50 Fun art and craft ideas for kids to make at home
School's out for summer, so we're bringing you all the boredom-buster ways to keep kids creative. Try these easy craft ideas for kids to make at home...
Looking for something to entertain the kids over the school holidays? We've gathered up 50 of our favourite craft ideas for kids to inspire you and keep little hands busy. These easy crafts for kids don't cost much and you'll be surprised how long some of these ideas will keep mini makers entertained. Crafting is also proven to be beneficial for wellbeing and mental health, and so is a great way to help children relax and unwind.
We've included arts and craft ideas for kids of all ages in this article. If you're looking for ideas for younger kids, check out our Arts and Crafts Ideas for toddlers. If you are looking for older kids try these Best craft ideas for teens and tweens. If you want to up your little 'uns into sewing, check out our best kids sewing machines round up. For mood-boosting makes, check out our rainbow craft ideas for more colourful crafts. Looking for more creative ways to keep your children entertained? Explore our pick of the best art sets for kids.
And for grown ups who also need a little creative stress relief, head to our easy crafts to do at home post. And of course for even more inspiration each month, sign-up for our newsletter to find your next art project!
Main image: © evgenyatamanenko
1. Make your own mosaic pictures
Children are fascinated by colour, and this simple activity can be easily set up without needing any special supplies. Simply grab some coloured paper, scissors and PVA glue. You could also use old magazines and cut them up into lots of different pieces (the kids can help with that bit too), then use them to build up mosaic art! DIY Crafts has a handy YouTube video for how to make children's mosaics. If you'd rather use a kit, that's cool too. We like these Rainbow Mosaic Magnet Kits (£4.99 for 4, Baker Ross).
2. Junk model a marble maze
Marbles are as popular now as they ever were! Why not upcycle some of your old cardboard and create a fun marble puzzle for the little ones. We found these fab tutorials on How to Make a Cardboard Labrinth Game by Just5mins, which is great fun for slightly older kids. You can adjust your maze to suit the age of the child too. Small children might want to roll the marbles around using loo rolls. Remember always to supervise when playing with marbles.
3. Make playdough dinosaur fossils craft ideas for kids
This simple arts and crafts idea was sent into us from Rachel Hodson (any more ideas? send them our way! Share on social #craftathome or email us) which sparks a chat about your favourite dinosaurs. Grab a tub of play dough, a couple of dinosaur toys and make your own fossils. In fact, given school's out until at least February half term, you may as well invest in some play dough – how about this Play-Doh Super Colour Kit (£11 from Argos)? Don't have any dinosaur toys? See what other household items you can push into the clay to look like dinosaur claws! Or adapt to suit your child's favourite toys - My Little Pony fossils anyone?
4. DIY Hungry Caterpillar
Grab some loo rolls, tissue paper and any other supplies from your craft cupboard to create these adorable caterpillars! There really are no rules on how to decorate your caterpillar, so let the little one's imagination run wild! If you want to create a pom pom head like in the photo below, check out how to make a pom pom video tutorial.
5. Make salt dough ornaments
Want to start your next art project but worried you don't have any craft supplies in the house? We've got the perfect activity for you! All you need to make your own salt dough is flour, salt and water. You can even decorate your creations with food colouring, paints or pens. If you don't have these supplies the kids will still love mixing and rolling the dough.. Find out how with our video and step-by-step easy salt dough recipe.
6. Make your own soap
Making your own soap is easier than you think! We have created our own soap recipe that you can follow at home. This craft will take a little more prep than some of the others on this list due to the ingredients you will need. However, the extra effort is worth it since you'll have an abundance of lovely soap once you're done. The options are endless for soaps. You can use a variety of colours and essential oils to create your very own bespoke soap suitable for your skin type. Sensitive skin? Try adding oats. If you would rather not gather the ingredients yourself, we have found these beautiful kits which you can try:
7. Paint a plant pot and plant seeds in it
This lovely project combines two fun activities, painting and planting. Grab your paints, a terracotta plant pot and get cracking on this art project! There isn't much more to it. If you want the painting to last though, add a layer of waterproof varnish once the paint is dry. Once finished, plant your little one's favourite flower! We like this fun DIY Pretty Face Planters idea from Country Living.
8. Make a bug hotel
Are your little ones fascinated by creepy crawlies? Bring A Bug's Life to your back garden with these fabulous bug hotels! Not only are you creating an educational project for your kids, but helping out mother nature too. Garden Therapy has put together a great post on How to Build a Bug Hotel. There are also some great kits available to buy, try this lovely premade bug hotel from Buddy:
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9. Make your own kites
These fun DIY easy crafts for kids will double up as a great outdoor activity once you've finished!
