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8 Cheap and Easy Crafts for Kids

As we get into the colder months, playing outside for long periods of time is no longer an option. Or maybe it’s a rainy day, your children need a break from virtual learning, or even just school in general. Even if you don’t have a ton of money to spend on extra activities and supplies, there are plenty of crafts that you can make with your children that are equally fun as they are cost effective. And many crafts can be used to encourage imaginative play! Using things you may already have around the house or that you can easily find in a craft store, here are 8 cheap and easy crafts to try with your kiddos.

Paper Bag Monsters

This is a fun craft for all ages and is so fun to play with others. Monsters aren’t always scary—they can be colorful and fun too!

What you need: paper lunch bags, card stock, acrylic paint, scissors, and a glue stick

  1. Get your paper bag ready. To make it a puppet, make sure the bottom of the bag is folded toward you. The bottom of the bag will act as the face, so when you stick your arm in there, you can make the mouth move.
  2. Paint the monster however you would like, making sure not to let the mouth get painted shut.
  3. While the paint is drying, cut out any features you’d like to add, such as eyes, a nose, a mouth, fangs, and/or stripes. The possibilities are endless!
  4. Glue on your features and wait for your monsterpiece to dry.
  5. Have fun playing with your new monster puppet.

Flying Clothespin Crafts

Clothespins are a cheap and easy craft, and you can make many different things with them. Here is a two for one: you can make dragonflies or airplanes with just a few items.

What you need: clothespins, wood glue or a glue gun (make sure there is an adult around when handling the glue gun!), craft felt, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and markers to add any details.

For airplanes: simply cut the felt into wings, and a fin for the back, and glue them onto the clothespin. Let them dry, and they are ready for play! Add some details with a marker or pen if you’d like.

For dragonflies: start by decorating the clothespin however you’d like with markers, or even paint. Then, use two small spots of glue to secure the eyes. Take the pipe cleaners and bend them so both ends are in the middle, and then twist to look like a figure eight. Open the clothespin and insert the wings into the clamp. You can add glue there to further secure them. Wait for them to dry, and your dragonfly is ready to go!

Paper Plate Dream Catchers

Dreamcatchers are a fun way to decorate any room, and they are not hard to make right at home. Originally, they were used in Native American and First Nation cultures for protection over a cradle as a baby sleeps. They’ve become popular as a way to catch bad dreams while you’re sleeping!

What you’ll need: uncoated paper plates, yarn, scissors, a hole punch, beads, feathers, and things to decorate with like glitter glue, crayons, sequins, and anything else you can find. 

  1. Help your kiddos cut the middle part of the plate out, so just the outer fim remains.
  2. Use a hole punch to create holes along the inner part of the paper plate rim for the web, two hole punches at the top of the rim to add some yarn for hanging, and three holes at the bottom of the rim for the tails.
  3. Get to coloring and decorating the rim however you’d like! 
  4. Once any glue is dry, take the yarn and tie it off. Weave the yarn through the holes to create the web. Feel free to add beads throughout the process to accessorize the web.
  5. Next, add three strands of yarn to the holes on the bottom of the rim, and tie feather to the ends to finish the dreamcatcher
  6. Find the perfect place to hang it up in your kiddos room!

Pop Bottle Firefly

Here’s a fun, easy craft that glows in the dark! Instead of catching fireflies, why not make some of your own?

What you need: empty soda or water bottles, glow sticks, tissue paper (optional), googly eyes, pipe cleaners, foam sheet, mod podge (optional), and a hot glue gun (make sure there is an adult around when handling the glue gun!)

  1. Make sure your bottles are clean and dry on the inside and outside
  2. If you’d like to add a tissue paper body, brush some mod podge around the middle of the bottle, and wrap the tissue paper around. Then add another layer of mod podge on top of the tissue paper. Since the tissue paper is slightly transparent, the glow stick will shine through! Let this dry.
  3. Next, wrap three pipe cleaners around the body of the bottle, and twist them to make the pipe cleaner ends into six legs.
  4. Cut two wings out of the felt and use a hot glue gun to secure them to the top of your firefly. Add two googly eyes to the top of your bottle cap with glue.
  5. Crack your glow stick, and put it inside the bottle. Wrap one more pipe cleaner around the bottle top to add an antenna. 
  6. Screw the googly eyed cap on the top, and your firefly is complete!

Egg Carton Turtles

Out of eggs? Well, don’t throw out the carton! You can make some adorable egg carton turtles with your kids.

What you need: an egg carton, tempura or acrylic paint, pom poms, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, glue (white glue should work just fine, but a hot glue gun may hold up for play better!)

  1. Cut the egg carton into sections, and paint one green. Let dry, and then you can use a second color to add details to the turtle shell.
  2. Gather your pom pom for the head, and glue googly eyes on. Then take the pipe cleaners, and cut them with the scissors, so you can bend them to make legs and a tail.
  3. Attach the twisted end of the folded pipe cleaners into the bottom of the egg carton section with glue and let dry. Also attach the turtle head. 
  4. Once dry, it’s play time! You can make many turtles, and change their features as much as you’d like.

Key Wind Chime

Do you have any old keys lying around? Make them into a fun piece of art!

What you need: a branch that is about a foot long, some twine, scissors, an assortment of keys (old or new work just fine), and some paint

  1. Take your branch and your keys and paint them whatever colors you would like. Allow them to dry.
  2. Attach a piece of twine to both ends of the branch so that you can hang it up.
  3. Tie the painted keys to some twine and then tie the other end to the branch, so the keys are hanging from the branch.
  4. Add as many keys as you want, hang on the porch or to a tree, and enjoy!

Pour Painted Pots

You can use flower pots all year round—they don’t have to be just for plants! Pots can be used to hold just about anything. 

What you need: plant pots of any size, acrylic paint in different colors, something to perch your planter on (like a few bricks), and tape

  1. Perch your pot upside down on your bricks, and tape over the hole.
  2. Slowly pour paint on the bottom of the pot, so that it runs down the sides.
  3. Continue adding colors to add a really neat affect and then let gravity do its job!
  4. Once the pot is dry, you can remove the tape, and use your new fun planter for flowers, to organize things like pens and pencils on a desk, or for anything else you can come up with!

Button Tree

A button tree is an easy way to make a beautiful keepsake to hang in your home. You can find buttons on old clothes, at a craft store, or in fabric stores!

What you need: assorted buttons, a canvas, glue, and paint

  1. Using any color you’d like, paint a tree trunk and branches
  2. Once the tree is dry, glue on the buttons to create leaves on your tree
  3. Once the glue is dry, you’ll have a beautiful new piece of art for your home

What is your favorite low cost craft? Tag SmartSitting in Facebook and Instagram posts, so we can see and share your craft suggestions on our channels. Want to know more about our tips and tricks? Make sure you sign up for our newsletter for all the latest info coming from our team!

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