Keeping young children entertained can be difficult even on the best of days, but one surefire way to keep their minds — and their hands — occupied is with crafts. This style of play is a wonderful way to encourage a child’s creativity and imagination, offers a learning experience, and of course keeps them busy and happy. Crafts are perfect for those rainy days you’re stuck indoors, but can also work well on during nice weather, as some can be done outdoors.
Here’s a look at a variety of fun craft ideas that are sure to be a big hit with young children.
Make Your Own Shirt
There is nothing more exciting and rewarding to a young child then getting to display their hard work for all to see. There are few better ways to do this than wearing their artwork in the form of a t-shirt. Pick up an inexpensive white t-shirt, along with supplies to decorate it. You can choose anything from fabric markers that allow kids to draw right on the shirt itself, purchase fabric paint and let them use brushes or stamps to create shapes and designs, or perhaps use iron-on appliques, screenprinting kits or printable t-shirt kits.
Include your kids in the creative process by bringing them with you to shop for the supplies. Your local craft store likely offers a whole wealth of fun options. This same project can be used on a canvas tote bag, hat, shorts, and other items.
Make Your Own Bingo Game
While traditional games of bingo are ideal for adults, kids can have fun with their own twist on bingo. You can make your very own cards, then pick up bingo markers or make your own markers out of craft items. When you make your own version of bingo you can skip using letters and numbers and instead use alternatives like animals, colors, shapes, etc.
Make Your Own Book
This is a wonderful activity that requires focus, creativity, and planning. You can provide the book topic for them to make it a little easier and have them make a book all about themselves. You’ll need a few pieces of construction or colored paper, a hole punch, yarn, markers and pencil crayons. Fold the pieces of paper in half and then use your hole punch to make two holes on the folded side. You can then use the string to tie the pages together, creating a spine for the book. Kids are then free to draw, write, and create whatever they like.
You can take this activity to the next level by providing glue, craft items, sparkles, and anything else that might appeal to them.
Paint…with Anything but Paint
Want to really engage kids? Give them a challenge. Ask them to create a painting with one caveat: They can’t use paint. They can choose other media like chocolate, makeup, or even “watercolors” made from Kool-Aid. This engages their creativity in two different ways.
Make Your Own Dough
Sure, you could go to the store to purchase modeling clay or dough for kids to play with, but why not allow them to make their very own and take part in the process. The recipe is quite simple and uses common ingredients in your home.
You’ll need eight cups of white flour, one cup of baby oil, food coloring, and an air-tight plastic container to store it in. Allow kids to mix the ingredients together and then they can start using the dough. You may want to pick up cookie cutters and scoops for them to use in their creative play.
When it comes to crafts that keep young children happy and entertained, the key is offering variety. Allowing them to experiment with various craft items, ingredients, and textures will help to encourage their creativity and offer them a great learning experience.