Why is it Important for Kids to Create Crafts?
Crafts for kids! Kids crafts are a great way for children to explore their creativity, problem-solving abilities, eye-hand coordination, design skills, creativity, self-expression, and so much more! Who knew messing around with glue and playdough could be so educational (and important for development)–and yet so fun.
Note: While you will find a ton of ideas on It’s All Kid’s Play, the one thing you usually won’t find are highly detailed, step-by-step instructions. (Except for every once in awhile.)
Why is that? Because then you and your kids won’t get as creative. If I leave you some gaps in the instructions your kids are more likely to make a creation that is truly them. Because I bet you and your kids can create something that would truly knock my socks off if left to your own devices. So get out there, have some fun, and be creative.
These activities are just the beginning. There are more craft activities on the It’s All Kid’s Play blog as well as Pinterest. And sometimes I share activities on Twitter, too. Oh! And be sure to check out the book I wrote, too. It includes over 1,000 play activities so no matter where you are and what your interests or age, there is something in there for you–guaranteed! Check it out!
A scrapbook is a book that you can glue or tape things little things you would like to save like drawings, photos, newspaper articles, or have a special theme like a vacation, sport, or favourite singer. Scrapbooks can be simple or fancy. While scrapbooks usually contain pictures and ‘clippings’ (from newspapers), sometimes they also contain writing.
My grandma’s friend once gave me a photo album full of photos, cards, and magazine clippings of cats. Basically, the photo album (some might call it a scrap book) was a way to keep her collection of cat pictures organized.
Start/Make your own photo album. It can have a theme like family, horses, vacations, or friends. Or, it can be an album of all your favourite photos.
A memory box is a decorated box for storing special items. Usually they are made to remember a special event or a person. For example, if you went on a vacation, or a friend was moving away, you might make your own memory box.
Materials needed for a homemade memory box: a small box with a lid (like a shoebox), mementos (things you want to keep like ticket stubs, photos), glue or tape, ribbon, photos, glitter, stickers and other things you would like to use to decorate your box.
Decorate the box both inside and out outside. You can glue your mementos (special items like pictures, ticket stubs and other things that you have collected that will remind you of that person or place) into the box or you can glue them to the inside or outside of the box. Or, simply place them inside the box once it is done.
A paperweight is something that looks nice and is also heavy enough to hold down papers (usually on a desk) so they won’t blow away.
A pretty rock can can make a good homemade paperweight. Or if you want to make it ‘prettier’ you can paint or glue interesting things to your new paperweight. Do you think Dad would like a homemade paperweight for Father’s Day?
An easy way to make a homemade puzzle is to find an old photo, picture from a magazine, or an old postcard. (Make sure it is okay to cut it up.) Glue the picture/photo to a piece of cereal box that is the same size as your photo. This will make your puzzle pieces nice and strong. Cut your picture into different shapes and sizes and then try to put it back together!
There are approximately 8 million ways (I may be exaggerating a bit) to make a homemade card. Which way will you use?
There are many different ways to make your own, homemade magnets.
If you are good with computers and have a printer, you can buy a magnet sheet at a stationary store and print photos or words from your computer onto the magnet sheet.
If you want to get a bit more crafty, you can use old magnets and cover them with something new. Using glue, you can place pictures, drawings, funny sayings, feathers, and well, just about anything on the magnet! Just remember that if you make it too heavy, the magnet might fall off your fridge! (These homemade magnets make great gift ideas.)
Make your own board game! You can make a homemade board game from scratch, making up your own rules, board, game pieces–everything! Or, you can simply change the rules to a board game you already have. That’s an easy way to have a whole new game to play!
Place Name Tags
Having company over for supper? No? Then make some place name tags for just your family. Make one name tag for person at your dinner table. You can make your place tags either very simple by writing their name on a piece of paper or a card to put at their place at the table, or you can add photographs, drawings, feathers, glitter, etc., and make your homemade place card even fancier!
A centerpiece is something gorgeous, interesting, or themed that you place in the middle of a table for decoration. There are hundreds of different ideas and types of centerpieces. What do you think would look nice? Something made of flowers? Pine cones? Wood? Paper? Lego?If it is a holiday, you can create a themed centerpiece such as an Easter Bunny, turkey, or … Be creative! Your imagination is the limit.
To make homemade jewellery the cheap and easy way is to get started with what you have at home. Do you have string, wire, or fishing line? Thread beads, shells, buttons, elbow noodles or cheerios onto the string. If you have coloured string, you can braid it and tie knots in it to make an easy and pretty bracelet. Use your imagination! Children making their own jewellery can be quick, easy, and economical.
Knit / Crochet
Learning to knit or crochet on your own can be tricky. While you can read up on how to knit or crochet, it is easiest to learn from someone who already knows how. (They might even let you borrow some of their supplies.) As well, there are some learn-to-knit kits for kids that are easy to use and a great way to get started.
Make jewellery, key chains, bags, and much more by tying and weaving strung beads together. You will need beads and cord to string your beads on. Here comes the imaginative part–what can you make?
Materials needed to tye-dye clothing: clothing for dying (preferable white), dye, water, buckets, rubber bands or thick string, rubber gloves and an adult.
Find an item of clothing that is okay to dye a different colour. If your item is brand new, wash and dry your item.
Tie strips of cloth around the item you are dying. Where you tie the strips will remain the original colour. Make sure that the ties are very tight so too much dye doesn’t seep underneath them. Have an adult mix your dye according to the package directions. If you mix the dye in a large bucket you can dip your item into the dye. Make sure you wear old clothes, rubber gloves (so you don’t dye your hands), and cover your work area with plastic or newspaper. After dipping the item in the dye a few times, rinse it really well in cold water and then again in warm water. Afterwards you can take your ties off and admire your new tie-dyed item. (Lay it flat to dry.)
