You are at home with the kids on a dreary day when it happens: boredom strikes. And as every caregiver knows, boredom leads to aggravation, for them and for you. But when you reach into your exhausted mind to come up with an activity idea, you draw a blank. Read on for a list of 17 fun and easy arts and crafts for kids that you can complete using stuff you probably already have around the house.

17 Arts and Crafts for Kids

Arts and Crafts Starter Kit

1. Make Cardboard Box Creations

What You’ll Need:

  • Assorted cardboard boxes
  • Crayons, markers, chalk, and/or colored pencils
  • Scissors

Make it Happen:

1. Use scissors to cut doors, windows, etc.

2. Use markers and/or crayons to decorate.

3. Play with the creations for hours!

Other Thoughts:

Large boxes make great rocket ships, airplanes, and puppet theaters. Smaller boxes can easily be turned into houses for dolls or musical instruments.

2. Finger Painting

What You’ll Need:

  • Finger paints
  • Construction paper
  • Newspaper or plastic tablecloth
  • Cleaning supplies (wipes, paper towels, washcloths, cleaning spray, etc.)
  • Smocks (old t-shirts work great)

Make it Happen:

  1. Put kids in smocks.
  2. Lay newspaper or plastic tablecloth on table.
  3. Get cleaning supplies ready for post painting clean-up.
  4. Add globs of finger paint to the construction paper.
  5. Let kids free paint.

Other Thoughts:

Let infants paint with baby food to avoid the “don’t let the baby eat the paint” battle.

3. Make a Homemade Card for a Soldier

What You’ll Need:

  • Construction paper
  • Glitter
  • Crayons, markers, chalk, and/or colored pencils
  • Stickers
  • Etc.

Make it Happen:

  1. Use art supplies to create a thank you card for a soldier.
  2. A Million Thanks is an organization that collects messages of appreciation and distributes them to our military, past and present. You can find information on how to send a letter to a soldier on their website.

Other Thoughts:

The best part about this project? Your child can have fun and be doing something nice for someone else.

4. Write a Book Together as an Arts and Crafts Project for kids

What You’ll Need:

  • 4-8 pieces of printer paper
  • Pencils
  • Crayons, markers, chalk, and/or colored pencils

Make it Happen:

  1. Make sure printer paper is in an even stack.
  2. Fold stack of paper in half.
  3. Staple at spine.
  4. Let children create their own stories. Offer assistance as needed.

Other Thoughts:

If your children aren’t yet fluent writers, have them tell the story while you write. Then they can illustrate.

5. Have a Color-a-Thon

What You’ll Need:

  • Printer paper
  • Crayons, markers, chalk, and/or colored pencils

Make it Happen:

  1. Supply kids with supplies and let their creativity run rampant. Or, if creativity is in short supply, try drawing a mini city for toy cars or a zoo for miniature animals.

Other Thoughts:

Be sure to always buy washable in case your little Picasso decides to go rogue, and Crayola is always worth the additional cost.

6. Learn to Draw Arts and Craft Ideas for Kids

What You’ll Need:

  • Printer paper
  • Pencils
  • Crayons, markers, chalk, and/or colored pencils
  • How to draw book with step-by-step directions or YouTube how to draw videos

Make it Happen:

  1. Follow the directions in your how-to draw book or video.

7. Make a Magazine Collage

What You’ll Need:

  • Old magazines
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper
  • Glue

Make it Happen:

  1. Use the scissors to cut a bunch of pictures out of your old magazines.
  2. Glue the pictures onto the construction paper to create a work of art.

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8. Make Your Own Puffy Paint

What You’ll Need:

  • Shaving cream
  • Elmer’s school glue
  • Construction paper (dark colors work best for this project)
  • Paint brush

Make it Happen:

  1. Mix equal parts shaving cream and Elmer’s school glue.
  2. Paint on construction paper

Other Thoughts:

The perfect paint for clouds, snowmen, or anything else that you can imagine. When it dries the texture is really cool. If you want to get really creative, you can mix small amounts of the puffy paint with different colors of tempera paint for variety.

