper or paper towels

Make a design, picture or words using the white glue. Cover with the tempura paint. Cover the design with absorbent paper and rub with the back of a large spoon. Carefully lift off.

Paint Printing



Household items such as:

Potato - cut in half and carved into shapes

Sponge - cut into squares, circles and other shapes

Cotton swabs

Thread spools

Carrots, broccoli, and other hard vegetables

Crumbled food wrap

Staw end


Collect various items. Either use as is or carve the items into designs. Put some paint on a paper plate. Dip the items into the paint and press onto paper.

Do you have any quick, easy and fun activities that you do with your grandchildren? Share them with others.

Readers collection of great activities!

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    • Joy Neasley profile image

      Joy Neasley 7 years ago from Nashville, TN

      These bring back memories....I need grandkids now....can't wait.

    • RobinForlongePa profile image

      RobinForlongePa 8 years ago

      Well, my wife is expecting to be a grandmother within a year or so. She practises with any children she's allowed to look after: four regulars in our region and a few children of nieces further away.

      But before the children in your long and wonderful story leave grandma's house they should ask her to talk about her parents and grandparents. She remembers things that nobody has ever written down and that will be lost if she doesn't tell somebody.

      At this point, of course, you will have remembered your very good lens about basic genealogy. How about putting some family tree drawing at the top of the above list of fun things to do with grandma?