If you or your kids are feeling creative, crafts are the absolute best activity to do. But what kinds of crafts for kids are there? You’d be surprised at the options that await you! Here, we'll explain the different benefits of crafts and the basic materials you’ll typically need before giving you a list of 32 fun and easy DIYs for kids.
What Are the Benefits of Crafts for Kids?
Before we get into the best crafts and DIYs for kids, let’s answer an important question: are there any notable benefits to engaging in crafty projects?
The short answer is yes! In fact, crafts offer several benefits to kids.
For one, crafts can help young children, particularly toddlers and elementary school students, with early childhood development. The tactical nature of craft-making can help strengthen children’s dexterity, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination, in addition to improving their abilities to socialize and work with others.
Aside from developmental benefits, crafts do an excellent job of encouraging children to think creatively and learn to express themselves in new and unique ways. With crafts, kids can choose from a variety of colors, shapes, and categories, allowing them to develop a more artistic sense of self.
Furthermore, crafts can be great for promoting environmental consciousness. Arts and crafts made from used household materials, such as toilet paper rolls or old Popsicle sticks, encourage kids to be mindful of recycling items and finding further uses for everyday objects often deemed trash.
Finally, DIYs for kids can be great bonding experiences for parents and their children. Instead of just playing a board game you’ve played dozens of times before or watching a favorite movie, sit down to work on a craft—this will challenge both of you to find ways to cooperate and get creative together.
Fun Crafts for Kids: What Materials Will You Need?
Most crafts for kids mix and match some pretty basic materials, which should make it all the more convenient for you.
Here’s a list of some of the most common materials you may need depending on the particular craft you’re doing:
- Construction paper, preferably many colors
- Glue (Elmer’s and Tacky tend to work well)
- Markers, pens, colored pencils, and/or crayons
- Ruler (or a yardstick for larger crafts)
- String or yarn
- Paint and paintbrushes
- Popsicle sticks
- Pipe cleaners
- Googly eyes
- Felt, preferably many colors
- Fabric, preferably many colors and patterns
- Glitter and/or glitter glue
- Small pom-poms, buttons, ribbons, stickers, beads, and other embellishments
Please note that an adult should always supervise very young children in their craft-making, especially if they’re working with scissors or other potentially harmful objects.
32 Easy Crafts for KidsIn this section, we give you 32 crafts and DIYs for kids, which we’ve divided into four categories:
- Paper Crafts for Kids
- Nature Crafts for Kids
- Holiday Crafts for Kids
- Miscellaneous Crafts for Kids
Paper Crafts for Kids
This first set of crafts for kids includes any crafts made from construction paper, paper plates, cardboard, and/or other recyclable paper materials. These are usually considered the easiest and most convenient craft ideas for kids and adults alike.
#1: Fortune Teller
This is one of the simplest crafts you can do, and it’s also one of the most popular. Paper fortune tellers are used to tell your fortune based on what numbers, colors, or categories you choose.
To make one, you’ll need a square piece of origami or construction paper. Follow the guide here to learn how to fold one correctly. Be sure to add your categories (usually colors and numbers) on the outsides of the flaps and your fortunes (both good and bad!) on the insides of the flaps.
Origami is a fun activity that takes a bit of patience—but it’s well worth it in the end!
In terms of materials, you’ll need several pieces of origami paper (or any paper cut in a square shape). You can create a huge array of animals and other shapes or objects, from traditional cranes to cats, crabs, and frogs.
I suggest checking out Origami-Instructions.com to get ideas on what you can make and detailed instructions on how to fold these different shapes. Be aware that though lots of origami patterns require just folded paper, more complicated shapes might require the use of scissors.
#3: Paper Snowflakes
Regardless of whether you live in a particularly cold area or not, you can always find a way to enjoy some winter snow by making your own paper snowflakes. This simple craft requires nothing more than a square piece of white paper, some scissors, and a little imagination.
Learn how to fold paper and cut your own snowflakes with this guide at MarthaStewart.com.
#4: Paper Plate Animal
If you’ve got paper plates lying around, these can be great for making your own paper plate animal buddies.
For most animal shapes, you’ll use one paper plate for the body or face of the animal and then cut up additional plates or pieces of construction paper to use as fins (for fish), legs or arms, and other parts of the animal’s body or face.
The main materials you’ll need are paint and paintbrushes (you could also use markers or colored pencils), glue, scissors, and embellishments, such as glitter, stickers, ribbons, colorful buttons, and googly eyes.
#5: Toilet Paper Roll Rocket
Toilet paper rolls can be used to create tons of enchanting toys, one of which is your own rocket to outer space!
Starting with a toilet paper roll, cover it in colors or your own design with construction paper, paint, or markers/colored pencils. You can then add a construction-paper cone for the nose of the rocket and colorful paper wings and fire to the bottom.
