Whether your family is self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak or you’re looking to reduce screen-time for your kids, at-home arts and crafts projects are a surefire way to keep your kids entertained.
We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite DIY crafts that’ll cure the cabin fever and bring back some laughter and creativity into your kids’ lives.
The bow-tie pasta, aka farfalle, literally translates to “butterfly” in Italian. This noodle art is simple, easy and will put a smile on your kids’ faces.
Materials needed: Paints, paint brushes, school glue (liquid, not stick), markers, paper, bow-tie noodles, scissors
How to: Start by painting your bow-tie noodles with different colors. Allow the noodles to dry completely. Take another handful of noodles and cut them in half. Paint the halved-noodles green (they’ll represent the grass!).
Glue the butterflies randomly around the paper and the “grass” noodles along the bottom of the sheet. Add antennas to your butterflies and dots to show a flying trail and voila!
Simple and easy on the wallet, these coffee filter flowers will brighten up your household. If your kiddos have a short attention span, this craft is the perfect balance of quick and easy.
Materials needed: Markers, coffee filters (about 1–4 per flower), spray water bottle, wax paper, pipe cleaners (or pens), table liner (recommended to keep your table clean)
How to: Lay down the tablecloth (the marker will soak through, so be sure to protect your work surface). Tear off a sheet of wax paper big enough to place coffee filters on top. Use markers to scribble and color all over the coffee filters. Spray the flowers with your spray bottle (should take about five good sprays).
Set the filters aside to dry; the colors will continue to bleed on the wax paper. To assemble the flowers, stack all decorated filters on top of each other and fold in half and then fold in half again.
This is the tricky part: Take the top section of your coffee filters and fold it back onto itself and repeat for the other quarter section. You want your folds to look like a zigzag when the folding is done. Use a pipe cleaner to wind around the pointed end of the coffee filters and you’re done!
Pro-tip: Encourage your kiddos to use colors close to each other on the color wheel. Their flowers could end up brown when set out to dry.
Remember when melted crayon art was all the rage in the early 2010s? Introduce this artistic outlet to your kids as a way to get their creativity going. This craft could get messy, so we recommend wearing clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.
Materials needed: Canvas (your choice of size or a poster board), crayons, a hot glue gun and a blow dryer, an old t-shirt or newspaper to lay down under the canvas
How-to: Lay down the t-shirt or newspaper to protect the area under the canvas. Let your little one pick out their crayon choices. The color pallet options are endless! Once the colors are selected, hot glue each crayon in order at the top of your canvas. (Some people keep the wrappers on and some take them off, either way works!)
Use your blow dryer and blow the crayons in any direction you want. This will get messy, but your kid will love watching the wax melt all over the canvas. Reveal your masterpiece!
Pro-tip: If you don’t want to use a whole crayon, cut them in half! Also, if you have extra birthday candles lying around, those will work as well.
Pro Tip #2: The wax will dry faster if you opt for candles.
An unbeatable challenge, origami is the most popular folded-art style. Step-by-step guides for creatures and items—such as butterflies, jumping frogs and hearts—are an easy way to introduce origami to your children without the hassle of markers or paints.
Materials needed: Construction or printer paper, googly eyes (optional), markers (optional)
How to: Depending on your child’s interests, find a step-by-step origami diagram. We recommend starting as simple as possible to avoid frustration and tantrums.
Click on the title for an endless supply of origami guides.
It’s officially springtime! Morph your paper plates into crawling critters to celebrate the new season, while entertaining your child.
Materials needed: Paper plates (one for every two caterpillars), toilet paper tube (one for every two caterpillars), paint, pipe cleaners (three per caterpillar), white paper, popsicle sticks, black marker, glue
How to: Cut off the outside rim of a paper plate, making sure the ridged edge meets the flat center of the plate. Cut in half to create two caterpillars. Cut the toilet paper tube in half. Paint the two halves green and the toilet paper tubes red. Allow time to dry.
Draw eyes and a mouth on the white paper and cut them out. Glue them onto the paper tube. Fold a pipe cleaner in half and glue on the inside of the tube (should look like antennas). Cut the other two pipe cleaners into thirds and glue them onto the caterpillar (will be the legs).
If you’d like to make your caterpillar a puppet, glue a popsicle stick to the center of the caterpillar and have fun making him move!
Pro-tip: Try adding stripes or designs if you have extra paint.
6. Sock Puppets
We’ve all found an old sock or two and pretended it was a puppet. Making your own sock puppets lets your kids use their imagination and creativity to create something unique to them.
Materials needed: Socks (we recommend older or outgrown ones), hot glue, felt, googly eyes (or old buttons), recycled cardboard
How to: Slip the sock on your hand and make a C-shape with your hand. This will give you an idea of where the face of your puppet should go. Use a marker to dot above the seam of the toes where you’d like the eyes and nose to go.
Take the sock off and glue on your googly eyes or old buttons. Add some eyelashes with a black marker, if you’d like. This is where creativity has its time to shine! Use the felt and pipe cleaners to create unique puppet designs. Once the masterpiece is done, allow some time for the glue to dry and enjoy!
7. Spring Coloring Pages from Crayola
Need a quick and easy way to entertain the kiddos the old-fashioned way? Crayola offers free coloring pages—everything from seasonal to holiday options—for each child’s interests.
Materials needed: Coloring supplies (markers, crayons, paint or colored pencils), printer paper
How-to: Use your intuition or ask your kiddo what they’d like to color (show the designs from Crayola’s website if needed). All you need to do is print the designs out!
Image courtesy of iStock.