Crafts for Kids that Adults Will Enjoy, Too!
Is there ever a time when kids aren’t bored?! Seriously, give my kids less than 30 seconds without activity in front of them and they’re at a loss for what to do. This is where simple creative crafts for kids are your saving grace! The only thing is, this usually requires a lot of parent involvement, and let’s be honest, the more they can do on their own, the better! Unless… you have a few awesome crafts up your sleeve that you secretly get excited about, too!
I’m always on a hunt for things that will not only keep my kids entertained but will also have an educational element: teach them creativity, help with their focusing skills, and give them the confidence that even a simple accomplishment can bring. Here are some of my favorite activities and crafts for kids that I think parents and adults will think are fun and exciting, too.
1. Balloon Rockets
Balloons are one of the cheapest and easiest sources of entertainment! The next time the kids complain about being bored, just blow up a few balloons and it’s likely to keep them busy for hours. These balloon rockets are a blast, and only require materials you probably already have at home: A balloon, a straw, yarn, tape, and two chairs or other pieces of furniture the yarn can be attached to. Check out the full details here.
2. Painted Rocks
It’s always fun to take something as ordinary as a rock and turn it into a piece of art! On top of just being pretty, you could also use them as a paperweight or doorstop. Or, I have what I call a “gratitude rock”, and every time I see it, I pick it up and think of something I’m thankful for. Perhaps these could be gifts for something like that!
You will need smooth (and preferably flat) rocks to get started. Clean them really well and maybe even rub them down good with rubbing alcohol to help the paint stick. Use an acrylic craft paint for your base coat, and after it dries, a fine permanent marker to make your outline. Fill in your design with more paint, or try these Molotow Markers for fine detail work. It might be best with the kids (depending on the age) to help them with their outline, and then they can have fun filling in the lines.
3. Straw Weaving
If you’re at all familiar with the Rainbow Loom, then you can see how exciting this project can be for older kids! My daughter has an obsession with yarn lately, and I’m so happy to say that I’ve finally found a good use for it. She’s not quite old enough to knit, but this is a fun alternative for making bracelets and bookmarks. Get the full instructions here including a video tutorial.
4. I-Spy Bottle
I have to admit, even I would enjoy shaking and twisting the bottle to find new treasures! Perhaps I’ll make one for myself. 🙂 This easy craft for kids is fun to make and would be especially nice for the back seat of the car to keep the kids entertained while driving. Simply fill a bottle full of dried rice or beans, along with a handful of charms or little items like coins, pom poms, beads, etc. Just don’t forget to securely glue the lid on! I found this idea here, but it looks like the website is down for now.
5. Balloon Bowls
Can you believe this is just made out of confetti and mod podge!? Even if you don’t have confetti, you can easily make your own by cutting scrap paper into small pieces (or by using a hole punch). Glue is also another alternative in place of mod podge. You might already have all of the supplies needed at home! Go get the full instructions here.
6. Finger Knitting
The reasons why finger knitting is so awesome: it doesn’t require any tools, it’s simple enough for children to do, and it’s a fabulous way to pass the time– all you’ll need is yarn! There are so many things you can do with the strips, such as headbands, scarves for American Girl dolls, or anything else you can dream up! Go get the complete step-by-step instructions here.
7. Lego Candy Dispenser
I think I might be more obsessed with Legos than my kids! It’s the one thing from my childhood that I refuse to let go of. They’ve just gotten so elaborate and even more amazing! If you’ve already got a nice collection of Legos going, you might just have everything you need to make this sweet little candy dispenser. Go get the step-by-step instructions over at Frugal Fun For Boys & Girls.
8. Soap Clouds
I’ve done this a handful of times with my kids (even my teenager loves it), and it just never gets old. This craft for kids is one of the coolest science experiments you’ll ever do with your microwave. It’s kind of scary to think what might be in a plain old bar of Ivory soap, but who cares when it’s this much fun! You can also make fun soap shapes with cookie cutters once you’re done with all of the soap cloud excitement. Go check out the instructions and more photos here.
9. Easy Marble Maze
This little project will not only keep the kids busy but is also a great learning experience for them. Cutting and placing the straws to make a good maze for the marble may take some trial and error, so be sure to place all of the straws where you want them before gluing the straws down. Go get the full instructions here!
10. Expanding On An Image
This makes drawing so much more fun! Cut out images from a magazine, newspaper, or old card, and then glue them to paper. Then expand on the image using your imagination (pencil, watercolor, markers, etc.). You could do several cut-outs on one piece of paper to make it even more intriguing for the kids. Read more here.
11. Sandpaper Printed T-Shirts
You can use sandpaper to transfer crayons onto fabric. Who knew!? Let the kids draw their own design onto fine sandpaper and then transfer it onto a t-shirt or any other cotton fabric (pillows cases, totes, socks, etc.) with an iron. Go get the full instructions here.
12. DIY Fairy Garden
With spring right around the corner, the kids are going to be itching to get outdoors. I’m not a play-in-the-mud type of gal, but THIS I can handle! You can really use your imagination with items you can find in the yard and craft closet! The craft stick house is a cute little touch, too, don’t you think? You could even paint or add designs to the sticks first. Go get the instructions and see more photos here.
13. Marshmallow Catapult
Boys AND girls are going to love this simple craft for kids! No glue, paint or messy stuff required– perhaps just a few marshmallows flying around the house, but hey, anything to keep them entertained for a few hours. Go get the full instructions here. So easy! You could make more than one and then have marshmallow catapulting contests. 🙂
14. Marshmallow Shooters
Yet again, another activity for the kids that cost next to nothing. Those are always the best! You’d be surprised at how far these things can launch a marshmallow or pom pom. Go check it out and get the instructions here.
