Crafting with kids can be a truly cathartic bonding experience. To young children, everything is still wondrous. If you’re feeling a little cynical about a hyper commercial consumer-burdening culture where everything is overpriced and the little things in life underrated, it can be helpful to remember that, for a child, even the most basic materials can be transformed into something special. These seven creative crafts are great for parents and kids to do together.
1. Painted Rocks
If your children are more artistically inclined, you might want to consider letting them do a bit of portraiture painting on rocks. The nice part of this craft is that it is incredibly inexpensive. First of all, rocks are everywhere. And a few dollars on an inexpensive set of paints and brushes won’t set you back too far.
Encourage your children to be as creative as they like, mixing colors, making faces, and painting the rocks any way they wish. From colorful abstractions to surprising portraits, parents and kids alike can enjoy this rock painting craft.
2. Balloon Rockets
Source: Kenville Kids on Flickr
If you have a youngster interested in science, balloon rockets help to reinforce some basic ideas about action and reaction in an entertaining way.
For this project, you’ll need balloons (obviously), about 6 feet of yarn minimum, a drinking straw, scissors, tape, and two chairs.
Begin by tying one end of one strand of yarn to a chair.
Second, thread the drinking straw through the other end of the yarn, and tie that end to the second chair.
Attach two pieces of tape to the center of the drinking straw.
Next, leaving the end untied, inflate your balloon. While continuing to hold the opening so the air doesn’t escape, attach it to the drinking straw with tape.
Finally, pull back on the yarn and balloon until they’re touching the chair, let it go, and watch it shoot across the yarn from one chair to the other.
3. Popsicle Stick Biplane
For this particular popsicle airplane, you’ll need a clothespin as well. Use that clothespin to form the body of the biplane, take two popsicle sticks and attach them on opposite sides, above and below, to form the wings. You can fit toothpicks in between the gaps as “wing supports” if you wish. Finally, you can add smaller lengths of popsicle sticks for the propeller and tail.
4. Popsicle Stick People
Sticking with popsicle sticks, this is truly a classroom classic that you can easily create at home. That’s due in part to the fact that these can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. And they can also be made to resemble any number of different figures.
Want to take some lace and create popsicle stick ballerinas or princesses? No problem. Maybe your child loves superheroes, Star Wars, Harry Potter, or some other fandom and wants to decorate them to resemble their favorite characters. They can do that, too!
In addition, your method of coloring in and decorating these popsicle stick people can vary. You can use watercolors or markers to color the wooden sticks themselves, while glue with googly eyes, glitter, pipe cleaners, fabric, and other items can be used to decorate the face or to give the popsicle stick people limbs and clothing.
5. Glue Painting
Let your child get in touch with their inner Jackson Pollock with this fun, creative craft. Simply mix food coloring with glue to create a solution that can be easily dripped onto surfaces in abstract ways. Pollock himself experimented with different solutions, lending different paintings different textures. So be sure to experiment yourself!
Just be sure that you do this craft in an area that can be easily cleaned up afterward—you don’t want to be Jackson Pollock-ing all over your carpeting.
6. Plastic Fireflies
Looking for a use for those empty plastic Easter eggs after Easter? Take some googly eyes and pipe cleaners, attach them to the plastic eggs, glue everything in place, and voilå! Check out these gorgeously unconventional DIY easter eggs for more fun-filled ideas.
7. Parent/Child Beginner Quilts
A first-time quilt can be a great way to introduce your child to a creative craft they can enjoy for life while spending some valuable parent/child time together. Some basic tips to keep in mind when doing a parent/child quilt for beginners:
- Start small and simple.
- Make sure you have enough materials ahead of time. Young children are not known for their patience, so you don’t want to have to keep stopping in the middle of the quilt. A few squares of child-themed quilt fabrics, like the ones by hancock’s of paducah, enough sewing string, and a needle should be sufficient.
- Encourage your child to choose how they want to fit the different quilt-able fabric pieces together into different patterns and shapes.
- While you probably want to do the bulk of the sewing yourself, you can also try and get your child started by holding their hand as they do some of their first sewing. Guide them carefully along the path the thread needs to go.
- Most importantly, go slow and be patient.
In short, these amazing, creative crafts for kids can be fun for parents and children alike.
About the Author
Lori Wade is a journalist from Louisville. She is a content writer who has experience in small editions, Lori is now engaged in news and conceptual articles on the topic of DIY and quilting. If you are interested in crafting or lifestyle, you can find her on LinkedIn.