Photo: Set up a craft table and let your kids run wild with their imagination. Shutterstock.
The feeling is mutual for many parents – you’re running out of things to do with your children. The school days aren’t as long as they were before because it seems like your kids can get their schoolwork down in half of the school day. This leaves many hours during the day that you need to fill with activities to keep the kids busy, especially your little ones.
The struggle is you don’t want to place them in front of the television or Xbox all day long. You know they need to work their creative muscles as well. But, what can you do with little money and that’s easy enough for all your kids to enjoy? Crafts. Below are 35 easy and affordable top crafts to do with your children while you’re stuck at home.
Key Wind Chimes
Do you have a lot of old keys around your house and you don’t know what to do with them? If so, you can make your own key wind chimes. All you need are keys, paint, string, and a stick. First, you want to paint the stick and then the keys.
Make sure you let each side dry before you paint the other side. Then, you want to cut the string and tie each string around the hole of a key. Tie the other side of the string on the stick and then cut another string so you can hang up the chime.
Have you recently hit the beach (before the current crisis started)? If so, you might have several shells and maybe some sand that you can use to make a poster to keep the memories of your trip alive.
Let your children make their design with the shells and then glue them down along with the sand. You might also be able to find these in some craft and dollar stores as well. If you’re not interested in beach themes, you can change to a nature theme poster.
One of the biggest past times for most children is flying a kite. But, it’s hard to come across them so quickly at the moment, especially if you’re in an area where Mother Nature is still sprinkling the snow. You can buy one on Amazon, but because of the current crisis, you will wait more than a couple of days, even if you have prime.
So, one of the best steps to take is to make your kite with items you can purchase at a local store or already have at home. All you need is a brown paper bag, streamers, string, markers, and any other crafts to decorate.
There are so many things that you can do with the cardboard toilet paper tubes. You’ll run into many crafts that focus on these on this list, and one of them is binoculars. All you need is a string, two toilet paper tubes, construction paper, markers, glue, and anything else to decorate the binoculars.
Once your children completely decorate both tubes, glue them together, and then make holes so you can attach the string or ribbon.
All you need for garden flowers are sticks, about a painting stir stick size, a plastic plate (clear ones work the best), string, and acrylic paints. Let your kids paint the plates however they like. Get some glue and attach the plate to one end of the stick. Tie the string or ribbon in the center of the stick like a bow.
Finally, it’s time to find a place to plant your new plastic garden flowers. The acrylic paints will help the flower stay bright and colorful for several weeks, no matter what type of weather you get.
If your kids love to draw, they will enjoy this craft. All you need is a collection of craft pom poms that are different colors, paper, glue, and a writing utensil. Let your kids draw out their pictures, such as a rainbow with a sun or a house.
Then, they’ll glue the pom poms onto their picture to give it color and a unique look. You can even hang them up around the house and have your children pretend they’re having their own little pom pom craft art exhibit!
Another neat idea is to set out a bunch of craft supplies and have your kids go wild. Let them create whatever they imagine with the supplies and see what happens. You can even make this into a fun party by ordering pizza or making a bunch of food.
Your children can’t invite their friends over with the current crisis, but you can contact the parents and set up a Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime craft meeting where they can create crafts together. It’ll let your children see their friends, which will make their day even more fun!
This craft is always a fun one to do with children – especially if they love dragons. They can dive further into their imaginations with this craft as it allows them to play a princess in trouble, which needs to be saved, a prince whose friend is a dragon, or the dragon itself.
All you need is a toilet paper tube, construction paper (usually green but any color works), and cut streamers that are red, yellow, and any other colors resembling fire. You also want googly eyes and a face. You’ll glue or use double-sided tape to put everything together and then let your children breathe through the tube to get the “fire” going.
You know those games kids love at the stores where you put a quarter in, and you can watch it roll down into the hole. Well, you can do something similar at home and only need old toilet paper rolls, markers, glue, scissors, paper, and tape. Of course, some of these items depend on how your children will decorate the rolls.
Some of the toilet paper rolls you’ll cut in half so you can see the marbles roll while others will be taped together so the ball can go down the tube. You can get as creative as you like…and go as big as possible.
I know this is something people don’t usually allow their children to do, but this can become a craft. Of course, if you rent, you probably want to talk to your landlord first. However, you can always go out and buy chalkboard paint if you don’t want your children damaging a particular wall.
Yet, when you’re stuck in the house, it’s always a good idea to let your kids do something that will lessen their stress, and painting is a significant step. Maybe they want to paint their room a different color with new designs?
You can call it a princess wand, but referring to this craft as a magic wand will make every little boy and girl interested in making one. All you need are foam sheets or shapes, stapler, ribbon, and hot glue. If you don’t have shapes, then you’ll want to cut out the wand. The first part can look like a flower or any form.
Then, you’ll need to make sure to cut out the stem or the stick. Of course, your children can cut out other shapes that they want to include. Put it all together, making sure the glue completely dries, and then let them create their magic.
