Crafting is one of the best ways to pass the time indoors with children. Working on a craft gives you and your kids a screen-free opportunity to bond as you create and learn together.
We’ve scoured our favourite crafting blogs for amazingly simple ideas that only require a little time, basic crafting supplies and household items, as well as your child’s creativity, of course! These crafts will help your littlest ones develop fine motor skills, while your older children can work on developing their artistic voice—and maybe even a few cooking skills along the way.
Colourful Glue Suncatcher
This simple craft is great for young kids between the ages of 4-6. These colourful glue suncatchers don’t take long to assemble, but require about a week to dry.
- The first step is to fill the inside of a plastic food container lid with white craft glue and a few drops of liquid food colouring.
- Let your child create a colourful design by swirling the food colouring through the glue with a toothpick.
- Take care not to swirl the different colours together too much, as the food colouring will expand as it sits in the glue.
- Place your child’s creation out of sight until the glue in the lid has dried fully. After 4 days you can periodically check to see if the glue is completely dry as you carefully peel it away from the lid.
- Once it’s dry, make sure an adult uses a needle to poke three holes on the bottom rim of the suncatcher and one at the top for hanging.
- Thread embroidery floss through each hole until the ends line up and their length is about 22cm.
Now your child gets to see how pretty their design looks in the clear glue mould of the lid! Help them thread some hanging embellishments onto the embroidery floss with pony beads, and cap the bottom three bead strings with 4-hole buttons.
You can also try making this simplified version of a glue suncatcher if you’d rather use a hole punch and ribbon instead of fussing with a needle and beads.
You can hang your kid’s creation in a window or outside to sparkle in the light and brighten up everyone’s day!
Microwave Puffy Paint
If you want to entertain artistic kids of all ages with the magic of cooking, art and science, then this quick craft experiment is just what you need. The best part is you don’t need any traditional crafting supplies to make microwave puffy paint, just a few kitchen staples:
- 1 cup of flour
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Mix the ingredients in a large bowl and add enough water to achieve a thick paint-like consistency. Then separate your “paint” into smaller bowls so you can experiment with the artistic science of adding your colours. You can use traditional food colouring or even a small amount of liquid watercolour paint to add and mix different colours. The creative genius at Mommy Labs even used 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to create a rich yellow paint colour.
Next you’ll create plastic squeeze cones for the paint with small plastic sandwich bags. Reinforce them with clear tape so they don’t leak, then fill them with your paints. Cut a small hole at the tip of the cone for the paint to squeeze through and secure the top of the cone with a rubber band.
Now you can get creative again with choosing your canvas. You can use anything from regular paper to paper plates or cardboard. The Artful Parent even tried painting marshmallows and watching them grow in the microwave as the paint set. Once you’ve chosen your canvas, and your kids have painted their masterpieces, you’re ready for the microwaving to begin!
Your kids will probably want to watch as their art bakes on high for 30-40 seconds. The more art you microwave, the more of a feel you’ll develop for how long to bake each piece relative to how much or how little paint was used.
This project is so amazing because your kids get to practice their painting skills, watch their paint dry/puff up (super quickly so they don’t get bored), learn about the science of baking powder, and enjoy their creations, all within a few minutes!
Crystal Geode Eggs
This fun craft provides a cool new twist on traditional dyed eggs. You don’t even need to wait until Easter to make these, because geodes make for stylish home decor all year round! Crystal geode eggs also require food colouring and a few other household staples:
- Craft glue
- Epsom Salt (you can also experiment with sugar, baking soda and table salt)
Crack the narrow end of your eggs to make quarter-sized holes in their tops. Empty the contents of the eggs into a bowl so you can make a tasty egg dish later. Next, you need to wash out your eggshells by rinsing them in a bowl with hot water. When the water cools, your kids can help you gently scrub off the eggs’ inner membranes with their thumbs.
At this point, If you want the outside of your eggs to be as colourful as the “geodes” inside of them, you can use an egg dying kit or try one of these creative egg dyeing techniques.
Once the eggs are dry from washing and dyeing, start the process of forming crystals inside your shells by spreading a thin layer of glue inside and sprinkling a layer of Epsom salt over the glue. Set your coated shells aside for a few hours to let them dry. Now’s a great time to make your favourite egg recipe with your kids.
Hopefully you’re still in cooking mode once you’ve finished eating. Prepare a saturated epsom salt solution by stirring half a cup into one cup of boiled water until it dissolves. Slowly stir in no more than another half cup of epsom salts into the solution until the salts stop dissolving and the solution is thick. Spoon the mixture into each eggshell until it’s filled to the top, and then mix in a drop of food colouring with a toothpick.
Let your geodes form by drying them at room temperature for several days. If a hard film forms on the surface of the shells, break it apart with a toothpick to let the rest of the moisture evaporate.
Just like with the glue suncatcher, your kids will look forward to finally seeing the results of their creativity. These homemade geodes are so beautiful that it’s hard to believe they only require a few simple ingredients, some basic cooking techniques, and a little bit of patience.
If you’re looking for one more kid-approved craft that’s almost as quick to whip up as puffy paint, then why not give your space-obsessed kids the opportunity to design their own galaxy jars?
- Mason jar with a lid
- At least two colours of Tempera paint
- Cotton balls (stock up with a bulk purchase so you have enough)
Stephanie from MomDot thinks this craft ends up looking more like a nebula than a galaxy, so this is also an excellent chance to have a brainy conversation with your kids about the wonders of the universe. We won’t judge you if you need to look up the difference between a galaxy and a nebula (we definitely did).
Unlike the mysteries of outer space, the construction of this craft is super easy to understand. Just fill a third of your jar with water and add in several drops of your first paint colour. Screw the lid on the jar and shake to mix the paint and water, then add some glitter. Next, stretch out a bunch of your cotton balls and add them to your jar as well.
Repeat these steps twice more to fill the last 2 thirds of your jar. Make sure to add at least one more paint colour to add depth and contrast to your nebula. That’s it! Now your kids will have gorgeous sensory-soothing calm down jars that can double as stylish pieces of accent decor in their rooms.
These projects don’t require any special crafting skills like the ability to sew or fold paper like an Origami master, but you’ll still get great-looking results that will bring you creative inspiration and fond memories for years to come. We hope you try out one of these crafts with your kids this weekend, and that you find inspiration from one of our favourite kid-friendly DIY crafting resources.