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Friday 20 March 2020

Fun Crafts for Kids while Stuck Inside

Stuck at home with kids right now?

If your family is anything like mine then there's probably an awful lot of screen time happening at the moment. I know, I know... it's not the best, but sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do.

If you're looking for ways to keep the kids busy and away from their screens, then I have a ton of craft ideas for you here on the blog. Today I'm sharing some of my favorites in one post to make them easier to find. Many of these craft activities use materials that you probably already have at home - even in your recycling bin! Others may require you to do a little online shopping so I've included links.

For further instructions for each craft simply click on the bold and underlined title.

Magic Blooming Flowers
These magical flowers are super easy to make and only require a few materials. Just paper, pencils or markers, and scissors. Once you've colored and cut out your flowers, simply fold over the petals and they're ready for the magic to happen. Pop each flower into a glass or bowl of water and watch it magically open up. You can write a secret message in the middle of the flower, which is what we did when we made these for Mother's Day a few years back. Post them to friends and family or just write secret messages for each other at home. If you're feeling creative, why not try making other shapes too.

Got milk? Or rather, got empty milk cartons? If the answer is yes, then you've got the makings for a milk carton city! For this fun activity you'll need to raid the recycling bin. You'll need clean, empty milk cartons, magazines or catalogs, markers, paint and glue. You can also add anything else that you like such as glitter and straws.

Goldfish Mandala
Time to play with your food! This activity will keep kids busy and give them a snack! Win win! Just grab a packet of their favorite snacks, sort them by color, size or any other way you'd like, and get to work creating a mandala. We made this one out of colorful Goldfish crackers, but you could also use Froot Loops, Cheerios, M&Ms... Pretty much any small dry food works for this.

Easter is coming up soon which means that Peeps candies are everywhere in stores. We don't particularly like eating Peeps, but they do come in handy for crafting. With just a needle and thread you can turn a packet of bunny shaped Peeps (or any other shape you like) into a fun decoration for your front door or wall. We've also used the ghost shaped Peeps to make a Halloween bunting in the past. The Peeps are easier to work with if you let them dry out a little, so leave a packet out for a day or two before working with them.

Painting with Veggies
More playing with food! This simple craft is perfect for preschoolers. Simply grab some fruits or veggies from the fridge, cut them into various shapes and use them to stamp paint onto paper. The bottoms of celery or bok choy make perfect rose prints. For older kids try craving shapes into potatoes to make stamps. Maybe even use fabric paint to print onto fabric to make your own cushion covers, tote bags or head scarves.

Hand Colored Head Scarves
Speaking of headscarves, if you've got a sewing machine, some fabric and crafting wire then this is one is a fun activity for older kids. We made these head scarves for Fourth or July quite a few years ago and the kids used fabric crayons to color white fabric which I then sewed into scarves. Printing with veggies would be a great way to decorate the fabric first.

Rainbow Hair Clips
More DIY hair accessories - or they could be badges if you prefer. Sculpey clay is one of my favorite crafting materials and so easy to work with. For Pride a few years back we made rainbow hearts out of Sculpey clay and added them to hair clips to wear to the parade. For this activity you'll need Sculpey clay in rainbow colors, heart shaped cookie cutters, something to roll the clay with (a wine bottle works in a pinch!), and hair clips or badge backings.

Conversation Heart Key Chains
More Sculpey fun! We made these conversation heart key chains for Valentine's Day a few years back, but they'd be a great activity for any time. Like the hair clips above you'll need Sculpey clay, cookie cutters, and something to roll the clay with. You'll also need a set of letter punches, key chains and a small pair of pliers. While we made these as hearts, you can make them any shape you like.

Mini Clay Garden
I never actually got around to making a DIY post for this one, but that's something I'll be working on. The kids made these mini cactus plants for their teachers a few years back. The plants and pebbles are made from Sculpey clay and we glued them onto tiny terracotta pots. They make cute gifts and they're perfect for those with a not so green thumb! No killing these plants!

Clay Leaf Ornaments
Not done with the clay yet! If you live somewhere where Spring has sprung or if you have evergreen trees and plants nearby this is a great activity that brings nature and crafting together. Collect leaves of different shapes, press them into rolled out air drying clay, cut around edges, peel the leaves off and leave the clay to dry out. We added small holes for hanging, but you could always skip this step if you prefer.

Borax Crystal Snowflakes
Got borax at home? Of course you do! You're a parent and you're kids are likely obsessed with making slime! Slime isn't the only thing that can be made with borax. Delicate crystals can be made with borax too. You'll need pipe cleaners, cups, some string or thread, water, and, of course, borax. These crystals take about a day or two to grow but it's minimal work and totally worth it. The crystals can be used to adorn windows, Christmas trees (a little early/late, I know) or can even be worn as jewelry. Try making them in a variety of shapes and maybe even add food coloring.

Contact Paper Sun Catchers
Can't get enough of sparkly things? Then contact paper sun catchers are the craft for you. We made these as hearts for Valentine's Day years ago but they can be made in any shape you like. You'll need clear contact paper, colored tissue paper, colored card stock or construction paper and, for extra sparkle, some glitter. Stick these sun catchers up in your windows and they're sure to bring a smile to your day.

DIY Grabber  (April 2019)
We made these DIY grabbers last year with a little help from the Zoom, Fly, Bolt, Blast Steam Handbook from Galileo Camps. These grabbers are a great activity for older kids and provide hours of fun when they're done. You'll need thick cardboard, masking tape, paint stirrers, split pins, string and rubber bands. 

DIY Bath Bombs
Having the whole family home ALL day got you feeling stressed? You're not alone! Taking a relaxing bath with a fizzy bath bomb is a great way to add some calm to your day. Don't have bath bombs? No problem - they're super easy to make at home! We made these fizzy little bath bombs as Valentines for the girls' classmates a few years back, but they can be made for any occasion. You'll find most of the required ingredients in your pantry and bathroom, and you can use any mold you like to shape them. Don't have molds at home? Try using plastic cups or empty yogurt tubs. 

Shrinky Dink Family
Remember Shrinky Dinks? They were one of my favorite crafting materials as a kid, so I was super excited when I found blank Shrinky Dink sheets for my kids a few years back. One of my favorite thinks about Shrinky Dinks is that they're an open ended craft. You can make anything you want so let your imagination go crazy! Years ago we made a Shrinky Dink family. Ava drew the people, I cut them out and punched holes in their hands, and then once they came out of the oven I joined them together with jump rings and made a necklace out of them. Aren't they cute?

Another fun craft (or science experiment depending on how you look at it) is making sun prints. All you need is a pack of Sunprint paper, sunlight, water and fun things to make prints of. You can seriously use anything. We even used our hands! Simply place your item/s on a sheet of Sunprint paper in the sun, wait for it to change color and then dip it in water to set. Easy peasy and it's fun seeing the prints emerge before your very eyes.

Are you crafting with your kids while they're off school? I'd love to hear what you've been up to.

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