Ok, there you are. Your children are out of school for a few days. It could be the weekend, it could be winter break, or it could be summer. You will always hear the inevitable “I’m bored.” What do you do? What DO you do?
Have no fear, here are a few suggestions on how to keep them busy doing arts and crafts for children.
If you have black construction paper, glue and some glitter, you can make fireworks. These work well to celebrate New Year’s or Independence Day, or just to make something pretty. Here is what you need to do. First off, if you do not black paper, don’t worry, brown or dark blue will work well also.
Draw fireworks with the glue. It works best if you use the glue bottles with the point on the top. Then, simply sprinkle the glitter onto the glue. Be sure to put anything that doesn’t stick back into the container. If your children are a little older, you can then add a second layer of color by repeating the process. Let the glue dry and presto! A beautiful firework displays.
If you’ve got some serious time on your hands, this art and craft for children will keep then occupied for as long as you want them to be. You are going to make a book about colors from construction paper, using magazines and catalogues.
Here is what you need: magazines or catalogues that you are done with, glue, scissors, constriction paper, crayons or markers, a hole punch and some string. First, take a few pieces of paper and punch some holes in the margin and tie them together with the string.
Alternatively, you can use notebook paper and/or use staples instead of yarn. Have the child decorate the cover of his book with whatever he wants. Inside, write a different color on each page. Then, go through the magazines and find pictures that fit that color. For example, if the page has “Red” on top, look for an apple, fire hydrant or red car. Then help you child cut out the picture and put it in the book with a label. Continue until the all the pages are filled up. Another way to do this is by simply letting the child draw pictures of objects that match the color.
Children often come home from school with some creative completed art projects. Art teachers in schools do come up with original art projects for children, but they also get inspired from examples they see in books or on various internet sites.
Parents can easily utilize the same resources to come up with creative art projects for children that do not require expensive materials or a huge mess.
If you need a new idea, try one of these:
Make a House out of a Milk Carton: This arts and crafts project is good for girls and boys. For girls, a simple milk carton can be converted into a small dollhouse. For boys, it a milk carton can be used as a house for bugs or worms, or even for a military tent for army figures or superheroes! Necessary materials include an empty milk carton, scissors, paint or markers, stickers, and heavy-duty tape. Take the empty milk carton and cut the bottom off. Then, cut a flap for a door, and cut windows if desired. The “house” can be painted, colored, or decorated in any manner, and be used repeatedly for hours of enjoyment.
Paper Plate Snake: All that is needed for this project is a paper plate, scissors, and crayons or markers. Prior to cutting the plate, have the child draw a spiral on the plate starting at the outer age and moving to the centre of the plate. The next step is to color the “snake.” After colouring, the child can cut along the original line – and a snake will result! Additional decorations can be added after the snake is cut, and eyes and a tongue can also be attached.
Paint with a Sponge: Do you have a sponge, scissors, paper, and paint at home? If so, a great art project for children is easy to start. First, cut a regular sponge into several shapes such as circles, rectangles, and triangles. Next, have the child dip the sponge pieces into a plate of paint. Next, the child should dab the sponge on a piece of paper to create a unique work of art filled with texture. Different colors of paint can be used, and the sponge pieces can be used to assist in mixing and blending colors.
Stained Glass Windows: A “faux” stained glass window can easily be created by children of any age, but an adult is needed for part of this project. Only three items are needed for this project: Shaved crayons (you may need to make these using old pieces of crayons and a food grater), waxed paper, and a clothes iron. First, take a large sheet of waxed paper and lay it on a table. Have the child place different colored crayon shavings on the waxed paper (wax side up) – either in a pattern or randomly scattered.
Place a second sheet of waxed paper on top of the original sheet (wax side down) so that the crayon shavings are covered. Cover the entire project with a towel. An adult should oversee pressing down on the towel with an iron until the edges of the two pieces of waxed paper are melted together. The crayon pieces should also melt. Once everything is cool, the stained-glass window can be hung near a sunny window.
The exact number of different children’s arts and crafts activities that are currently available is endless simply since children can be very creative and can come up with the most unusual ideas using almost any types of materials given to them. However, there are many arts and crafts activities for children that have been used year after year by teachers and parents because they are known favourites.
Many parents prefer arts and crafts projects that have a few common traits: they’re not overly messy, they don’t require a special trip to the craft store, and that they keep their children entertained for an extended period. Following are some arts and crafts ideas for children that meet all these expectations:
Marshmallows and Pretzels: Not only are marshmallows and pretzels fun to eat, but they can also be great materials for an arts and crafts project. All that is needed for this craft project are these two items (e.g. marshmallows and pretzels). To get started, place a bowl of marshmallows and a bowl of pretzels on a table. Allow the child to stick the pretzels into the marshmallows to create sculptures, people, flowers, snowflakes, and all sorts of different designs. The best part about this project is that it can be eaten! (Note: different sized marshmallows and a variety of pretzel shapes and sizes can make this project even more fun.)