10. Junk model a pirate ship
Empty cardboard box lying around the house? You're halfway to making your very own pirate ship! Kids will love the making and the playing with a junk-modelled pirate ship. This great upcycling project allows you to use up any old odds you might have around the house. This cute idea from Backyard crafts shows you how to make one from rolled sheets of newspaper.
11. Make a kaleidoscope
Easy to make and fun to play with the kaleidoscope is a classic for a reason! You will need to source some mirror card for this project, but other than that you can raid your craft cupboard! Find out how it's done with our video guide and step by step tutorial for How to make a kaleidoscope.
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12. Discover easy origami
One of the simplest ideas in this round-up to make as all you need is some paper to get going. Head to our tutorial for How to make an origami boat. If you have older children who want a challenge try this How to make an Origami Lion. For younger children, you can't beat the fun of a simple origami hat
13. Make your own bath bombs
If you're looking for crafts to do at home, making your own bath bombs is one of the most easy crafts for kids. This doubles up as two things for kids to do in one - make the bath bombs, then have a bath and watch them fizz! Follow along with our super-simple bath bomb video tutorial. Try using different shaped moulds for a variety of creations.
14. Make cute flower paper fans
We've got a lovely tutorial to show you how to make a paper fan which are lovely and easy crafts for kids
15. Finger painting
One of the quick and easiest arts and crafts ideas in this round-up and you can adapt for different age groups. Pre-schoolers will enjoy getting messy with paints with hands and fingers. Can they make dots? Can they make stripes? What colours are they using? But you can also level this one up for older kids too. Grab an ink pad or paints and make finger-painted animals, characters or decorate cardboard Easter eggs. How many different animals can they make out of fingerprints? Try these 16 Cute and Easy Finger Painting ideas from 5 Minute Crafts.
16. Make your own masks
Dress up and crafting - our favourite combination. Making your own masks only requires cardboard or a paper plate and a bit of elastic, string or ribbon to secure them in place. You don't need to buy any kits of specialist crafts for this one and you can adapt them to suit your child's interests. Try these printable Super Hero Masks which include all the comic book favourites. No printer? Download these kids' animal mask templates from First Palette to trace from your computer screen.
This bunny mask would be a fab activity to do with the kids at Easter! Help them get their creative side on and discover even more fun Easter projects in our Easter crafts for kids round-up.
17. Cross stitch on plastic canvas or binca
Teach your kids to stitch and you'll be amazed how long they can sit still and concentrate for (within reason and depending on your child's personality!). With a few simple supplies, you can show kids how to cross-stitch. Check out our 10 top tips for cross stitch for kids and if you want to try a kit to get started, we love these really fun Baker Ross Cross Stitch Kits for Children.
18. Make a suncatcher
If you want to create your own sun catcher kit at home you will only need a few tools, so it is a low-cost project to take on. There are a couple of methods for making sun catchers at home. Wikihow has an easy step by step guide to how to make a tissue paper sun catcher (below). If you're feeling adventurous, try the melted bead method, as demoed in this video DIY suncatcher tutorial by WhatsUpMoms.
19. Make a cereal box doll's house
Red Ted Art's blog is full of wonderful arts and crafts ideas. We recommend this lovely Cereal Box to Foldable Doll's House tutorial, complete with free printables. This is a lovely idea for imaginative children as it doesn't need many specialist supplies to give it a go. Grab a cereal box, some spare cards from your recycling box, paper, pen and a glue stick.
20. Matchbox challenge!
Words cannot convey how much we truly love a matchbox challenge. If you haven't come across these before, you give kids a matchbox (or any small box will do really) and see what they can turn it into. Pinterest is positively awash with ideas to try.
The beauty of this sweet craft project is you can adapt it to suit how creative and how old your children are. On a basic level, you can do a household treasure hunt to see how many things children can fit in a matchbox. Why not challenge the kids to see who can make the best matchbox project!
Here's a few ideas to get you started:
- Matchbox Unicorn Notebook DIY from Red Ted Art
- Super sweet dolls house matchbox inspo from Esther Alverez
- Make the teeny tiny mini matchbox houses of our dreams
- Turn several matchboxes into a mini chest of drawers
- Need more ideas? Head to this Pinterest board for 36 things to do with a matchbox
21. Paper weaving
Another great way to craft using just a few simple pieces of paper! Paper weaving teaches children hand coordination and will hold their fascination for ages. All you need are a few strips of coloured paper. Check out this easy video tutorial from Arts and Crafts on You Tube.
22. DIY Pirate treasure hunt
What's great about this craft is that the making is equally as fun as the playing. Making your own pirate costume and treasure hunt is so much fun, the kids will get hours of entertainment. Here are a few links to handy tutorials we've found to get you started..