15. Ribbon Bookmarks
I’ve done this with my 9-year-old daughter, and the sewing skills required were easy enough for her to do. She was able to do just about all of this project by herself. I only helped with the measuring to ensure it was a snug fit, but not too tight to fit around the book. The best part about this craft is that you probably already have the supplies on hand! Also, these make for great gifts! Go get the instructions here.
16. DIY Lava Lamps
With just 4 ingredients (water, oil, food coloring, and Alka-Seltzer) you can easily make your very own lava lamp. Whoop whoop!! I’ve always been fascinated by lava lamps and didn’t realize until now how simple the science was behind them. This is a fun activity for the patio in the spring or summer when the weather is nice. That way you don’t have to worry about spills or messes with the little ones. Go get the instructions and see more photos over at S.L. Smith Photography.
17. Canvas Tape Painting
This is craft is ideal for kids of all ages! Even toddlers can produce something worthy enough for the wall with this technique. The idea is to create a design with painter’s tape on a canvas, and then paint away! I think it would be awesome to do a different paint technique in each section. Once you pull off the tape, you’ve got a contemporary piece of artwork that doesn’t really take any skill at all! Read more here.
18. Glove Monsters
How fun are these!? And, it just so happens that I have a ton of gloves my daughter has outgrown (most of them missing their partner). I was just about to throw them in the Goodwill bag, but now they have an adorable new purpose! The instructions call for a sewing machine, but I don’t see why you couldn’t hand stitch them– they don’t need to be perfect, after all, they’re monsters! Go get the instructions and lots of other cute photos here.
19. Secret Message Painting
Watercolors and a white crayon are all you will need to make secret messages and cool art projects! Amaze the little ones by telling them they are painting on magic paper (after drawing a design or writing a message with your crayon, of course). So simple but fun! Read more here.
20. Bead Suncatchers
I was a little apprehensive about this at first because of the thought of melting plastic in the house (and the possibility of ruining my muffin pans), but after reading the instructions, I was relieved to see that the beads just fall out after being melted, and you can also bake them outside in a toaster oven or on the grill if you’re worried about the fumes.
These really turned out looking amazing! In fact, you can also make larger ones in a round cake pan. After they dry, you can drill a small hole in the top so that they can easily be hung from a window or anywhere outside where they’ll get plenty of sunlight. Go check out the full instructions!
21. Balloon Tennis
This is the ultimate boredom buster for those long winter months! The supplies are really inexpensive. In fact, you can get those paint sticks for free at most hardware stores. Simply hot glue one to a paper plate, and bam! You’ve got a balloon racket. All you need now are a few kids to get the party started. Read more here.
22. Perler Bead Bowls
Have your kids discovered Perler Beads yet? Believe it or not, they’re made for melting under the wax paper with an iron to make cool shapes and designs. But there are quite a few little hacks out there for them, too. Put them in an oil-covered ceramic or glass bowl (they naturally stack and rise to the side), and let them bake together to form a colorful bowl. How creative! Go get the instructions here.
23. Decorate Craft Letters
Those large letters they sell at craft stores are a unique way for kids to express their personality. Purchase the first letter of their first name, and then let them go crazy! They can decorate it with beads, buttons, pom poms, decorative tape, pipe cleaners, small rocks, twigs, or anything else small enough to glue on! It makes for a nice display on a shelf or desk in their room.
24. Magazine Art
Get out those old magazines, and start cutting! Trim out as many facial features and accessories as you can (eyes, lips, noses, mustaches, ears, eye brows, hats, earrings, etc.) and let the kids have a blast gluing them to pre-drawn heads. I’ll bet you could even print a few out with a quick Google search to make it even easier.
25. Hands & Feet Portraits
My daughter got a real kick out of this one! The idea is to trace their hands and feet onto a large piece of paper (they might need help with this part), and then let them draw their head, body, arms, and legs in a way that looks like they are attached to their hands and feet. This gives the impression that they are floating away in space! This is a fabulous classroom activity, too. Read more and see additional drawings like this here.
26. Paper Weaving
I have great memories of doing this craft for kids in school, but never realized the amazing things you can make with this technique! You’re basically going to fold one piece of paper in half and cut several slits in the paper where your paper strips will be weaved in and out of. Try doing this with paintings and photos for a really cool effect! Check out this blog for lots of paper weaving ideas.
27. Glue Painting
You would probably never guess that food coloring and glue is a good mix! But, this simple technique will prove otherwise. It makes for really pretty sun catchers the kids will have a blast creating. Aside from the drying time, it’s quick and easy with very few supplies needed. I think it would be fun for kids of all ages! Go get the instructions here.
28. DIY Fireflies
I knew I was going to find a use for that 24 pack of flameless tea lights I bought last summer (not to mention the huge bag of leftover plastic Easter eggs I just found in my garage). Pop one of those little lights into a plastic easter egg and you’ve got magic! Decorate them with pipe cleaner legs, googly eyes, and duct tape wings to create your very own fireflies. Go get the full instructions here.
29. Magnetic Slime
Ok, THIS is fascinating! The idea of slime moving around from the pull of a magnet is just plain awesome. Just be sure to wear gloves because I have a feeling this stuff wouldn’t be quite as pretty around your finger nails. This certainly takes slime to a whole new level! Go check out the instructions here.
30. A Quick Note on the Benefits of Art for Kids
While this isn’t actually an art project, Jenny from Mom Loves Best put together this very useful and important infographic that demonstrates why art is so important for the development of young minds. Jenny has quite a list of reasons kids crafts are so important. Plus, scroll down to the end of the post to find a few ideas for kids crafts and art projects you can do with your kids.