Looking for new ideas for crafting with kids? Here are 7 fun projects that we have tried and loved to add to your must-do list.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve been crafting daily for the last 3 weeks now. The only reason I know this is true is because of the piles of crafty goodness that are strewn throughout the house. Some of it’s in the kitchen, others are downstairs in Anna’s play area, and more still is sitting on the edge of the kitchen table waiting for a new home.
Why do you care about any of that? Because we’ve been testing out a TON of new crafts and have found some really fun ones to share with you. Seven new ones, to be exact. So here they are in completely random order.
1 // Landscape Collages
There are so many things about this project from ART CAMP that I loved. First, I love that it teaches kids about a contemporary artist and gives tips for exploring the art together. I also love how fun this one was to do with Anna at age 5 and can imagine how layered it would be with older kiddos. We mainly focused on blocks of color and layering the paper and know that it would be a completely different project with an older kiddo (or adult, let’s be honest). I also love how it got us using scrap paper and using materials we don’t think about often.
You can watch us as we did this project live and see our finished pieced here.
2 // Smush Paintings
What are smush paintings, you ask? They are a style of painting where you lay blobs of paint onto paper then cover it with wax paper and SMUSH the paint down to create beautiful abstract paintings. The baby even got in on the fun and got to smush her painting in a zip-top bag. I loved how easy they were to create, how beautiful the end product was, AND how contained the mess was. Anna loved throwing caution to the wind and taking a bunch of painting and globbing it around on the paper. We all loved how satisfying it was to smush and spread the blobs of paint around under the wax paper.
Check out how it’s done here. There’s even a hack for BABIES and younger kids to do this one!
3 // Crayon Hearts
I love finding fun ways to use the massive basket of crayons we have at home. I’m not sure where they all came from and 3 out of 4 people in this house don’t love using them (if you’re wondering who likes using them, it’s me). Whenever I come across a craft that calls for crayons in some way, I jump on the chance to make them. (Ahem, crayon lip gloss.) So when I saw this project for crayon hearts over on the Martha Stewart blog, I knew it was going to be for us.
Two things to note, you use an iron to seal the wax paper together and melt the crayon pieces, so a grown-up is required. And it’s SUPER messy. I highly (highly highly highly) recommend putting an old cloth or rag underneath your work so that you don’t ruin your ironing board cover, and to use the absolute lowest heat setting on your iron possible. Otherwise, it gets messy fast. (Ask me how I know this one.)
You can watch the craft in action here.
And see the original tutorial from Martha Stewart here.
4 // Nature Faces
We are seriously digging all of the different ways to use nature in our crafts right now. Perhaps it’s because going out feels so special after being stuck inside for the past month or because it’s a much needed distraction. Whatever the case may be, WE ARE LOVING IT. These nature faces are fun to create and exude so much personality. The best part is, no two faces will ever be the same!
You can find the template we used for our faces (and another fun activity) here.
And you can find the video of us making them here.
5 // Tin Can Owls
I wasn’t sure how this craft was going to go over with Anna when I first picked it. She’s not overly fond of owls (fairies are more her thing) and has never really done anything with tin cans before. But they looked cute and, at the very least, used things we already had at home. Which is great, considering that’s where we’ve been for the last 3 weeks plus. Once Anna got over the initial MEH about the owls, she had a blast. She loved wrapping the yarn, cutting out and drawing her eyes and wings, and loves having a fun place to store her pencils. The only thing she didn’t love was the hot glue, which is a grown-up task anyway.
Want to make these for yourself? The tutorial for making Tin Can Owls can be found here.
6 // Brownie Making!
Baking — especially if it involves baking with chocolate — is a beloved activity in the House of Lev. So when I told Anna that we would be making brownies she kiiiind of lost her mind. She did look at me a little funny when I told her we were going to be adding in beans to ours (the husband wanted in on the action but doesn’t eat gluten, so…). The only beans we had on hand were butter beans (random, I know) but managed to find a recipe online that used them. It also made for an easy sell since Anna is really into Butterbean’s Cafe. I’m happy to report that they were a big hit with everyone and it got Anna to eat beans. A win-win in my book.
Want to try the Butterbean Brownies for yourself? You can find them here.
Note: You could also use a different white bean like cannellini or navy, black beans, or chick peas. All make for delicious brownies. Also, they are gluten free and vegan, so don’t use any eggs or butter — precious commodities in our house right now.
7 // The Doodle Game
This was my favorite game to play as a kid (my mom was THE best to watch in action) and I am thrilled I get to share it with Anna now. This is a great game for airplanes, long waits in doctors offices, or pretty much any time you’re looking for a fun and easy activity that requires the bare minimum of materials.
How to play: one person makes a squiggle on the paper. Another person takes the squiggle and turns it into something. Then that person draws a squiggle and passes the paper back to the first person to turn it into something. You can repeat the process for as many turns as you like.
You can find more detailed instructions and a fun twist in this Instructables.
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