9. Make a Noodle Necklace

What You’ll Need:

  • Yarn
  • Noodles (Penne, Rigatoni, Rotelle, and Ziti noodles tend to work best)

Make it Happen:

  1. Cut yarn into 1 1/2′ – 2′ long segment.
  2. Tie a noodle onto one end (so that the other noodles don’t fall off).
  3. String noodles onto yarn.
  4. Tie the string to create a necklace.

Other Thoughts:

To turn this into an educational activity, encourage kids to string the noodles to form a pattern (Penne, Rotelle, etc.)

10. Make Glitter Art

What You’ll Need:

  • Old newspaper
  • Construction paper
  • Glitter
  • Glue

Make it Happen:

  1. Cover work surface with newspaper.
  2. Pour some glue on paper. Kids can pour glue into shapes (flowers, houses, etc.), or just squiggles.
  3. Pour a small amount of glitter onto paper and wiggle back and forth until all glue is covered with glitter.
  4. Pour remaining glitter back into the glitter container or into the garbage.

Other Thoughts:

Glitter and glue are fun… as long as you can stand the stray sparkles that you’ll still be finding weeks later. If glitter drives you crazy, try glitter glue pens.

11. Ripped Construction Paper Art

What You’ll Need:

  • Construction paper
  • Glue

Make it Happen:

  1. Rip up several colors of construction paper into small pieces.
  2. Glue pieces onto another piece of construction paper.

Other Thoughts:

You can either create a mosaic-type picture or a random color collage.

12. Fun with Stickers

What You’ll Need:

  • Printer paper or construction paper
  • Sticker assortment

Make it Happen:

  1. Supply kids with paper and stickers and let them peel and stick to their heart’s content.

Other Thoughts:

You may want to stay close by in case little ones need help getting the stickers off the sheets. I like to peel off the extra sticker paper around the images to make them easier for kids to peel off the sticker pages.

13. Make Moon Sand

What You’ll Need:

  • 8 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of baby oil
  • Optional: food coloring

Make it Happen:

  1. Mix together flour and baby oil. Optional: add in several drops of food coloring to reach the desired coloring.
  2. Let kids play using beach toys, kid-safe kitchen utensils, or their hands.

Other Thoughts:

*Warning* be sure to supervise this activity, especially if you have pets. Some dogs have no qualms about eating crafts, and food-based moon sand can be especially tempting.

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14. Writing with Magazines

What You’ll Need:

  • Old magazines
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper
  • Glue

Make it Happen:

  1. Use the scissors to cut letters and words out of your old magazines.
  2. Glue the letters and words onto construction paper to assemble stories, poems, names, whatever.

15. Fun with Paper Tubes

What You’ll Need:

  • Tubes (paper towel, toilet paper, wrapping paper, etc.)
  • Glue
  • Crayons, markers, chalk, and/or colored pencils
  • Other craft supplies (string, ribbons, etc.)

Make it Happen:

  1. Use gathered supplies to build whatever kids can think up.

16. Create a Flip-Book as an Arts and Crafts Project for Kids

What You’ll Need:

  • Mini notebooks (or make your own by cutting and stapling regular paper)
  • Crayons, markers, chalk, and/or colored pencils

Make it Happen:

  1. Choose your subject and the action to be performed (ball bouncing, man biking, girl jumping rope, etc.)
  2. Start drawing on the last page of the notebook.
  3. Flip forward to the next page and draw the next frame of your show.
  4. Repeat until the notebook is filled.
  5. Flip through to see the scene that you’ve created.

17. Paint with Marbles on Paper as a Fun Art and Craft Activity for Kids

What You’ll Need:

  • Printer paper
  • Marbles
  • Tempera paint
  • Plastic bowls
  • Plastic spoons
  • Lid of a box (must be larger than sheet of paper)

Make it Happen:

  1. Place a piece of paper into the box lid.
  2. Pour different colors of tempera paint into 2-3 plastic bowls.
  3. Add 2-3 marbles to each bowl. Use a plastic spoon to make sure that each marble is thoroughly covered with paint.
  4. Use a spoon to drop marbles from one color into the box.
  5. Tip the box lid from side to side to roll paint-covered marbles around.
  6. Repeat with remaining colors.

Be sure to share your kid’s arts and crafts!

Share whatever arts and crafts for kids you do and be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see them!

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