Check out this step-by-step guide to learn how to make a paper roll rocket.
#6: Toilet Paper Roll Dragon
Another great craft for kids is the toilet paper roll fire-breathing dragon.
First, decorate a toilet paper roll by wrapping it in green construction paper and gluing pom-poms and googly eyes to make the face. You’ll then cut strips of red, yellow, and orange tissue paper for the flames that will be coming out of the dragon’s mouth. Glue the strips to the inside of the toilet paper roll and then blow from the other end to watch your dragon breathe fire!
One Little Project has all the steps you need to make this adorable craft.
#7: Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars
If your kid loves looking at clouds or pretending to be on a safari, this craft was made for them! To make your own pair of binoculars, all you’ll need are two toilet paper rolls, string, glue or tape, and your choice of embellishments, such as construction paper, pom-poms, or stickers.
Start by decorating two toilet paper rolls; common methods include wrapping them in construction paper or painting them a bright color. Next, attach the rolls with either glue or tape so that they resemble a pair of binoculars. Finally, cut a small hole in the outer edge of each paper roll and then thread a string through the holes to make a strap.
Buggy and Buddy has a great guide on how to make kid-friendly binoculars.
#8: Paper Towel Roll Rainstick
This fun craft is a little tricky to make but well worth the effort, especially if your child loves music or nature—or both! A rainstick is a type of instrument that, upon being turned upside down, sounds like falling rain.
The main part of the rainstick is a paper towel roll, inside of which you’ll put a spiral-shaped piece of aluminum foil and uncooked rice. Kids will likely also want to decorate the outside of their new rainsticks with things like construction paper, stickers, and other small embellishments.
Go to Gift of Curiosity for an in-depth guide to making your own rainstick.
If you’re looking to add some color and whimsy to your yard or garden, a handmade pinwheel is a great idea. These crafts might look difficult, but as long as you follow a step-by-step guide, such as this one on First Palette, you’ll have a gorgeous pinwheel made in no time.
To make a pinwheel with your own supplies, all you’ll need is some colorful paper (or you can add color and designs using markers and colored pencils), scissors, a push pin, glue, and a pencil. You will likely want to download pinwheel templates to use as guides. As an alternative, you could buy a pinwheel craft kit.
#10: Brown Paper Bag Kite
Don't dread the windy outdoors when you can use it to your advantage by flying your own paper bag kite!
To make one, simply decorate a lunch-sized brown paper bag with markers and other lightweight accessories, such as ribbons, stickers, and pom-poms. Next, glue a bunch of colorful streamers to one end of the bag. Finally, attach a long string to the other end of the bag; this is what you'll use to control the kite and keep it from flying away.
Somewhat Simple tells you everything you need to know to make your own splendid kite.
#11: Spinner Toy
No, we’re not talking about fidget spinners here but your good old-fashioned spinner toys. This easy craft consists of a cardboard circle with colors and/or patterns on it and a string that goes through the center, allowing you to spin the circle by gripping the string.
Spinner toys aren’t just mesmerizing to watch—they’re also great for teaching kids about color theory, that is, how different colors mix together to create new ones.
Red Ted Art has detailed instructions on how to make a spinner toy as well as free templates.
#12: Tissue Paper Suncatcher
This gorgeous craft is excellent for kids who love working with colors and would like to have some art of their own to show off. What a suncatcher does is essentially "catch" sunlight, kind of like how a wind chime "catches" the wind.
To make one, get some wax paper, cut-up pieces of different colors of tissue paper (the more, the merrier!), a paintbrush, and either liquid starch or watered-down glue. Start by painting a thin coat of glue onto the sheet of wax paper. Next, use your paintbrush to paste the pieces of tissue paper onto the wax paper; this will create a stained glass effect. Let dry when finished and then hang up your creation on a window for all to enjoy!
For a detailed guide and examples, visit Artful Parent. Also, note that there are many other ways you can make suncatchers, with some methods using items found in nature (leaves and flowers) and others using just crayons.
Nature Crafts for Kids
This next set of DIYs for kids is all about nature and using natural resources, such as sticks and pine cones, to make your own unique and beautiful creations.
Virginia State Parks/Flickr
#13: Pine Cone Animals
Pine cones are nature’s blank canvases. You can make an array of crafty-looking animals with pine cones, such as owls, bunnies, and bears, by gluing colorful pieces of construction paper and things like felt, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes to them.
#14: Twig Picture Frame
Hunting for twigs can be even more fun if you plan to use them to make a picture frame for someone special.
Begin by gathering a lot of sticks. As you do this, aim to have two sets of similar-length twigs. For example, if the photograph you want to frame measures 5 by 7 inches, look for some sticks that are around 5 inches long and others that are around 7 inches long.
