11 DIY Craft Projects That Kids Will Love
Did you know that children who have more craft time learn valuable skills like problem-solving, designing, and spatial awareness? The right craft can provide children with some much-needed fun while also giving them important life skills. Whether you’re looking to entertain one bored kid or teach a whole classroom at summer day camp, these DIY crafts are a great opportunity to have fun.
Homemade Play Dough
While classic playdough is already entertaining, there is just something special about making it yourself. Kids will love the idea of being able to mix up their own secret recipe. The most basic recipe just involves combining flour, salt, water, and oil and cooking until it forms a stiff dough. Of course, for most kids at summer day camps, the best part of this project is getting to customize the design. Use food coloring to let kids design their own favorite color, or consider adding glitter to make it sparkle.
A few simple sheets of sticker paper from a craft store can lead to hours of fun. This special paper has a matte front you can draw or print on and a peel-away back that reveals a sticky surface. Once you have the basic supplies, the possibilities are endless. Some kids may want to design and draw elaborate images, while others might just want to pick a few fun pictures to print. Whatever their preferences, they are sure to have fun cutting out stickers and thinking of fun ways to display their crafts.
Tie Dye Clothing Items
When it comes to DIY kids’ crafts, most kids prefer projects that let them create an actual item they’ll continue to use. Tie-dye is an awesome way for kids to put their creativity to use and design a piece of clothing. This project is a little messy, so it is best done outside, but the end results are stunning. Children can end up with a one-of-a-kind shirt or dress. If your budget doesn’t allow for bigger pieces, you can still have a lot of fun tie-dying smaller things like scrunchies, bandanas, or face masks.
Need a fun craft but don’t have a big budget for supplies? Origami is an excellent option for an easy kids’ craft. There are countless origami designs out there, so you can customize the project to suit various age levels. Once you learn the basics, you can help kids craft adorable paper animals, beautiful flowers, and other neat designs. Another great thing about origami is that it does not require scissors, paint, or other potentially problematic materials. It’s no surprise that safe kids camps often include origami because it is such a safe and user-friendly craft.
This craft is a great way to get kids to appreciate the outdoors. Lead your group of kids on a scavenging journey to collect pretty leaves, cool flowers, interesting pebbles, and other lightweight, natural materials. Then give everyone glue and let them attach their materials to a piece of sturdy cardstock. The end result is a unique, lovely collage made from little bits of nature. Depending on the child’s age level and individual preferences, these collages can be elaborate designs or just a fun, abstract piece portraying the child’s nature finds.
Crochet is one of the simplest ways to introduce children to textile crafts. It requires nothing more than yarn and a dull hook, so it’s a safe kids camp activity. Unlike some other activities like knitting, crochet is also simple enough for young children to learn. By teaching them just one or two stitches, you can give them the tools to create their own projects. Things like scarves and potholders are always a classic choice. Those who are comfortable working on bigger projects can also try things like hats or legwarmers.
Homemade Paper Mache
Paper mache is an interesting technique that involves soaking paper in some sort of glue and then molding it to create a 3D shape. This craft project is ideal for those who want to teach kids about recycling because you can use junk mail or old newspapers. Depending on your budget, you can pick up some paper mache glue in the store or make the glue yourself by combining one part flour with two parts water. The great thing about homemade paper mache sculptures is that the possibilities are endless. Kids can craft Halloween pumpkins, build a face mask, or even make their own piñata.
DIY Puppet Theater
If you want a craft that will keep kids busy for ages, this is an excellent option. Instead of being a quick craft, this is more like an ongoing project you might do at summer day camp all week. First, you’ll need some cardboard boxes and paint. Use these to create a “stage” where the puppetmaster can hide and put on their performance. This can be as simple as a big box with a hole cut out at the top, or it can be an elaborate design with real fabric curtains. Next, you can craft puppets from old socks, cardstock and metal brads, or even popsicle sticks and string. Finally, encourage the kids to put on their own plays. This is a great project when you really want to encourage creativity and independent thinking.
Got some old fruit or vegetables lying around? Give vegetable printing a try! All this craft requires is some paint, some paper, a sharp knife, and a firm vegetable like a potato, carrot, or apple. An adult can carve the vegetable into the shape the kid wants, then the kid can dip it in paint, and stamp out a design. For most kids, this is a fun project just because it lets them play with paint.
The bright colors and moving parts of a pinwheel make them endlessly fascinating to younger children. These fun little toys are also surprisingly easy to make. With a straw, scissors, a pushpin, and tape, you can quickly whip together adorable little pinwheels. Once they’re done, they can be a neat toy or a pretty decoration. There are all sorts of ways to make them as pretty as possible. You can spruce up the pinwheel by using patterned paper or by encouraging the children to draw on the paper themselves. In addition to being entertaining, pinwheels can also be an educational kids’ craft. Putting them together can give you a chance to talk about engineering, rotational force, and windmills.
Rainbow Sand Jars
Layering colorful sand in a jar might seem like a fairly straightforward project. However, this craft has been a favorite kids’ craft for decades because of all the options for customization. Children love being able to pick their favorite colors and swirl them together for a unique look. Layered sand jars are also fun for kids because it is a tactile craft that involves exploring a lot of fun textures and materials. Once kids are done with their jars, they can become a cute decoration for the child’s bedroom.
If you need more ways to keep your kids busy, check out Chartwell’s Happy Day Camp. Our safe kids camp is filled with awesome activities for the kids of Marlton. Call 856-983-8827 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.