During the current crisis, we need to know that other people are there for us. It’s important to remember we’re not alone and that people love us and want to ensure we remain healthy. Having your children cut a variety of hearts from construction paper and hanging them up as a banner is a great way to spread a little love.
You can hang it up in front of a window, so people driving and walking by see the hearts and smile. Following this method, you can also teach your children how vital caring of other people is and how you can do it from the comfort of your home when necessary.
When you make a nature weaving display, you will find anything you can outside to use and some twine. For example, you can use twigs for the sides, flowers, grass, and leaves. You can also use string to help weave everything together if twine doesn’t work out very well.
Let your children’s imaginations run wild as they reconnect with nature. Another plus of nature weaving is you can do most of it outside, so you don’t have to worry about any messy cleanup. Your kids might have so much fun that they’ll want to make other ones for their grandparents, aunts, and uncles!
Many people think this is one of the best crafts on the list because kids love turtles. All you need are markers, a paper plate, and green tissue paper. Of course, you’ll need glue or double-sided tape to stick the tissue paper onto the plate.
Let your kids color their turtle however they want, make a face, and then cut the tissue paper into the turtle’s legs and head.
We all have a couple of vases that we feel are a bit boring. They might be clear, white, or another dull color. You don’t feel they give your home much of a unique or colorful look, so you tend to push them back into your cupboard. In fact, you might have forgotten about them.
If this sounds like you, now is a perfect time to let your children decorate the vases. They can use string to wrap around them, acrylic paint, torn pieces of paper, or anything else that will work. Let them have a bunch of fun and then find some flowers to place in the vases so you can show off their artistic work.
It’s going to happen, you’re either in a heatwave or you have one coming this summer. Another factor that can happen is that your children find themselves feeling too hot but without a fan to help cool them down.
If this sounds like something that can happen, they should make their own paper plate fan. All you need are two Popsicle sticks, glue, markers, paper plate, scissors, and anything else to decorate the fan. When you put it together, cut the paper plate in half and get the Popsicle or craft sticks to cross at the bottom.
If you don’t have a soda bottle, you can always use a water bottle with the same bottom look. It’s best to use any container that has the four stands to help hold it up. You also want to note that different size bottles can give your children’s artwork different sizes. Of course, you can find different colored paint so they can create some unique pieces of bottle stamp art.
All your children need to do is use the bottom of the bottle to dip into the paint and then use a poster board or paper to make their stamp art. Once they’re done, you can recycle the bottles or continue to use them for a different art project.
One of the newest crafts that have hit the home is puffy paint. People are making this type of paint and using it everywhere, including their sidewalks. All you need to do is mix one cup flour, three teaspoons of baking powder, one teaspoon salt, and enough water to get the consistency of pancake batter.
You can divide the batter into squeezable bottles or plastic bags and mix in food coloring of your choosing. Your kids will love mixing the batter – just about as much as they will squeeze it out. If they make a design on a microwavable item, stick it in the microwave for a few seconds to watch the pain puff up!
It’s always fun to bring a little light into the house from the sun. Now, you can bring a sun craft into your home and hang it up to brag to your friends about what your children do during the current crisis. All you need is a paper plate, yellow marker, black marker to make a face on the sun, yellow streamers, and glue or double-sided tape.
Cut the paper plate in half and then cut triangles from one half to make the ends of your sun; color all the triangles and the other half of the plate yellow. If your children want, let them add a face to the sun. Then, put everything together and hang it up.
You know your child’s interests, and one fun craft that you can do is to make a collage of their interests. Go to Google and print out (your children can also draw and color different pictures) of what they like to watch, do, or anything they want.
Get some glue or double-sided tape along with paper or poster board and have fun making a collage of their interests. Let your children’s imagination run wild when it comes to placing the pictures on their collage.
We’ve all been there. You realize it’s a friend’s birthday, anniversary, or someone you know lost a loved one. You want to make out a card quickly, but you don’t have one. What’s worse – you don’t have time to run to the store either.
Drop the worries when it comes to cards, and have your children sit down and make some. People love getting homemade cards, and they’re pretty easy to make. All you need are markers, stickers, stampers, and craft paper or cardboard type paper. You might need to help your children type out messages, but it’ll save time in the long run.
You know people like to keep journals, but this is often something younger kids can’t do because they’re just learning how to write. However, kids love to draw, and you can get them into thinking about their day by having them draw the favorite part about their day.
You can start doing this craft every night and include it in part of their bedtime routine. You can use these pictures to help remind them about all the fun they’re having when they’re having a bad day or frustrated about the current crisis.
Monster truck painting is excellent when you have a lot of old and used toy cars and trucks that you don’t mind getting a little paint on. Of course, you can always wash off the pain, and most ends up (or is supposed to) around the tires.
All you need is paints, paper, and toy trucks with wheels. Pour some paint down on a flat surface and let your children dip the tires into the paint. Then all they need to do is drive over the paper to paint their picture.
You might have heard about sugar cube igloos or ice castles. Sugar cubes are a great way to build structures, especially ones that are white. However, you can create any structures with sugar cubes (and the best part is that they are pretty cheap at the store).