Cereal: Cereal can be used for a quick and healthy breakfast, but it can also be the main ingredient in many arts and crafts projects. For example, it can be strung on string to create jewellery or it can be glued to paper to create a picture.
Rock Painting: Children of all ages have enjoyed painting rocks for many generations. Painting rocks is fun because they can be made into just about anything! To start this project, have the child take a walk around the back yard or the neighbourhood to gather some interesting looking rocks. Then, provide some paint and paint brushes so that the child can decorate the rock(s) as he or she wants. Glue may be necessary if a rock sculpture is being created. For children who want to transform their rock into a “pet” rock, other items may be glued on – such as pieces of yarn for hair and/or another material to create eyes and a face.
Recycled Arts and Crafts: If a new project is desired, and you’re looking for an inexpensive idea, a “recycled” arts and crafts project can be the prefect project. A good idea for recycled projects is to keep a bin handy all year long. When items such as empty toilet paper rolls, small plastic bottles, egg cartons and nice-looking scrap paper become available, toss them into the bin. When a child wants materials for an art project, simply pull out the bin and allow him or her to pull out some materials. Items such as beads, glue, markers and/or paint will help the child to create a sculpture, a tower, a house for a doll, a cave, or anything else that comes to mind!
Allowing children to personalize their arts and crafts projects is often an important key in getting them excited about creating something new. When arts and crafts projects incorporate photographs or other small personal items, craft projects can become a favorite pastime for children.
Following are some arts and crafts ideas for children that are sure to get them in creative moods, get them interested in creating an original work of art:
Mobile: Boys and girls will both enjoy making mobiles to match their rooms. The necessary materials for this arts and crafts project are a wire hanger, yarn or fishing line, and items to hang from the mobile. These items can be paper cut-outs that have been colored or painted, or anything else that is small and light enough to be supported by the hanger. The yarn or fishing line should be attached to the bottom/horizontal portion of the hanger. If paper cutouts will be used, they can be obtained either from a coloring book, from printouts from a home computer/printer, or self-made shapes. Make sure the child colors, paints and decorates the shapes prior to attaching them to the yarn or fishing line. Once everything is connected, the hanger can be placed on a hook affixed to the ceiling.
Calendars: Especially during the months of November and December, people often start to think about the approaching New Year. One item that just about every family needs each January is a new calendar. Instead of buying one, let the children make one! Homemade calendars make great arts and crafts projects for children because they can be personalized. A calendar grid can be printed from a home computer/printer, and children can decorate the backside of each grid. When the calendar is put together, each time a month changes, a new piece of artwork will be displayed. Children commonly like to incorporate family photos and seasonal colors and decorations for the various months of the year.
Coin Bank: Not only is a homemade coin bank a great arts and crafts idea for children, but it’s also a good way to teach children about saving money. Materials needed are: a plastic jug (either from juice or milk), pink and black thin sheets of foam, black marker, four wine corks, a pink pipe cleaner, and glue. The first step is to cut a slit into the jug that is big enough to fit all coins. Then, using the rest of the materials, decorate the jug to resemble a pig – using the corks to represent the pig’s four feet and the pipe cleaner for the pig’s tail. Another option to creating a coin bank that looks like a pig is to paint the jug pink prior to adding the rest of the embellishments.
Here are some more examples of arts and crafts projects for children that can be made with things you already have on hand.
First, you can make a cute little dog with fold over edges. For this, all you need is card stock or construction paper, scissors, and markers or crayons. If you have them lying around, you can even use some googly eyes and glue.
You will need to start with a square piece of paper and fold it half, diagonally. Fold the small points over at an angle to make the ears. Now, simply put a face on the dog. If you are using the googly eyes, be sure the glue is dry before moving it. This will give the dog a cute expression. You can even put cute little messages on the underside of the ears like “I love you” or “Happy Father’s Day.” When decorating the dog, let your imagination go. Maybe he has spots, or she has glitter in her fur. Whatever tickles your fancy.
As an art and craft project for older children, building a skeleton would be a worthwhile project. All you need is some different types of pasta and dried beans. For example, spaghetti, macaroni, small and long tubes, wagon wheels and tiny shells will work. Also, some construction paper, black works best, and glue.
Now, it is time to get to work. To be sure there is enough room on the paper, have the children lay out the skeleton before they start gluing. While the children can be creative in what pasta they use for which bones, you can easily guide them in a direction, Use the wagon wheel for the head, for example. Use spaghetti for fingers and toes, and long tubes for the arms and legs. Kneecaps, elbows, wrists and ankles can be made from tiny shells.
Do you have a paper bag, construction paper, glue, scissors and markers sitting around? Great! You can make a reindeer. Here is another arts and crafts project for children.
Have the children trace their hands on the paper and cut them out. These are the reindeer antlers. Simply glue the antlers to the back of the bag, on the opposite side of the fold. Add a construction paper nose, use red if you want to make a famous reindeer. Then add his eyes and any other bits of pizzazz you can think of.