8 Fun Paper Crafts for Kids
There are so many things to love about paper crafts for kids -- and here are 8 fun and easy projects that prove it!
There are so many great things about paper crafts for kids: the primary material is readily available, it's easy to work with and it's even recyclable!
"Paper is such a great medium for kids to experiment with," says Jen Goode, craft expert and owner of J Goode Designs design studio. "Cutting, gluing, drawing and more -- there's always something fun to do." Wendy Piersall, founder of Woo! Jr. Kids' Activities, agrees. "I always keep construction paper, printer paper, scrapbook paper and origami paper in the house...It's especially handy when my kids complain about being bored or suddenly feel crafty!"
Take a page out of these experts' books and try these eight fun and easy paper crafts for kids. But remember, as with all craft projects, younger kids may need supervision, even if they're using child-safe scissors.
- Create Paper Ice Cream Cones
With brown construction paper, cut out several triangles -- these will be the cones. Next, cut circles or half circles out of colored construction paper. (The diameter of each "scoop" should be slightly larger than the top of the cones.) On top of a piece of blank paper, each child can assemble his ultimate ice cream cone by gluing several scoops on top of the cone. Use stickers, puffy glue and mini pom poms for decorating the scoops with "sprinkles" and "cherries."
"Construction paper crafts seem to be best for younger kids," says Piersall, both because the thicker paper is easier to cut and is widely available in a variety of colors.
- Scrunch Tissue Paper Art
With a thick, dark marker, draw a simplified version of your child's favorite animal or cartoon character. Use the whole piece of paper and leave plenty of white space to fill in. Next, have your child dot white glue or glue stick into one section. Then, scrunch up tiny pieces of colorful tissue paper that's been cut or torn into 1-inch squares and place the tissue paper on the glued areas. When one section is done, move to the next, and continue until all desired areas are filled with texture and color.
- Dye a Butterfly
For this simple project, prepare four small bowls of water and add a few drops of food coloring to each so you have four different colors. Fold white paper towels in half two or three times, then start coloring! Use paintbrushes to drip colored water on the towels (or quickly dip corners of the paper towel into the water). When your child is satisfied with the pattern, lay the paper towel flat. Once it's dry, pinch the top and bottom of the paper towel together in the middle and bind it with a pipe cleaner. Straighten out the wings, then curl the pipe cleaner to form antennae.
- Make Seasonal Wreaths
Take any kind of paper plate, and cut out the middle to leave a ring that is about 1 to 2 inches wide all the way around. Glue decorations all over one side of the wreath -- it could be leaves for autumn, paper snowflakes and candy canes for winter holidays or tissue paper flowers in the spring. Allow the wreath to dry completely, then tie a long loop with a bow at the top to hang the new masterpiece.
- Hang a Rainbow Spinner
Transform a simple paper plate into an eye-catching craft! Start by having your child cover a paper plate with a rainbow of stripes. When dry, use scissors to cut the plate in a spiral pattern, starting at the outside, and making the spirals narrower as you move closer to the center, leaving the last inch in the very middle intact. When you're finished, you should have one long twisty piece. Hang it with a piece of string or yarn from the center section.
- Craft a Hibiscus Leis
Make a Hawaiian-style lei with just construction paper, straws, string, a hole punch and scissors. Start by cutting out about 15 flower shapes from construction paper (freehand it or trace it from a pattern). Next, punch a hole in the middle of each finished flower and cut the straws into 1-inch lengths. On an approximately 30-inch length of the string or yarn, alternate threading one flower then one piece of straw. End with a piece of straw, then tie a knot in the necklace, and move the last piece of straw over the knot to hide it.
- Whip Up Cupcake Liner Fortune Cookies
First, create your fortunes on slips of paper. (Commercial fortunes are about 2 1/4 inches x 5/8 inches, but you can make yours any size.) Next, take a cupcake liner and bend it into a taco shape without folding. Place the fortune inside, then push in the bottom of the taco while you pull the two outer edges together, making a traditional fortune cookie shape. Put a dab of glue between those two edges, and use a paper clip to keep it together until the glue dries.
- Glue a Colorful Paper Mosaic
Give your child a large paper punch or pair of scissors, and have them cut out "tiles" of single colors from photos and advertisements from a stack of used magazines. Once he has about a hundred tile pieces, take a blank piece of paper and start creating a mosaic with a variety of colors and patterns, using a dab of glue or a glue stick to attach them to the paper. The pieces can overlap, be spaced evenly or perhaps there will only be spaces between sections or colors. This is a free-form activity, so there's no wrong way to do it.
Caught by surprise without many supplies on hand? Goode says to remember that you don't need much to create fun paper crafts for kids. "Dig through the recycling bin and pull out cereal boxes, bottle caps and scraps of paper. Combine that with some scissors and glue, and you have all you need to make amazing collages!" Once you get in the crafty frame of mind, you'll never look at a piece of plain paper the same way again.
And here are 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.