Thankfully, kids are easily entertained. I try to have a list of things for them to do, just in case they tell me they are bored. I thought I might share my ideas with you, so that you will have a collection of top 10 crafts for your child. There are so many more than what I have listed below, but this should be a great start to your ongoing list of craft activities.
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These can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. If you have access to clothing magazines, then you can use the models in the magazines for the dolls. Additional clothes can be cut out from the same magazines, since the shirts and such are usually shown in a size that will fit the model in the picture. Kids also enjoy making their own doll and clothes to fit. I find that cutting the doll out of paper board makes it less likely to tear. You can use an empty cereal box to cut the doll shape out of, and then draw clothes on either the same paper board or construction paper. Attaching clothing to the doll can be done with either magnets or Velcro. Be sure to use small pieces of either of these, otherwise it might be hard for your child to get the clothing on and off easily.
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Making a picture frame is a craft that can be used for any holiday activity or just for fun. Even if you don't have a particular picture that needs to be framed, your child can draw something to go inside the frame instead. The frame should be cut from something stiff enough to hold its shape, such as a cereal box, cardboard box, the thick cover or back of a spiral notebook, or the side of an oatmeal container. I kind of like the artsy curve that the oatmeal container gives to the frame. The frame can be decorated with sequences, glitter, beads, buttons, small knick knacks from around the house, or colored noodles.
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If you don't have access to bottle caps, you can use milk caps or jar lids instead. The smaller caps work well for pins, but the larger ones might be better as magnets. There are heavy duty magnets available in bulk at most craft stores and these need to be glued on. The thinner magnetic strips are self-adhesive, but won't hold heavier objects very well. There are pins made specifically for creating your own broaches and such, but I've used safety pins and hot-glued them to whatever I was using for a pin backing. They worked great! The lids can be filled with whatever your child wants to put inside them. These also make great gifts.
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Clay is a lot of fun, especially the kind that can be baked. I always loved preserving some of my kids' creations to show them later on. I still have little animals they made into magnets when they were little. A nice feature about clay is that it doesn't dry out the way craft dough does. This can be played with and left in the open for a while without it drying out. If your child doesn't want to make an animal, then you can always give some other options of things to make.
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Creating a paper mosaic is much less costly than purchasing the little tile squares traditionally used for mosaic designs. Construction paper works very well for these craft projects and they come in a variety of colors too. The paper is stiff enough to easily put glue onto the back without it folding over and causing a crumpled mess. You can draw out some simple designs for your child to place squares onto or have him/her come up with a free-hand design.
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There are many instructions provided on the Internet for ways to create animals, flowers, and just about anything else out of pipe cleaners. You can throw in some googly eyes for the fun of it if you like. I've helped my kids make some interesting looking necklaces with pipe cleaners. Twisting a few colors together into unique shapes allows kids to come up with some very neat sculptures that can be hung from a string for making a necklace or ceiling fan pull.
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Magazines that have been read over and over can be turned into interesting crafts. Cut a bunch of pages into different sized strips. You can use a pencil, chop stick, or anything else that is small and cylindrical to wind the paper around. Roll the strip of magazine page up until it is completely wound around the object and then pull it off. A drop of glue can be placed on the loose end of the paper to keep it from unrolling. These different sized paper cylinders can then be used to make necklaces, glued onto empty tin cans for pen holders, or stuck to a homemade picture frame. The colors on most magazine pages blend together to form some excellent patterns.
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You don't have to eat tons of popsicles to come up with enough sticks for building a small house. There are craft supply stores that sell plain or colored popsicle sticks in a variety of sizes. Kids have a great time coming up with their own design for a house and this project only requires some glue to keep the sticks held together. These are very easy to paint as well. Kids can paint on windows, doors, flowers around the front of the house, or even tiles on the roof.
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This craft project can be messy and definitely requires help from an adult. The final outcome looks like stained glass, but doesn't involve cutting or soldering any glass pieces at all. Preparation involves shaving a bunch of crayons and keeping the colored shavings in separate bowls. You'll also need some waxed paper cut into shapes; two of the same shaped pieces will sandwich the shavings. Give your child one of the waxed paper shapes, let him/her sprinkle some shavings on to make any kind of patter, then press the other matching waxed paper shape on top and iron them together. Be sure to place a thin towel that you don't mind getting some wax on, in case the crayons ooze out the edges of the waxed paper. When the crayon wax dries, the image looks like a colorful stained glass piece.
Photo Credit: Knebworth Chap
Depending on the age of the child, the finger painting medium can range from pudding to actual finger paint. I used chocolate pudding for finger painting when my kids were very little, since they always put their fingers in their mouths. When they got older, I made my own finger paints with flour, water, and some tempera paint. The finger paints sold in the store often come in four basic colors, so making my own finger paints allowed me to come up with any color I wanted. Any of these mediums dry completely, so your child's artistic creation can be hung on the fridge later.
These are the top 10 crafts for your child I've come up with. I've also used many of them in the past and have found that they usually keep kids entertained for quite some time. Do you have any crafts that you've found to be a big hit with your kids? Feel free to share any craft ideas that you think others might enjoy as well.
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