A mama of two young kids shares her no-fail easy arts and crafts for kids that barely require art supplies, just stuff around the house!
The circuit breaker has finally ended (yay!), but for parents of toddlers not in school yet, and those on self-imposed lockdown, not much has changed. If you’re sick of endless days of home-schooling with hard, crumbly playdough, empty glitter tubes and googly eyes, have faith that all is not lost! Sometimes extraordinary situations call for ordinary measures! So don’t let a lack of art supplies hold you back, instead let your new creative mantra be: repurpose, recycle, reinvent! (But click here to see where you can purchase arts & crafts supplies if you’re so inclined!)
To give you a little inspiration, we’ve carved out a list of 5 easy arts & crafts for kids that can be accomplished with things that shouldn’t be too hard to find at home. The activities are fun, engaging, non-messy, and pocket-friendly, too. Sometimes less is indeed more!
Click through the gallery to witness ‘Aha’ arts & crafts moments, 5 times over!
For all the toilet paper jokes these days, its humble cardboard discards have featured in many a great craft creation. If you’ve exhausted all obvious ideas in the past two months of home-schooling, if you find yourself staring at the tubes, still trying to imagine them as potential pieces of art and drawing a total blank, stare no further! Just get your kids to paint a couple in some vibrant colours, then take one of your hair bands and tie them together. Voila – your kids now possess a lovely new pair of binoculars! For a neater look, you can ditch the hairband for some glue, of course.
These cool binoculars can also be made by cutting the kitchen paper towel tube into two! Basically, there’s no excuse to not make them!
When life puts you in lockdown, think out of the box!
Grab that carton you were about to toss down the trash shoot, and begin your very own ‘project makeover’. It doesn’t need to be a specific kind of box, just something paintable. The plain old cardboard boxes that the weekly groceries (and the much-needed wine!) arrive in work wonderfully!
Project makeover is a colourful, engaging and delightful process that allows the little ones to play around with colours and designs, while learning about the importance of recycling. Deciding the great purpose of the fun end-product can also create much hullabaloo (hint: a cosy home for some favourite toys could get you excited nods of approval!). And if you don’t have any paint on hand, markers and crayons work, too!
Let ‘Forky’ from Toy Story 4 make a special appearance in your artwork! Show the kids how to dip a disposable fork in some lovely colours and create some beautiful tulips with it. This one is so easy to do, and the results are so neat and visually satisfying! If you’re a mama with ‘non-instinctive artistic capabilities’, you will love this simple fork hack! This technique exposes the kids to a ‘controlled’ artistic explosion, and they end up taking so much pride in their neat little artwork.
Let’s face it – there won’t be any BBQs or picnics in the park for a while now, so this puts Forky to some grand indoor use for now!
If lockdown life hands you flour, don’t just make sourdough – make some playdough, too!
The thought of creating something from scratch can give one the heebie jeebies, but surprisingly, this one’s an under-5-minute-job! Simply: mix 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup salt and 2 tbs cream of tartar in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix 1 cup hot water, 2 tbs vegetable oil, and some food colouring. Add the liquid mix to the dry mix and give it a good knead. Your soft, non-toxic playdough is ready!
Involve your little masters in the process, so it doubles up as their ‘activity of the day’, and they end up enjoying the fruit of their labour for months.
Top tip: for stressed out Mummas like me, kneading and poking it can prove strangely therapeutic!
This one is a lot of fun and creates the same amount of drama every single time, no matter what the design (or even blotches of paint splattered on paper by the tinier ones). Mirror painting for the win, especially on packed days when nothing comes to mind. Because some days you’re allowed to do just half a painting, and let the crease of the paper and the press of your hand magically make it whole!
Just fold a piece of paper in half, and ask your child to paint half a butterfly or half a lady bug, or half a whatever they fancy that day, on one side of the fold. Then fold the paper back and give it a good press. Open it and see their faces light up !