If you have kids, one of your biggest problems during a prolonged period of staying at home would be to keep them focused yet active, so that boredom doesn't cause them to do something wild. The good news is that there are do-it-yourself (DIY) crafts that are easy enough for children to do, yet interesting enough for grown-ups like you as well.
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You will just need patience to guide them through each DIY crafts project. There are plenty of these crafts listed here, which means you can easily choose the ones that you think your kids will be really interested in for the day. You can then shift to other more complicated crafts projects when you think they are ready.
Make Your Own Comic Book
Children adore comic books, so this project will probably appeal to your kids. The idea is for your kids to come up with their own storyline, and this will inspire them to draw their own comic books characters. You can help by providing them with art materials such as Oslo paper, art paper, crayons, permanent markers, felt paper, glue, and scissors. The great thing about this project is that it will appeal to children of all ages – and even some adults, too. You can make your own comic book as well, if you like. Just be sure to take out time to help the younger kids who have trouble with drawing or who don’t know how to write yet, so that their comic books will match the scope of their imagination.
Shoebox Seed Chest
If you have your own vegetable garden at home, you might have noticed that your kids seem to be curious about the whole process of planting a seed in soil, watering it, and then seeing the seed grow into a plant. If so, you may want to help nurture that budding interest in gardening by letting your kids design their own shoebox seed chest.
Basically, a shoebox seed chest is an ordinary shoebox that your kids can jazz up any way they like. You will need one clean shoebox per child for this, as well as art materials like art paper, felt paper, glue, scissors, pencils, and permanent markers, to name a few. You just need to explain to your kids that they each get one shoebox to decorate – when they’re done decorating it, you can give them their own tiny packets of seeds that are labelled, depending on the kind of seeds that you have on hand. This will motivate them to learn more about vegetable gardening, which is a great way for them to start their own gardening hobby.
Sowing Seed Plant Markers
If you have popsicle sticks that are clean and dry, you can let your kids make their own sowing seed plant markers out of them. Basically, your kids just get their choice of art materials such as poster paint and brushes, permanent markers, and glitter glue. They can then decorate each popsicle stick, and write down the name of the particular plant seed that those sticks will be marking in the sowing container. This will help you and your kids figure out what was planted in a particular container, which makes vegetable gardening much easier for both you and them. The good part about this is that your kids will be exposed more to vegetable gardening, plus they will be able to exercise their art skills as they please.
“Lost Sock” Sock Puppets
The “lost sock” phenomenon can be safely described as a global phenomenon in the civilized world. How many socks have gotten lost somewhere in between the time your kids put them in the laundry hamper and the time you take them out of the drier? But if you’ve been holding on to the remaining sock, in the hopes that the lost sock will find its way back to the closets of your children, you can make sock puppets out of them.
You will need at least one clean sock per child for this project – in fact, you can show the collection of unpaired socks to your kids so they can pick out one that they like. You can then give them fabrics that may be used to decorate the sock puppet. You don’t have to go to the store just to buy fabric – there are probably some old clothes on hand that you were either planning to use as rags once they became too worn out, or to donate to a charity. You can help the smaller kids cut out patterns from these old fabrics. They can then use a good type of glue that sticks well to fabric to make a pattern on the sock.
The nice thing about this project is that there are no “mistakes” when it comes to the puppet design. As long as your child seems happy with the puppet pattern, that’s all that matters.
Making DIY Pizza Circles
Not all arts and crafts projects require the use of inanimate objects – you can also try cooking something with your kids that will get them actively involved. The “project” can also be eaten afterwards, which is a bonus. A good example of a cooking project that all kids will probably like is do-it-yourself pizza circles. Yum!
To create this project, you will need a loaf of bread. French bread would be nice, since you will be cutting it in circles. If you don’t have any French bread, you can use regular white bread – just use a drinking glass to cut out circles from each bread slice. You will also need pizza-making ingredients such as tomato sauce, cheese (you can let your kids experiment as to which type of cheese they prefer on their pizza circles), bell pepper slivers, button mushroom slivers, cooked sausages sliced into slivers, and any other toppings you think would go well with those.
