I don’t have kids, but friends do and the general consensus is that it’s difficult to find things to occupy kiddos all day long, so I rounded up some easy crafts to make with kids while schools are closed. Some of these projects are even a bit educational (like growing borax crystals), but the best part is that so many of these crafts adults will love making too (like the alcohol ink art). I combed through my craft archives and tried to choose DIY projects you might have supplies for at home – or can easily find online. Hopefully this list is helpful if you’re trying to entertain kids while the schools are closed – or maybe you just need a fun and an easy craft to keep the cabin fever at bay. Click each link to find the tutorial and supply list.
Growing these DIY borax crystals can be a lot of fun and almost magical. It does require adult supervision, so you can’t set up the kids with the supplies and peace out – but you’ll love the process too! And then you can enjoy these massive crystals together and watch them sparkle on a windowsill. You can also find gemstone/crystal growing kits online.
Ice dyeing is for older kids but it’s a fun experiment, like borax crystals, that gives kids something to check in on and look forward to for hours! Ice dye their plain white tees or pillow cases for something fun to do. If it’s still cold where you live, you can even use snow for this project. This is an awesome kit to get started (I bought this exact one when I started and it has vibrant colors kids will love).
Pom poms are addictive to make and great for using up scraps of yarn. Have kids make garland for their rooms or tie them on to back packs and dresser drawers pulls. You can even get sophisticated and make pom pom animals. Other than the scissors required at the end, there are no sharp tools required – although the pom pom maker does require a little dexterity and focus. But it’s really easy and safe to use.
If you don’t have any clay kicking around, you can even find recipes for making your own. Kids might take more time to make something (and keep those hands occupied) if their final piece is going to be framed, so rustle up an old frame destined for the donation pile or attach the DIY clay sculptures to a scrap of plywood and put it on display, even if it’s just temporary. Get creative and back the clay masterpiece with scraps of wallpaper or gift wrap for added color and dimension.
Alcohol art is fun to make – the alcohol inks have a mind of their own. It’s a bit messy, but the end result is so beautiful and no skills required. Frame them, or turn them into cards like I did, and send them to friends and family feeling isolated right now. NO skill required, but make sure you cover work surfaces because the alcohol inks can be difficult to clean up. Again, adult supervision required, but I promise you’ll find this relaxing and will want to try it again after the kids have gone to bed, haha. I bought this mega set of inks and I’m still having fun with it.
This is normally a holiday craft of mine, but it can be fun for right now too! Have kids gather toys, random bits and bobs, a big canister or clear container, and leftover holiday sparkle to create magical dioramas. Make a spring or summer found object diorama with sand and sea shells and summery toys.
Teach eco-friendly habits and make cup sleeves – they’re not just for paper cups! Make them to fit water bottles and reusable containers – something to look forward to when school starts again and they can sport their cool, personalized cozies.
Didn’t stock up on art supplies? No worries! Look how cute this cardboard art is and you can use any leftover craft or house paint. And you can make mini versions of these as cards too, to brighten up someone’s day!
Older kids will love creating their own patterned fabric and you can even stencil an old shirt or freshen up solid curtain panels in a bedroom!
Forage in the back yard for supplies to make these birch slice coasters – or turn them into garland or fridge magnets for something more kid-appropriate (from what I gather, kids emphatically do not use coasters lol). Dip them, paint little abstracts on them, make a springy design or use a stamp like I did for these Komondor stamped birch slices.
Making billy buttons is fun but time consuming – perfect if you’re stuck inside for awhile. There’s just soap, water, and felted wool involved, so this is a soft, safe craft. This craft helps with fine motor skills and the resulting balls can be turned into flowers, necklaces, garland, and more.
These are another holiday craft but with springy colors they can be garden gnomes, protecting indoor plants and windowsills! Have kids search the history and folklore of gnomes and tomte (there’s a lot) or just make up their own stories!
These beaded spiders can be made with cut up costume jewelry and odds and sods. I love them because they sparkle in the sun. Kids can make a bunch and hang them in windows – combine this craft with an educational YouTube video about spiders for a fun afternoon (and if you make a bunch too, you’ll already be ahead for holiday gift giving).
Raid the yarn and embroidery thread stash to make easy tassels for key chains, zipper pulls, dresser dangles, and more. They’re fun to make and give!
When I was a kid, my Mom hosted a straw hat decorating party. It was the early 90s, big floppy hats were in and she bought plain straw hats and we hot glued flowers and gems to our hats. I think we also had a tea party, wearing our new hats. If you have old straw hats or totes kicking around, grab them and glue/stitch on some raffia, like I did, or some faux flowers, ribbons or faux gems. DIY pom poms and beads work too! Scavenge the craft stash and costume jewelry cast offs for supplies.
These nautical knot bracelets are fun to make and you can use any kind of cord you have. They’re lightweight and fun for kids to wear. You can even use para cord or something less pastel – cotton cord is cute too, and you can even dye it first. It might also be time to bring back the friendship bracelets (again-again) because I used to spend hours consumed by making those as a kid.
You can see all of my DIY Craft Projects here – i have SO many more ideas for crafts and smaller DIY projects. Although my target audience is crafty adults, I have more tutorials for projects you can make with older kids, like beginner sewing projects and more art ideas. I also found some crafty kits for kids that might be fun if you need an easier all-in-one DIY idea: DIY Terrarium Kit, DIY Soap Making Kit for Kids, Sewing Kit for Kids, Crystal Growing Kit, DIY Clay Dish Kit – check out more ideas and kits right here.
I hope this list of easy crafts to make with kids while schools are closed helps in some small way. Happy crafting!