14 Easy Crafts for Kids
Crafts for kids don't have to be difficult -- or require you to buy out a whole craft store. Check out these 14 crafts for kids!
Whether it's a snow day or a too-hot-to-play-outside kind of day, easy crafts for kids are always in season -- and for good reason.
"Crafts are a great way to build kids' confidence -- they love to make things themselves," says Heather Mann, mom of four boys and the founder of Dollar Store Crafts. Getting crafty is also a creative way for a child to use his imagination. "As long as you have scissors and some kind of adhesive -- tape or glue sticks are great -- you always have the tools you need to make a craft any day!" says Jen Goode, a Denver-based mom, illustrator and creator of 100Directions.com.
Here are 14 easy crafts for kids that babysitters and parents can do with kids that don't require many supplies and provide hours of fun:
- Egg Carton Caterpillar
Recycle your old egg cartons with this easy craft from Planet Forward. You'll need the bottom section of a clean egg carton, scissors, paint or crayons, pipe cleaners and glue. Cut the carton lengthwise, between the two rows of cups. Paint or color the pieces, then glue pipe cleaners to one end to create antennae.
- Button Tree
Here's a beautiful mixed-media art project from Simply Designing by Ashley Phipps that makes the most of a collection of colorful buttons. You'll need paint, a paintbrush, canvas, buttons and glue. Paint your tree on the canvas and, after it's dry, glue on the buttons as if they're leaves and fruit.
- Straw Garland
This banner of festive striped paper straws would be great for a party. Sassy Style Redesign says you'll need 50 or more paper straws, scissors, a needle and floss or thread. Cut the straws in half, then string them together by sewing into each straw across the width. Use the extra floss at each end to hang them up.
- Paper Plate Marble Track
It's easy and inexpensive to create this looping racetrack for rolling marbles, according to Frugal Fun For Boys. You'll need paper plates, marbles, glue or glue dots and a support structure. Start with paper plates with smooth, curved edges (not scalloped edges). Cut off the outer 2 inches of each plate, turn the rim upside down, and it becomes part of your track. Glue the segments together, and use toys or cardboard to create the support structure. Use extra plates for a more exciting layout!
- Easy Jelly Bean Bracelets
Kids love to make and give these sweet bracelets from Artzy Creations -- especially when they can nibble on the supplies. You'll need jelly beans, stretch cord, a needle and scissors. Cut the cord into a 6-inch length, tie a double knot in one end, then thread it onto a thick needle. Sew right through the middle of the jelly beans until you have enough to fit around your child's wrist, then triple-knot the two ends together. Create several bracelets and wear them together.
- Heart-Shaped Love Goggles
These fun and festive "glasses" from Make and Takes are quick and easy to make with just colorful pipe cleaners and a pair of scissors! Simply form the front of the glasses from one or two pipe cleaners. Make them into hearts, rounds or any shape you want. Use a pipe cleaner on either side to loop over the ears.
- Yarn Hearts
These are sort of like miniature dream catchers, and can be formed into any shape. You'll need rustic floral wire, wire cutters, yarn and scissors. Family Chic says to start by creating a shape out of the floral wire. Then, tie a piece of yarn to the wire and start wrapping it around the shape from side to side and up and down. Use them to brighten up windows, or as ornaments or gift tags!
- Cardboard Tube Town
Your child can go to town creating his very own city inspired by this craft from Family Fun. You'll need cardboard tubes, construction paper or patterned craft paper, scissors, a glue stick, beads and stickers. Start by painting the cardboard tubes. While they dry, create doors, windows and roofs from the paper. Glue or tape on the architectural features you created, and add stickers and beads to make things more interesting.
- Tiny Yarn Butterflies
These little butterflies from homemade@myplace are made from little leftover pieces of yarn, but require no knitting skill. Start with a clean fork, and wrap the yarn around the tines, going back and forth in a tight weave. When you have about an inch and a half of yarn woven, poke another piece of yarn through the middle, bunch all the yarn, and tie it in a knot. You can also add a pipe cleaner to turn them into flowers instead!
- Fingerprint Dandelion
Create an adorable greeting card with white-painted fingertips to make beautiful handmade dandelion patterns. This craft is great for kids of all ages, although younger children might need help. You'll need paint, a small paintbrush, card stock and some of your favorite fingers. Crafty Morning suggests you first make the center of the flower with a big fingerprint in brown paint. Add a green stem with the paintbrush, then use the pinky finger in white paint to make all the seed puffs on the flower.
- Pool Noodle Garland
Make awesome tropical party decorations with pool noodles, needles, and thread or twine. Dollar Store Mom says to cut the pool noodle into half-inch-thick slices. Sew across through the slice to string them all together, and then hang your colorful garland.
Create a soothing, mesmerizing miniature sea, even if you're hundreds of miles away from the nearest beach. For this craft from Happy Hooligans, you'll need water, cooking oil, blue food coloring, a large plastic bottle and a funnel. Fill the bottle a third of the way with water, then add food coloring and shake it up. Fill the rest of the bottle with oil, seal it and swirl it around to marvel at the little ocean in your hands.
- Watercolor Leaf
Encourage your kids to see the beauty of nature and to expand their imaginations with this idea from Art Projects for Kids. You'll need paper, watercolors, crayons and a permanent marker. First, draw a leaf diagonally so it fills the paper. Trace over the leaves and veins with a thick permanent marker. With crayons, create lots of colorful patterns in each section of the leaf, then outline the leaf with white or light-colored crayons. Finally, paint the page with watercolors, allowing the colors to bleed throughout.
- Mixed Supply Collage
Goode says she loves to create mixed media collages with her kids -- and as a bonus, the project takes care of all those little odds and ends from other crafts! "Save all those supply scraps like paper, yarn, buttons and dried play dough pieces, then combine them to create super fun collages full of texture and color."
As with all craft projects, younger kids may need help using scissors, hot glue or needles. While these easy crafts for kids can be educational and improve hand-eye coordination and motor skills, they can also serve as boredom busters or rewards. No matter the reason, says Mann, "Parents need all kinds of tools in their parenting tool box, and crafts are one tool you don't want to be without."
Want more crafts for your kiddos? Check out these Top 5 Recycled Craft Ideas.
Nancy J Price is an Arizona-based mother of four, as well as a writer, editor and web developer. One of the original co-founders of SheKnows.com, she now writes for several websites, including Myria.com and ClickAmericana.com.