Creativity. Imagination. Crafts.
For some people, these words breathe life to their soul and inspire them to new creative heights.
For others, these words make them want to run screaming for the hills as fast as humanly possible!
But here’s the thing: Being creative doesn’t have to be intimidating. Making crafts doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, sitting down and creating with your kids can be really fun and easy if you have the right guide to help you through.
Now, you may think that you need to be able to draw to do crafts. But take it from me, a creative person who can’t draw worth anything, you can be creative even if all you can draw is a stick figure and a balloon! (And, yes, that is the extent of my drawing capabilities! My 5-year-old can draw better than I can!)
I will grant you that it can be tough to start without a guide to walk you through a craft or even a creative idea. And, let’s face it, right now, we all need as many craft and activity ideas as we can get! In this post, you will find 10 easy crafts for you and your kids to do together. And the best part about these crafts? Most – if not all – of the supplies you need to make them are probably already in your house!
Let’s get started, shall we?
Craft #1 :: Create your own art studio
Create your own art studio at your kitchen table or on your back porch. Now, at first this may sound complicated, but it’s really not. Here’s what you do: Choose a scene that you want to try painting or drawing (perhaps a view into your backyard or a room of your house) or create a still life scene out of things that you have. (Think fruit, vases, flowers, candles, even dishes or toys.) Get out some plain white paper and your choice of drawing or painting supplies (watercolors, washable paints and paint brushes, markers, colored pencils, regular pencils or crayons). Make sure that everyone – including you! – has their supplies. Finally, sit down with your kids and try drawing or painting whatever you chose or created to be your scene. You just might surprise each other with your drawing skills!
Craft #2 :: Rangoli, A Craft from India
In honor of special occasions or certain holidays, people in India will take special care to decorate their front patios with beautiful, colorful patterns called rangoli. This makes their home look more festive and welcoming. Rangoli is an intricate, geometrical pattern that is typically created with different colored sand, spices, or even powdered paint.
Now, I don’t recommend that you empty your spice cabinet to create a rangoli design, but you can create a beautiful and colorful design using your imagination. You could print off a rangoli template and color it with markers or colored pencils. If you have sidewalk chalk, you could even create a rangoli design to decorate your front walk. Or you could create a design out of Play-Doh. If you’re really brave, you could color salt with food coloring, then use that to create your rangoli design.
Check out these rangoli design ideas from Mom Junction. (Click here to download the templates.). You could print these templates and color them in or you could look online for some design ideas and create your own. No matter what form you use, do your best to make it fun and colorful!
Sneak Peek: This Rangoli Art Project is taken from the India lesson in a geography curriculum I am writing. In it, you can travel around the world and learn about different cultures, places, and people without ever leaving your home. Fun, excitement, crafts, games, recipes, and interesting facts are all included to engage your child’s imagination and expand their view of the world. Keep your eyes open for more details coming soon!
Craft #3 :: Try Your Hand at Origami
Origami, or the art of paper folding, is a beautiful and delicate craft. Some origami creations are wonderfully complicated and require a great deal of practice, but there are a great variety of creations for beginners. The supplies for this are very minimal: You need paper and instructions. Now, there is special origami paper that you can buy, but you can also start with paper that you have on hand: printer paper or even some lighter scrapbooking papers will work well. (Construction paper tends to be very difficult to work with in origami, so I don’t recommend it.)
Origami can range from the super easy to the super complicated. However, having instructions for this craft is vital! One website that my kids and I just found is Origami-Fun.com It has a large variety of creative, simple origami instructions with step-by-step pictures of each fold. In fact, the origami dogs, twirling birds, and ladybug that you see in the picture were created by my children and I using this site. Origami-Fun has a large collection that you can try and even includes videos for some of the patterns. You can also search for “kids origami instructions” on google or YouTube. If you’ve never tried origami before, make sure to start with the simple ones and work your way up to the harder ones.
Craft #4 :: A Coloring Adventure
Most of the time when you think about coloring, you think of sitting at a table and coloring in a coloring book or on a regular piece of paper, right? Why not mix things up a bit? Instead of simply coloring on a standard piece of paper or construction paper, try one of these creative ideas to make a mural, tapestry, or scroll-like large picture that everyone can contribute to.