More like this
- Turn paper cups into hand hooks and make a lollypop treasure chest
- Treasure hunt clues tips from The Spruce
- Shoe Box Treasure Chest DIY
- Make your own Pirate hat
23. What's in the box?
A mystery box is easy to make and requires few materials. Setting up one of these boxes is a classic activity for smaller children. Activity Village has a handy Mystery Box tutorial to get you started!
All you need is a shoe box, pair of scissors and piece of paper. Cut a hole in one end of the box, large enough for children to fit their hands through. Cover it with paper and cut a cross in the middle of the paper for them to reach through. Decorate the box with whatever you like (a bonus craft activity for mini makers in itself). Now scavenge around the house for items you can put in the box to keep them guessing.
This is a great sensory activity that works best if you can seek out items with different textures or scents. What about items that make different noises when you shake the box? Talk to the children about what they feel - is it smooth? cold? furry? light or heavy?
24. Make a paper fortune teller
No special supplies are needed for this timeless kid's activity. Just grab a sheet of paper, cut and fold to make a fortune teller game. It's easiest to show you rather than explain how, so here's a video by Kidspot for How to make a paper fortune teller
25. Make your own play dough
All you need is a few kitchen cupboard basics to make your own play dough; vegetable oil, salt, plain flour and food colouring. Check out the video and step by step guide to How to make homemade Play Dough give it a go.
26. Make a jam jar glitter globe
Looking for festive arts and crafts to do at home? You don't need a specialist snow globe kit to make your very own shaker snow globe - grab a jam jar from your recycling box and try this easy DIY version - kids will love it! Most DIY methods involve adding a bit of Glycerin to the water, but you can experiment with swapping this out for baby oil or a bit of clear glue. You don't have to make them festive either - try adding lego mini-figures, old Kinder Egg toys inside.
27. Washi Tape Hop Scotch
Ah, finally a practical and pretty way to use up that treasured Washi Tape from your craft kit! If you can't bear to part with the good stuff, this will also work with masking tape too. Simply use the tape to mark out indoor hopscotch in any room of the house – this works on carpet or hard floors. If you need a hand with your set up, check out this post by Ashley Hackshaw for Easy Outdoor and Indoor Games.
28. Play with pavement chalks
We've got tons of arts and crafts ideas but this one is perfect for little artists. Grab a set of coloured chalks and head to your front porch, path or back garden patio to get the kids drawing outside! We have lots of chalk ideas if you are running low on ideas.
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29. Paint pebbles and rocks
Painting rocks has become a viral trend in recent years. We have seen many communities getting involved with painting and hiding pebbles. The fun of painting the pebbles and discovering other pebbles means lots of fun for kids.
To ensure your painted pebbles are waterproof we recommend adding a layer of varnish. Take a look at our pebble painting ideas for lots of inspiration.
30. Make pom poms
Another age-old classic craft to try is pom pom making! You'll need oddments of wool from your craft kit or cupboard, cut two circles out of cardboard and get winding to make your own pom poms. Can't quite remember how it's done? Check out our how to make a pom pom tutorial.
31. French knitting
Another yarn-based activity that kids will love is to try French knitting. You can traditionally try this with a specially made 'Knitting Nancy'. If you want to make one today, try this handy recycled version for How to make a French Knitting machine using a loo roll and lollipop sticks from Kidspot. If grown-ups want to try this too, we cannot express how much we love this stylish .
32. Hama or fuse beads
If you haven't yet discovered them, say hello to your new favourite kids' craft idea. Hama beads (also known as fuse beads or melty beads) are a great activity for children of all ages. You arrange the beads on a pegboard, then heat them with a household iron to melt or fuse them together. Use the beads to make coasters, keyrings and gifts to send to loved ones. There's plenty of inspiration to discover online, try Pinterest. Where you will find a tonne of Hamma bead ideas.
To get you started, we like this post by Craft Project Ideas (pictured below) with some beginner shapes to try. You'll need some Hama beads and a simple board to get you started... we highly recommend this Hama Classroom Pack (from Baker Ross).
33. Aqua beads
These work in a similar way to Hama beads and have the same mesmerising effect on children. The benefit of aqua beads is you don't need an iron to fuse the beads, but instead fuse the beads together using water. You'll need a starter kit to begin, and there is a huge range of refills and kits available.
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34. Make a magic scratch picture
Create magical rainbow artworks! You won't need a lot for this activity, crayons, black paint, a paintbrush and something to scratch with. Toothpicks, kitchen skewers all work well for the scratching part! For the full tutorial, check out The Artful Parent's post – DIY Scratch Art The Easy Way.
35. Make your own stamps
Stamps are always loved by little kids, they're fun and easy! Why not do the old fashioned way of creating your own stamps using potatoes. This craft can get a little messy though, so aprons at the ready! Try potato printing with this video guide from #MetKids.