Decorate the twigs as you like with embellishments such as string, pom-poms, glitter, stickers, and so on. Once the twigs are ready, glue them together in the shape of a frame. You could also glue the sticks directly onto a plain, cheap frame (see this example on wikiHow), or use Popsicle sticks instead of actual twigs.
#15: Painted Rocks
Lots of children love to gather small rocks, but have you ever thought of painting one?
Choose any small stones—just make sure they’re relatively smooth so they’ll be easier to paint. Then grab your paints and paintbrushes and get to work! You can make your rocks into cute ladybugs, owls, or other pictures. You could also add a message to the back of the rock.
When you’re done, you can either keep your painted rocks or put them back in nature in a public place, such as a park, so that someone else can find them and get inspired to make their own.
#16: Bird Feeder
While you don’t need to use natural materials for this craft, a bird feeder is a great way to embrace nature—especially the birds who like to visit you.
There are lots of ways you can make a bird feeder, but some of the most popular ones include gluing together Popsicle sticks in the shape of a small box or house and cutting up and decorating an old milk jug. Don’t forget to put some bird food in your feeder before you hang it up outside!
The Carouselambra Kid/Flickr
#17: Fairy Village
Fairies enjoy having fun, whimsical places they can stop at when they come to your garden or yard, so why not set up a tiny village for them? You can make buildings out of items like milk jugs or milk cartons, benches out of small twigs or Popsicle sticks, miniature trees out of pine cones, and so on. Let your imagination run wild! You can also throw in some painted rocks for a little color.
#18: Magic Wand
Everybody knows that a big wand leads to very big spells! All you need to make one is a large stick and some decorations to put on it.
Once you've found a big stick, glue to the top a decorated pine cone, large pom-pom, or whatever else you want to be the centerpiece of your creation. Go ahead and spruce up your magic wand by wrapping it in colorful strings or fabric, painting it, attaching streamers to it, or dousing it in glitter. Just be sure not to accidentally turn your little brother or sister into a frog!
#19: Wind Chimes
Wind chimes are an excellent craft that really get kids' creative juices flowing. While there are tons of ways you can make wind chimes, one fairly easy method is to hang small objects such as beads, buttons, painted rocks, pine cones, or seashells from a sturdy stick using string or twine.
Wind chimes are also great for getting use out of old items you don’t need anymore, such as keys, plastic spoons, and used jar lids.
#20: Fishing Pole
Lots of kids love playing with and collecting sticks, so why not turn one into a cool toy fishing pole? This is one of the easiest crafts for kids you can do, as all it requires is a large stick, some string or yarn, and a paper cut-out of a fish, which you can glue or tape to the end of the string.
A slightly more difficult version of this nature craft is to make a fishing game out of it, wherein you use your homemade fishing pole and magnets to see how many paper fish you can catch.
Holiday Crafts for Kids
Crafts are an exciting way to celebrate any holiday. In this section, we introduce the most creative holiday-themed DIY projects for kids.
#21: Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Jar
This adorable Halloween craft idea comes from Red Ted Art. To make your own jack-o-lantern jar, get a clean jam jar, orange or yellow tissue paper, glue, black paper, scissors, a paintbrush, and a small candle or electric tea light. Cut the tissue paper into small squares and cover the jar in glue. Then, start pasting the pieces of tissue paper all over the jar until it’s fully covered.
Next, cut out jack-o-lantern faces with the black paper and glue these to the jar on top of the tissue paper layers to make your face. Put a final layer of glue on the lantern to seal it and then voila! Add a tea light and you’re ready to start celebrating this spooky holiday.
#22: Christmas Ornament
Handmade ornaments make great Christmas presents and look terrific on a Christmas tree. There are tons of ways you can make your own ornament.
One popular method is to glue together painted Popsicle sticks in the shape of a Christmas tree, a reindeer, Santa Claus, an angel, or another holiday-related icon or object. You can embellish your ornament with things such as pom-poms, felt, ribbons, glitter glue, and buttons. When you’re done, attach a colorful string or piece of yarn to use to hang it up on your tree.
#23: Chinese New Year Paper Lantern
Paper lanterns are super easy to make and look spectacular during the Chinese New Year.
The materials you’ll need to make one are red and yellow construction paper, scissors, glue, a ruler, tape, a pencil, and any embellishments you’d like to use as decoration, such as buttons, sequins, ribbons, glitter glue, etc.
Go to First Palette for a step-by-step guide.
#24: Valentine’s Day Yarn Heart
This elegant craft by Easy Peasy and Fun is terrific as a gift or piece of decor for Valentine’s Day.
To start, cut out a heart shape from a sturdy piece of cardboard. Next, using pink or red yarn, glue one end of the yarn to the back of the heart and begin to wrap it around the heart, continuing until no cardboard is exposed. Cut the yarn and tuck the end into the heart before tying it off.