- Do you have a roll of paper? Maybe one of those rolls from IKEA or a roll of butcher paper? Choose a table to work on, roll out a length of the paper long enough to cover the table from end to end, then use masking tape to hold it in place. Depending on the side of your table, you might want to put one length on each side.
- Using the same roll of paper, roll out a length on your non-carpeted floor. Make sure to use masking tape or painters tape to hold it in place!
- If you don’t have a roll of paper, you can still create this idea. Simply take a stack of scrap paper or printer paper and “tile” your table or floor space, making sure to hold the paper in place with masking tape or painters tape as you go.
- Do you have a large cardboard box that is waiting to be recycled? Bring it inside and decorate it! You can either open it up and lay it flat or (depending on the size of your box and the size of your child) you could choose to keep it intact and create a temporary playhouse to decorate.
Once you get your adventure set up, have fun being creative and coloring!
Craft #5 :: Tissue Paper Flowers, A Craft from Mexico
Flowers can be seen growing all over Mexico. And on top of that, they make fabulous decorations! Here is a simple way to make tissue paper flowers to brighten up your space. (This craft was adapted from Super Simple Mexican Art by Alex Kuskowski.)
You will need: Colorful tissue paper, a ruler, scissors, and pipe cleaners. (If you don’t have any pipe cleaners on hand you could use twist ties or even create a tie with string.)
- Put 4 pieces of tissue paper in a stack. They can all be the same color or multiple colors.
- Make a 1-inch fold on the short end. Turn the stack over. Make another 1-inch fold (like an accordion). Keep folding it back and forth until the entire piece of tissue paper is folded in this fan-like manner.
- Cut the folded strip in half.
- Wrap a pipe cleaner (or twist tie or string) around the middle of each strip.
- Use scissors to round off the corners of each end.
- Fan out the tissue. Do it slowly and carefully! Pull on one layer at a time. Remember there are multiple layers. Keep pulling until it looks pretty!
- Make a second flower with the other strip. Repeat steps 5 and 6.
- Have fun making your flowers and decorating your space with them. You can vary the size of your flowers based on where you cut the accordion-folded strip of tissue paper.
Sneak Peek: This Tissue Paper Art Project is taken from the Mexico lesson in a geography curriculum I am writing. In it, you can travel around the world and learn about different cultures, places, and people without ever leaving your home. Fun, excitement, crafts, games, recipes, and interesting facts are all included to engage your child’s imagination and expand their view of the world. Keep your eyes open for more details coming soon!
Craft #6 :: A Twist on Traditional Drawing
Let’s face it, sometimes you need to mix things up a bit. Keep things interesting. And while drawing is wonderful and gives voice to a constant stream of creativity, sometimes you need a little inspiration to keep going. So, why not change things up and try a twist on traditional drawing methods? Here are some suggestions:
- Tracing :: Choose a picture to trace and tape it up on your window using masking tape. Tape a plain piece of white paper over it. The sun through the window acts as a back light to see the lines you are planning to trace. Depending on the age and skill of your child, you can choose a simple or complicated picture to trace.
- Paint like Michelangelo :: Pretend to be Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Simply take some drawing paper and tape it to the underside of a table. Have your child lay on their back under the table and draw on the paper that is tacked there. (Side note: If you don’t want your child to be painting over their head – or over your carpet – have them “paint” with colored pencils or markers. You still get the fun of this method without the crazy mess!)
- Dot Art :: The Aborigines of Australia are known for their dot art. Amazingly, in their pictures each pattern and color carries a different meaning within the picture itself to the ones who know to look for it! It’s almost like sending coded messages through pictures. Try your hand at creating some dot art. It’s really very simple! (Tip: My children have found that markers work best for this style of artwork.) Draw the outline of something you want to color or find a template online. You could go for something distinctly Australian like a koala, kangaroo, or boomerang or choose whatever shape you want to create. Then, simply fill in your outline using only dots. Don’t forget to make it colorful!
- Sidewalk Chalk :: Sometimes you just need to get out of the house and soak up some sunshine. So, why not use some sidewalk chalk? You could draw a picture, draw a hopscotch board, then play the game, create a sort of obstacle course, create a rangoli design, and much, much more! The sky is the limit, so use your imagination!