36. Toilet roll animals
Make a zoo-full of all creatures great and small by grabbing some loo rolls and a few basic art and craft supplies. Transform your toilet rolls into your own mystical beings using crayons, pens or paint. Looking for some inspiration? We like these Toilet Paper Roll Animal Ideas or head to Hative for 60 Homemade Animal Themed Toilet Paper Roll Crafts. Why stop at animals? Take a look at our toilet roll crafts for more fun ideas.
37. Make a rainbow for your window
Say thank you to the NHS and create a tissue paper rainbow to display in your window. Try our easy video tutorial for how to make a rainbow sun catcher out of tissue paper and black card.
38. Knot along to make friendship bracelets
When kids have to be apart, why not encourage them to craft a friendship bracelet for their pals? We have instructions and a video tutorial guide showing how to do three basic styles of the bracelet. Learn how to make friendship bracelets today.
39. Grow your own (paper) spring flowers
Celebrate spring all year round with these beautiful paper daffodils! We've got a full tutorial on how to make paper daffodils to show you how it's done.
40. Craft a desk pals organiser set
Even if your little one's rooms are messy, this is a sure-fire way to at least keep their desks tidy! Find the instructions on how to make this trio in our best glue gun crafts article.
41. Sock animals
Turn old socks into fun puppets with these fab sock puppet ideas from Handmade Charlotte. There are 7 fun designs to choose from including a super cute giraffe!
42. Pipe cleaner animals
One thing we love about crafts for kids is it can really be as simple as one pipe cleaner and your imagination. These fab pipe cleaner animals are by Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls.
43. Toilet roll cars
Finding crafts for kids has never been easier with A Little Pinch of Perfect's blog. They have lots of free craft activities including these fun little toilet paper cars. The wheels are made from yoghurt/baby food lids! For more arts and crafts ideas using paper, check out our paper crafts for kids guide.
44. Make your own spirograph
Do you remember Spirographs from your own childhood? They're a simple idea but strangely mesmerising (for kids and grown ups alike). We found this lovely DIY for How to make a Handmade Spirograph.
45. DIY paper strip rainbows
This simple art and crafts idea for kids is so much fun and easy to make – head over to one of our favourite craft blogs, One Little Project, to find out how to make paper strip rainbows.
46. Nature trail clay sculptures
Combine a walk in nature with supply collecting! Get the kids searching for leaves, seed pods and twigs. When you get home you can press your findings into clay to create nature sculptures. We've found this handy DIY over on the My Plum Pudding blog.
47. Discover the joy of loom bands
You can choose from thousands of colours and patterns for your loom creations! They are so easy to twist into beautiful jewellery and countless other trinkets. Follow along with our loom band tutorial to get started right now!
48. Shrink plastic handprint keyrings
We are 100% trying this one during lockdown. Play around with hand prints then reach for some shrink plastic to turn them tiny to make your own DIY keyrings. They'll make lovely gifts to post to grandparents, friends and other family. Greyhouse Harbor has a great DIY for how to make your own Handprint Keychain. You can get 33 sheets of Shrink Plastic for for £14.99 on Amazon.
49. Wooden Spoon Mermaids
This idea just really makes us smile! Turn wooden spoons into mermaids! Enough said. You know you want to...
Glued To My Crafts has THE Arts and Crafts for kids tutorial you need in your life – how to make wooden spoon mermaids.
50. Shrinky Dinks
Shrinky Dinks the brand was big in the 80s. Kids could colour in these line art drawings, pre-printed on special thin plastic sheets which, when heated would shrink right down to become thicker and more rigid. What is makes shrinky dinks such an easy craft for kids? It’s because shrink plastic is so fun to use and almost magical in the way it transforms. Shrink plastic is one of those materials that really benefits from some fun experimentation.
We hope you've enjoyed our crafts for kids round up, try this guide on how to make loom bands if you are looking to keep the kids busy! If you're looking for more arts and crafts to do at home then head to our free daily craft patterns for lots of fun projects to make. We've also rounded up the top craft subscription boxes so that you adults can have as much fun as the kids.
Zoe is the launch Editor of Gathered.how. She has over a decade of craft publishing experience under her belt. She's a quilter and sewist who works with the UK’s best-selling craft magazines including Today’s Quilter, Love Patchwork & Quilting, Simply Sewing and The World of Cross Stitching. Zoe loves being immersed in Gathered’s quilting content, tweaking our tutorials and publishing new patterns. Zoe has previously written for radiotimes.com, Simply Knitting and The World of Cross Stitching and was previously Deputy Editor of Papercraft inspirations magazine. She has guest-lectured at Bath Spa University. She’s a keen quilter with 5 projects in progress at any one time and another 12 or so planned.