#25: St. Patrick’s Day Pot of Gold
What better way to celebrate this lucky day than to make some luck of your own with a handmade pot of (candy) gold?
For this craft, you’ll need a small terracotta flower pot, paint (green, black, white, and gold are ideal colors to use), a paintbrush or sponge brush, and embellishments such as glitter, clover stickers or cut-outs, etc. You’ll also want to have a bunch of gold-wrapped candies, such as chocolate gold coins or Rolo candies, to put in your pot of gold once you’re finished decorating it.
#26: Felt Easter Eggs
In addition to dyeing Easter eggs, you can use felt to come up with changeable egg designs.
To do this craft, cut out several egg shapes from different colored felts. You can then use any array of embellishments you have, such as smaller pieces of felt or fabric, buttons, or beads, to decorate your eggs.
Kids can choose to either glue their designs to their felt Easter eggs to make them permanent or lay the embellishments on the felt eggs so they can keep tweaking and changing up their designs.
#27: Faux Fourth of July Firework
No need to worry about dangerous fireworks with this fun faux Fourth of July firework created by Goodness on the Go.
To make one, you’ll need a cleaned and dried ice cream push-up container, construction paper, markers, tape, and small embellishments you can put inside the faux firework, such as confetti, pom-poms, glitter, pipe cleaners, etc. While this craft can get pretty messy, it’s ultimately a far safer (and still just as flashy!) activity for children than is lighting real fireworks.
Miscellaneous Crafts for Kids
The rest of these crafts and DIYs for kids don’t fall under any specific category.
#28: Tie-Dye T-Shirts
Tie-dyeing your own clothes isn't just a fun activity but also a great opportunity for parents to get crafty with their kids.
There’s a fair amount of prep involved for this craft, so be sure that you set aside ample time for setting up. You should have 100% cotton white T-shirts, buckets, rubber gloves, a glass jar, fiber-reactive dye, measuring spoons, and soda ash fixative.
The great thing about tie-dyeing shirts is that there’s virtually no way to mess it up—the pattern will always look cool no matter what you do! Head to Parents.com for a detailed tie-dyeing tutorial and free templates.
#29: Pasta Jewelry
Most people have probably heard of pasta necklaces (and likely worn one at some point!), and the reason this craft is still so popular today is that it's both fun and really, really easy to make.
Simply get out a piece of yarn or string and thread different dried noodles (these need to be types that have holes in them, such as penne or macaroni) on it. You can even color your noodles using food dye or add beads for some extra glam.
#30: Dream Catcher
Chase away your nightmares with a beautifully crafted, handmade dream catcher. There are two ways you can make your own dream catcher: either with a paper plate (with the center cut out) or with a wooden embroidery hoop.
Once you have the base of your dream catcher ready to go, all you will need is some colorful yarn, beads, feathers, and other embellishments to use as decoration.
#31: Homemade Pom-Poms
Can’t get enough of those cute, fuzzy pom-poms? Then this is the ideal craft for you! Making your own pom-poms gives you complete control over their colors and sizes.
All you’ll need is a cardboard template (the ones featured on The Craft Train are allegedly easier to use than the traditional circular templates are), yarn, and scissors. Once you've gotten the hang of wrapping your yarn around the template, you’ll be churning out dozens of pom-poms in no time!
A fantastic way to encourage a child to read is to have them make their very own bookmark. There are several ways to approach this craft: some choose to make a more traditional bookmark out of construction paper or Popsicle sticks, whereas others might prefer the look of origami-inspired corner bookmarks, which work by covering the corner of the page you’re on.
Key Takeaways: The Best Fun and Easy Crafts for Kids
Crafts are one of the most entertaining and beneficial ways to get your kids to put down the video games and remote control and instead focus on learning how to channel their creative energy. As mentioned above, crafts and DIYs for kids can help support early childhood development, such as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They can also encourage recycling or, more broadly, environmental conservation through their application of used, recyclable materials.
Most DIY crafts for kids use similar materials, from construction paper and scissors to rulers, glue, and markers. So make sure you have a solid repertoire of crafty items and tools that you can use with your children when you decide to make a craft together.
Our extensive list of 32 crafts and DIYs for kids is merely a starting point to help you develop your own approach to craft-making and possibly even come up with new craft activities to do with your kids.
Ultimately, though, no matter what type of craft you end up doing, just remember the golden rule: always have fun!
Looking to do crafts with even younger children? Then check out our in-depth list of crafts you can work on with toddlers (coming soon).
Crafts can be great learning tools for kids—but are there any actual learning games meant to teach children essential skills? The answer is yes! Our detailed guides on learning games for elementary school students (coming soon) and learning games for toddlers (coming soon) should give you tons of ideas for educational games you can play with any kids.Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!
Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.