Variations: Instead of putting the dye in a bucket, pour it into a squeeze bottle and squeeze the dye onto parts of the shirt you want dyed. You can do really cool, multi-coloured shirts this way.
Get creative. Do you want to hand sew your item or use a sewing machine. Do you want to make something easy like a little folded bag, or pencil case, or something more difficult like Barbie clothes? Do you want to use a pattern or just wing it? My daughter loves winging it and has created many handsewn bags! (Some of them even stay together and don’t leak items.)
Go to a Craft Store and Pick a Project to Make
This is a great rainy/snowy day activity. What would you like to create today?
Inuksuit originated in the Canadian Arctic. These rock statues are used to help hunters find their way. In other areas of Canada they have become popular for decoration and was even the symbol for the Vancouver Winter Olympics. For instance, in some parts of Ontario it is common to see Inuksuit beside the road.
Make your own Inuksuk–it’s easy! Rocks that have a flat top and flat bottom are the easiest to stack. You can make an Inuksuk as big or as small as you like. If you want to make one for inside, use small rocks (pebbles) and glue the rocks together. If you are outside, use rocks, or even slabs of ice or hard snow.
Materials needed to make your own pencil jar:
Empty jar or can about 8 x 10 cm (3-4 inches) tall that has a wide opening at the top
A small, shallow container for glue (like a jar lid)
Cut the tissue paper into small squares (3 x 3 cm or 1 by 1 inch). Place the eraser end of the pencil in the middle of a tissue paper square. Gently wrap the square of tissue paper around the pencil end. Dip it lightly in the white glue so only the middle of the tissue paper is covered with glue. Stick the tissue paper to the jar or can. The middle should stick to the jar with the four corners sticking out. Continue until the jar is covered, placing your squares close together.
Variation: If this seems like too much work, you can also take the tissue paper square and completely cover one side of it with glue and place the tissue paper flat on the jar.
Or you can also wrap construction paper, wrapping paper, or even yarn around the jar or can. Glue other things to it if you want to make it more elaborate.
Pipe Cleaner Animals
Bend pipe cleaners into the shapes of different animals. Add googly eyes!
Coffee Filter Butterfly
To make a coffee filter butterfly, you will need: a white paper coffee filter, washable markers, a black pipe cleaner, scissors, spray bottle that can mist water, and two pieces of paper towel.
Cut your pipe cleaner in half (you need a piece about 4-5 inches long). Set it aside. Colour the filter with the markers. You don’t need to cover the whole filter with colour, but the more you colour, the brighter your butterfly will be. Hold the coloured filter over the paper towel (to catch any drips that might happen) and mist the filter with water (using the spray bottle). Make sure you get the whole filter wet (but not soaked). The marker’s colour should be a little bit runny.
Wrap your pipe cleaner around the middle of your filter to divide the butterfly in half–making two wings. Leave the two ends of the pipe cleaner sticking up to make antennas. Lay the butterfly flat on a dry piece of paper towel. In about an hour, it should be dry.
Variations: Tie fishing line around the middle so you can hang your butterfly! If you make a number of them you can make a mobile! Or, glue a magnet to the back of the butterfly to make it a fridge magnet. (It’s beautiful, easy, and makes a great homemade gift.)
Decorate a Mug
Many photo labs will let you print a digital photo onto a cup for a professional-looking, durable, and personal homemade cup. As well, art studios will sometimes let you paint white cups. As well, some printing shops can print ‘digital labels’ that you have made on your computer onto a cup. They look great!
Decorate a Picture Frame
Some ideas to get you started: Use paint or markers to colour a plain frame. You can also glue pictures, fabric, ribbon or other interesting things to the picture frame.
HINT: Look in a dollar store, second hand store, or at a garage sale for cheap frames. (P.S. Decorated frames make good gifts.)
Make a Cat Toy
1. Dangle Toy: Take a scrap piece of cloth like an old sock and cut out a small strip (about 15 cm long and 5 cm wide (6 x 1 ½ inches)). Tie this strip onto the end of a tough piece of string or yarn. Make the string about two times as long as your arm. Pull the toy along using the string. (You can also tie a feather or a cat toy to the end of the string instead of cloth.) Watch your kitty pounce on this fun, and easy, homemade cat toy!
2. Catnip Toy: Stuff catnip into the toe of an old sock. Tie or sew the sock closed. (Don’t forget to snip off the part of the sock that you don’t need.) Watch your kitty go wild!!! My cat chewed and sucked on his catnip toy until it was green and soaking wet! He loved it.
Make a Dog Toy
Take an old sock—the bigger the better (so sneak into Dad’s sock drawer–you can tell him I said it’s okay). Stuff the sock full of clean, old rags (like the rest of Dad’s old socks). Tie a knot on the end of the sock so the stuffing doesn’t come out. Play fetch or let your dog pull on one end of the sock while you pull on the other end.
Wax a Leaf
Materials needed to wax a leaf: leaves, wax paper, newspaper, iron, help from an adult.
Place a leaf between two pieces of wax paper. Place the wax paper between two pieces of plain paper or newspaper. Have an adult run the iron over the paper. The wax from the wax paper should melt over the leaf, preserving it as well as its colour.
Safety First: You will need an adult to help you with making homemade candles.
There are many, many different ways to make candles. If you have never made candles before, the easiest thing to do is to buy a kit from an arts and crafts store that comes with instructions and supplies. But, if you are feeling more creative you can try melting old crayons to make candles–make sure you use proper ‘wick’ in your candle though–otherwise it won’t burn properly.