Basically, you just lay out a baking tray with a baking sheet, then let your kids put their decorated pizza circles on it (decorated side up), and bake the pizza circles for a minimum amount of time. It helps if some of the ingredients were already pre-cooked in advance, such as the sliced sausages. To avoid arguments over who owns which pizza circles, you can arrange the circles into straight lines on the baking tray, prior to baking, so that one line of pizza circles belongs to one child only.
Make sure to include cold beverages that go well with the pizza circles. Iced tea is a nice option. You can also serve fruit juices, if that’s what your kids prefer.
“Just Because” Greeting Cards
Have you ever received a “Just Because” greeting card from anyone before? The theme for the “Just Because” greeting cards is that the giver made the card for the receiver for no better reason than “I thought of you today!” After all, you probably think of others on special occasions – such as when you send people a greeting through greenvelope.com – so why not make a greeting card for your special someone just because you thought of them?
Kids may understand the point of making a “Just Because” greeting card right away. So tell your kids that they can make greeting cards for special people in their life, like you! You should also make your own “Just Because” greeting cards. One card per kid in your home sounds like a good way to start. There is no limit to what they want to write, draw, or glue on the cards, though you may want to count how much paper and art materials you have on hand in case they want to make lots of greeting cards. You might be surprised by how wild your kids’ imagination can get when they are allowed to think of anything and everything they want – the question is, can your imagination match theirs?
Paint Your Own Pet Rocks
Since kids are so imaginative, you might start running out of ideas for crafts projects for them. But have you thought of pet rocks? This is a nice project that kids of varying ages can do, with minimal supervision. You will need enough acrylic paint so that each child has sufficient paint in the colors needed, plus some brushes, and of course smooth-surfaced rocks. Some say river rocks are ideal for this craft activity. You may need to assist the younger kids with this because they may not know about mixing colors and how to paint on rocks without dropping them.
The cool thing about painting your own pet rock is that there is no wrong or right way to make a pet rock. You may make suggestions to the “artist” so that the pet rock will, well, look more like a pet actually. But be careful not to censor the artist – let the child’s imagination soar and you might be surprised at the outcome.
Once the pet rocks are finished, you can let them dry outside in the sun. Then you can put the pet rocks in the personal space of each child, like their study table or on a shelf in their closets, so they can see their pet rocks every day and remember what a great time they had painting them.
If your kids love to read, no matter what age they are at the moment, you may be wondering how to encourage them to keep this up through the years. Well, one way you can spur them to read more is to help them make their own personal bookmarks. This is a no-brainer type of project that kids of all ages will enjoy making because they will be able to use bookmarks all the time, especially if they were the ones who created them.
To start off with, you will need art materials such as stiff plain cardboard from filing folders, felt paper, art paper, Oslo paper, watercolor paint, poster paint, paintbrushes, scissors, a hole puncher, permanent markers, coloring pencils, crayons, one ruler per child, and some yarn of varying colors. You may also want to use some old magazines that you don’t need anymore – your kids can cut out images from the magazines and glue them to the cardboard bookmarks.
If your kids are rather young, it would help if you were to cut out whatever needs to be cut out for them. Kids who are in elementary school may already have some skills with scissors, but keep a watchful eye on them anyway since it is easy for accidents to happen. Be sure to cut the yarn for the bookmarks in consistent lengths as well, so that there won’t be any arguments about who got more yarn than the other. It is nice to have yarn in different complementary colors, though some kids may insist on just one color for their bookmark. You may use the hole puncher to make a hole where the yarn will be tied.
Kids will love the process of being able to design their own bookmarks and may compare their handiwork with those of their siblings. It is natural to expect some sibling rivalry here, but don’t encourage it. The important thing is that everyone should have fun with such projects, and that they will be able to keep using the finished products over the years.
Staying at home can give anyone cabin fever if there is nothing better to do than watch reruns on TV and eat snacks all the time. Fortunately, you and your kids have a better option, which is to indulge in DIY crafts projects to pass the time in a fun and productive way. If you have enough art materials on hand, there is no limit to what the imagination of your kids can dream up.
Do participate with them in these projects, so that all of you will be able to enjoy one another’s company every day. If you thought you don’t have any imagination yourself, participating in these projects with your kids will show you that you do have imagination, and that you are never too old to think up new ideas for DIY crafts that will both entertain and enlighten you over time.