How to Make Easy Crafts for Kids

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Busy parents, busy teachers, busy aunts and uncles--nobody has time to make crafts with the kids. However, there are quick and easy projects perfect for even those with limited time, skills and materials. Just find a few minutes, some objects almost everybody keeps at home, a bunch of eager kids and start in. Here are some ideas to get things going, but remember, you and the kids can expand, revise and even change them completely in favor of your own creativity.

Things You'll Need

  • Box of toothpicks
  • Old magazines with picture of food in them
  • Bowls to put supplies in
  • Medium-sized packing box large enough to hold loaves of bread
  • Tape or white glue
  • Adhesive transparent acrylic (optional)
  • Colored miniature marshmallows
  • Strips of colored construction paper (many colors) about 18 inches long
  • Drawing paper and markers (optional)

Make Easy Placemat Crafts

  • Show the kids how to place strips of colored construction paper next to each other evenly on a flat surface.

  • Take more strips of paper and weave them one at a time over and under the first set. Slide the first one over to the end, weave another, slide it over next to the first and so forth.

  • Preserve the placemat, if you wish, by putting transparent adhesive acrylic on both sides. Be careful not to wrinkle the paper or the covering.

  • Use the placemats at the next meal.

Make Easy Marshmallow Toothpick Crafts

  • Pour colored miniature marshmallows in to one bowl and toothpicks into another. Place the bowls on an empty, flat surface.

  • Use the marshmallows as connectors as you make shapes out of the toothpicks. Start with simple geometrics such as squares and triangles and then go on to more elaborate shapes and three-dimensional structures. Talk about your creation--what is it for or who lives there.

  • Display the sculptures on a tray or plate. Eat the leftover marshmallows.

Make a Bread Box

  • Take a medium-sized packing box and tape the flaps shut. Use a box knife to cut around three sides of the top, making lid that opens and closes.

  • Give the kids some old magazines. Ask them to find pictures of bread items (loaves of bread, bagels, donuts, muffins) and cut them out.

  • Tape or glue the pictures to all sides of the box and cover them with adhesive acrylic or wide transparent tape. Variation: older children may draw may draw their own bread pictures with markers. (Tape does not stick very well to crayon.)

  • Put bread in the box.

Get More Ideas

  • Find additional simple crafts ideas at Amazing Moms easy crafts (see Resources below).

Tips & Warnings

  • When time is limited, preparation is key. Have all your materials ready in advance: for instance, strips of paper and yarn already cut, toothpicks and marshmallows placed in bowls, etc. You might make an example for the children to give them an idea of what the finished product will look like.
  • Keep things loose. There is no "wrong" way to do any of this. Let children use their own ingenuity, and they may surprise you.

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