Everywhere you turn these days, there seems to be a screen just waiting to be looked at (and touched). Kids are constantly being entertained by on-screen games, videos and TV shows. To cut the time your kiddos spend looking at a screen, we rounded up a few DIY arts and craft projects you can do at home that will not only keep your little ones busy during play time, but also continue to inspire their inner creativity and imagination. Visit our DIY Arts and Crafts Pinterest board for inspo and tutorials on the projects below.
You may remember this craft from your early years in elementary school, Mom and Dad. Bring out the string yarn buried in your sewing kit to create God’s Eye (the center of the craft is supposed to symbolize the eye of God).
Materials needed: Popsicle sticks, colorful string yarn and scissors.
How to: Start with the two popsicle sticks. Place the sticks together to create a cross. Cut a long piece of yarn, wrap it around the intersection of the cross and make a knot. Begin wrapping the yarn around one end of the stick, then continue to wrap it around the other ends. Continue wrapping the yarn around until you get to the end of the popsicle sticks. Tie a knot at any one of the edges when you would like to add a different colored yarn.
Spice up your home with a few (or many) large, colorful flowers.
Materials needed: Scissors, tissue paper in a variety of colors and pipe cleaners. Consider reusing any leftover string yarn from the God’s Eye craft to hang your new flowers.
How to: Begin with a stack of tissue paper in a range of colors. Place the tissue paper you want in the center of the flower on top. The tissue paper on the bottom of the stack will be on the back of the flower. Fold the stack of tissue paper in one-inch increments—it will begin to look like a fan. Fold the now tissue-made fan in half. Tie a pipe cleaner around this middle point, then cut the edges of the fan in a triangular or round shape, depending on your kiddo’s preference. Make a few random cuts for added details. Add glitter or hot glue small multi-colored puff balls to the edges for more standout details.
You may need to make room in your little’s jewelry box for these new jewelry pieces—create cuff bracelets out of card stock or necklaces from elastic cords and beads.
Materials needed: Scissors, buttons, card stock, elastic cords, beads and any doodads in your jewelry box you’ve been meaning to find a home for.
How to: For the cuff bracelet, cut a piece of card stock and wrap it around your kid’s wrist to measure how long it should be. Hot glue buttons, beads, zig-zag cut construction paper, small rhinestones, or make a few swirls from string yarn to decorate the cuff. Once you’ve finished decorating, hot glue the cuff’s edges together, leaving enough room to easily take it on and off. To make a necklace, tie a tight knot around the end of the elastic string. Add colorful beads until you reach the end of the string. Measure the string around your little’s neck before tying the two edges together, making the final knot.
Decorate your front porch with a new birdhouse, paint a small box (makes for a nice jewelry box to hold that new bling), paint a new “Welcome” sign or make a frame for that family photo you took at your local fall festival this season.
Materials needed: Sandpaper, Acrylic paint, primer, sealer, paint brushes, foam paint brushes and a paint tray.
How to: You can purchase already-made wooden boxes, birdhouses, signs and frames at your local Michael’s or Joann Fabrics and Crafts store. Begin by sanding your wood. Take your foam paint brush and place a coat of primer. After the primer has dried, your kiddos are free to paint away—paint clouds on the roof of the birdhouse, flowers or perhaps even a bird on the side. Add rhinestones to the jewelry box for added bling. Create a mini Mexican flower and add it to the photo frame once the paint has dried. Hang your God’s Eye on the birdhouse once it’s finished. Paint wooden signs with your kids’ names to label their laundry baskets. When you’ve finished the masterpiece, add a coat of sealer to assure the paint doesn’t crack over time (we recommend Mod Podge).
Kids can paint their pets, favorite cartoon characters, nature, or even you, Mom and Dad. Buy a blank canvas, a few paintbrushes and paint, and get your Bob Ross mode on.
Materials needed: Canvas, paint and paint brushes.
How to: Place the blank canvas on a canvas stand, or on your table (place old newspapers underneath the canvas to protect your dining table). Prime the canvas with a few coats of paint. Then, start creating your masterpiece—the possibilities are truly endless to what your kids can make. After the paint has dried, consider adding a few additional decorations, like those puff balls, a mini Mexican flower, or even miniature wood crafts (Michael’s sells small letters you can paint and decorate to spell out a name or favorite word).
Bring the ‘90s back with tie-dye T-shirts.
Materials needed: White cotton T-Shirt, dye powder, rubber bands, large bucket or container, Latex gloves and large plastic bags. You can purchase dye kits at your local Michael’s or Joann Fabrics and Crafts store.
How to: Pre wash your shirt, leaving it damp. Fold and tie the shirt with rubber bands. For a spiral-colored outcome, fold the shirt into a spiral and tie it together. Tie the shirt in rings for a bull’s-eye pattern, or try a random fold and tie for a surprise pattern. Prep the dye by mixing the dye powder with water and shake it up. Begin the color splash once the dye is ready. Place the dye in a random or orderly fashion, depending on your little one’s liking. Wash and ring the excess dye, and place the T-shirt in a plastic bag. Let 24 hours pass, rinse any additional excess dye with cool water and throw the T-shirt in the washing machine. It’s now ready to be worn!
We have a solution for all those old crayons your kids haven’t used in years.
Materials needed: Blank canvas, old crayons, hair dryer, hot glue or super glue.
How to: Glue crayons at the top of the canvas in the order you wish the colors to appear. Begin the hair-drying process. Start heating your crayons and watch as the colors melt into their own work of art. As the crayons melt, you can take off the excess bubbles that may appear and wax with a popsicle stick. Carve out a name or designs on the wax as it melts.