You can start by having your kids design the footprint of their house, castle, or structure. Then, have them follow the print by using sugar cubes. Pretend the cubes are like bricks for a wall.
You’ve probably seen these many times. Your children might have made pasta necklaces before, but this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try this again. Find any type of pasta that has a hole so a string can fit through.
But allow them to paint the pasta before they add it to the string. Tie the string, and you’re done (remember to ensure proper fitting around the neck. They can even make a pasta bracelet to go with their necklace! Using markers instead of paint can work with some pasta as well.
One of the essential characteristics you want to build in your child is self-esteem. One way to do this, along with teaching them to stay motivated to achieve their dreams is to create a vision board. All you need to do is get a piece of poster board, talk to your children about what goals they want to accomplish in a specific time (like during quarantine or a year), look for pictures that correspond to their goals, glue or double-sided tape, and scissors.
You can find pictures online or in magazines and paste them onto the board in any way they want. The key is to hang the vision board up in a place they can look at it every day.
Chances are you have rocks lying out in your yard that is flat enough to use for this project. If not, they are usually easy to find at craft stores. Getting your children to paint ladybug rocks can give you some decorations for your home or allow them to turn to their imaginations.
All you need is different colored paint, but you always want to ensure that you have black as you’ll use this color for the spots and to make a face. You also want to make sure you have white paint for the eyes.
Bird feeders are an easy craft that many kids make in school. Whether they have or not, they’ll have one designing their ornament to help feed the birds and decorate the yard. There are recipes you can find online where you mix flour and other ingredients, but the easiest way is with peanut butter. Yes, it’s safe for birds.
You can have your kids cut their designs out of cardboard or use toilet paper rolls, just make sure they cut a hole for the string or ribbon to go through so you can hang them up. Spread peanut butter over the base and then rub it in bird feed.
Everyone likes to play with spinner tops and any other toys that spin. The best part is that your children can make their own spinner toys for hours of entertainment. The supplies you need include glue, cardboard circles, markers, scissors, printer paper with a circle template, and twine.
There are circles that you can find online, or you can make your own so you can ensure the cardboard is cut into a circle. Let your children decorate the circle in any way they want. You can also use the template as a cover for the circle, so they aren’t coloring on the cardboard directly. Then, make two holes in the middle, put the twine through, and have fun spinning!
Dream catchers are known to keep bad dreams away. They’re also a beautiful decoration, and your children can make one with a few small supplies. You will need paper plates, colored craft paper, crepe paper, paints, jewels to decorate, feathers, and double-sided tape or glue.
You will then cut a big hole in the paper plate or the center of the plate out. Then, you’ll cut thin slips of paper. You will want to paint the paper plate before you start taping the strips onto the plate. Let your children use any kind of design they want. Then, decorate the dream catcher with the jewels. Finally, add the feathers with the crepe paper and find a place to hang it up.
You might already know how to make maracas with toilet paper tubes, beans or beads, and wax paper. It’s a pretty simple craft that some kids tend to make in school. You can use construction paper, paint, stickers, or markers to decorate the maracas.
You can also take it a step further and create a tambourine with two paper plates and have your children start a little band.
Bring a little fun to reading time with your children by hosting a Dr. Suess or Cat in the Hat story time where your children make their own hat. All you need is a big piece of white paper, red construction paper, and glue.
Follow the design on the hat and then cut a little piece of paper to help fit the hat on your child’s head. Glue the cut paper onto the rest of the hat, let it dry, and they can act out a part of the story with the hat. You can also roll a big piece of paper around their head and fit it this way. Just make sure to tape the sides together while it’s on their head and then add the pieces of red onto the hat.
You probably have many recyclables in your house, from plastic bottles to paper. You can use this time to dive into your children’s imaginations and see what they can come up with as a craft with certain items you’re ready to recycle.
Of course, they might need some inspiration, so be ready to head to Google or Pinterest to help their imagination wheels start turning. It’ll be fun to see what your kids come up with!
If you’re like most people in the world, you have many buttons. Some have fallen off of clothing, and you never replaced it; some came from packs, and others you found and aren’t sure where they came from.
If you’re looking for a way to get rid of some buttons, grab some cardboard or thick paper, a marker, glue, and have your children find a few small twigs. Have them make a tree with the twigs (they can draw the branches too) and then glue on the buttons.
If you have an old tin coffee can or any other tin can, including a soup can, you can make tin can windsocks to hang up around your home. You can place them on a porch, by a window, or anywhere your kids want.
All you need is a tin can, ribbon, paint, and glue. If you don’t have a ribbon around your home and can’t get to a craft store, you can always use string or streamers. You can even use this craft to help decorate your home for certain holidays.
“37 CHEAP AND EASY CRAFTS FOR KIDS.” Barbara, Hello Life.
“30 Kids Crafts That Are Fun for the Entire Family.” Emily Goldman, Martha Stewart. February 2020.
“100 Awesome Kids Crafts for Creative At-Home Fun.” Ally Noel, Mommy Poppins. July 2018.
“50+ Quick & Easy Kids Crafts that ANYONE Can Make!.” Heidi, Happiness Homemade.