Craft #7 :: Lily Pad of Thankfulness Craft
Everyone needs a reminder to be thankful, Somehow it is far easier to focus on what you do not have than to make a choice to be thankful for what you do have. This simple and fun lily pad craft combines a project, a mindset shift to gratitude, and a tangible reminder all into one neat package.
You will need: Construction paper (green and 2 other colors of your choice), scissors, 2 brads (you could use staples or glue if you do not have brads on hand), pencil, and a sharpie or black marker.
- Cut the green construction paper into strips that measure 1 inch by at least 7 inches. (They can be longer if you like.). You will need 8 strips for each lily pad.
- Draw a flower on another color of construction paper and cut it out.
- Draw a circle for the center of the flower on another color of construction paper and cut it out.
- Using the marker, write something that you are thankful for on each of the 8 strips of green construction paper. You can also have your children write what they are thankful for or dictate it to you if they are not able to write it for themselves.
- Take one of the brads and use it to fasten the ends of all 8 green strips together. You can add them all in a stack and then fan out the strips or you can create the fan pattern as you add each strip onto the brad.
- Once you have secured the brad in place, make sure the the 8 green strips fan out so that when you lay it on the table, it creates a circle.
- Lay this circle of green strips on the table, making sure that your writing is facing the table. This will ensure that your writing is visible when the craft is done.
- Take the other brad and begin by adding the center of the flower circle closest to the head of the brad. Add your colorful flower next.
- One by one, bring the green strips up and add them to the brad underneath the flower. As you work, you will see that the green strips begin to form a ball underneath the flower. Once all 8 strips have been added, secure the brad so that your lily pad holds its shape.
- Enjoy your lily pad of thankfulness!
Craft #8 :: Creating and Testing Paper Airplanes
What list of easy craft projects would be complete without mentioning paper airplanes? Super simple to create out of scrap paper, you can make these fun floating fliers as simple or as complex as you like.
But here’s the secret: Don’t just stop at creating and folding the airplanes themselves. Turn it into a game! Choose a target to try to hit inside the house, maybe a door or you could even try to fly your airplanes into a laundry basket or box. Then have a contest to see who gets the closest to the goal. You could also have everyone stand on a line and see how far each airplane will glide. Use your imagination and have some fun with this one!
Craft #9 :: Rainbow Butterfly Paper Roll Craft
What is better than a fun, creative, springtime craft that uses materials that you already have on hand? Not much! That is exactly what I found in this beautiful and simple Rainbow Butterfly Paper Roll Craft.
Craft #10 :: Learn a New Skill: Calligraphy
The art of calligraphy is a beautiful and treasured form of writing, not only in China and Japan, but in many parts of the world. Why not try your hand at learning calligraphy? There are very few materials that you need to get started: Paper, a flat-tip marker (or a calligraphy pen or marker if you have one), and a chart that shows you how to write each letter. You can easily find a chart by searching google for ‘English Calligraphy Chart.’
One of the interesting things about calligraphy is that it is created in different ways with different instruments depending on the artist. In Japan and China calligraphy is typically created with paint and a paintbrush. Why not try painting some calligraphy letters of your own? You could even look up some Chinese or Japanese characters to try!
Where Will You Start?
And there you have it, my Friend! 10 easy crafts to inspire your creativity! One of the best parts about these crafts is that you should already have most of the supplies on hand.
Can I give you one last tip? These are craft projects, so if you are missing one of the supplies you need, use your imagination! Do you have something on hand that will work in place of the item you are missing? Think outside the box a little bit. Who knows? You may come up with a variation that makes the craft even better!
Remember, this isn’t about creating the perfect craft, but about having fun, using your imagination, and – most importantly – spending some time with your kids working together on a project. Happy creating!
Let me know in the comments what your favorite craft from this list is and also if you found any brilliant variations that you think others should try.
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Elizabeth Tatham, founder of Inspiration in the Everyday, is a homeschooling momma of 5 who loves helping other homeschooling mommas create a unique homeschooling adventure your kids will love…without the overwhelm! Join in on the journey with 7 simple steps to make your homeschooling day go faster, easier, and with less tears here.