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When I first started crafting with my own children, I searched

through every online resource I could find and bought just about
every book ever written on crafting with younger children. The
more I searched, the more disappointed I became. Most of
what I found was either too old for my kids, totally unoriginal, or
completely commercialized.
Sure, you can find a wealth of books on crafting with school age
children. In fact, some of the books for this age group are
absolutely beautiful and even have original content .
But let me ask you:
How many books or other resources do you find for Little Kids?
I dont mean elementary school kids, I mean toddlers and
preschoolers. Youll find many books that claim to be for
children ages 2 to 6 or 3 to 6, but I can tell you from my own
experience that they are really aimed at the 5 and 6 year olds.
Ive bought many of these books only to be disappointed to find
that they had a couple of crafts, out of 50 or more, that were
projects that my 2 or 3 year old could do.
In fairness, crafting with toddlers and preschoolers does come
with its own set of challenges. Younger children have just about
no attention span, have to be constantly monitored, often dont
have any concept of what they are supposed to be making, and
are only capable of very simple tasks.
Challenging, but not impossible...

Most craft books that claim to be for toddlers and preschoolers

have crafts that require an adult to do so much project assembly
that it becomes more of an adult project than a child project.
Dont get me wrong, some adult assistance is necessary for any
craft project or activity that you do with Little Kids, but some of
the crafts that Ive seen and tried to do with my own children
were so difficult or time consuming that my children lost interest
within minutes.
Looking back, its kind of funny to think that Im trying to help
them put their project together while they are entertaining themselves by finger painting my kitchen walls, the table, and themselves.
The second thing that really irritated me about Little Kid crafting
is the total lack of originality. I cant tell you how many books
that I have purchased that only had a handful of original ideas,
while the bulk of the book was dedicated to super-sized pictures
and rehashed material available in every other book. In other
words, they had very little substance.
There is a series of child crafting books out on the market today
(I dont think it would be right to name it.) that dedicates two
pages to each craft idea or project. On first glance, this may not
seem like a lot, but heres a reality check:
More than half of each of the two pages is taken up by
unnecessary pictures - pictures that dont add to the value of the
craft or its description.
After purchasing several books in the series, I discovered that
many of the crafts were just about identical.

Heres some examples:

In one book there is a project that does apple prints with paint.
The next book in the series does vegetable prints.
In the same book there is a Recycling Sculpture using blocks
of styrofoam and later there is a Wood Sculpture using scrap
pieces of wood. Then of course there are other original
projects like an oatmeal container drum, woven berry baskets,
cardboard box buildings, a kings crown, and the clothespin
If all this regurgitated garbage isnt enough, many of the rest of
the projects are far too old for little hands. For example: shred
crayons with a potato peeler onto a piece of paper, fold it over
and put an iron on it to melt the crayons.
Now, what part of this project do you want your 2 or 3 year old
to do?
Should they handle the sharp potato peeler or the hot iron?

I wanted to give people the chance to see what kid crafting

should look like without any risk to them at all.
A few notes before we start...
Crafting with Little Kids can be tremendous fun for you and your
child when you pick age-appropriate activities, prepare all the
materials in advance, and dedicate your time to that crafting period. Crafting can be frustrating, maddening, and a total pain in
the neck if you dont.
When it comes to crafting with Little Kids, it is less important
that the craft looks like what its supposed to and more
important that it provides a good creative outlet for the child.
Who cares if a cows tail is coming out of his nose
and the sun is green?
Give your child the freedom to do it their way. Thats the most
important gift you can give your child when you craft with them.
Whenever possible, I like to make crafting with my kids part of a
bigger picture. Crafting is just one of the things built into our
daily and weekly routine.
- We do phonics and letter work.
- We play on the piano
- We do skill building worksheets
- We do a little foreign language study
All this in addition to free play, role play, sports, special trips,
The kids and I do a lot together and crafting plays a big role.
I try to develop crafts each week that all fit into a theme. For
example, if were planning a zoo trip, well do crafts the week
before, and sometimes the week after, that revolve around a
zoo theme.

How The Book Is Organized

The kinds of crafts within this volume include handprint crafts,
paper plate crafts, template crafts, holiday crafts, recycling
crafts, memory crafts, and learning crafts. Theres something
for everyone here.
In addition, Ive given you more ideas on how to use each of the
crafts. If the craft is too difficult for your child, Ive given you
ideas on how to make it a little easier.
If your childs skill level is beyond the craft, then I also give
you ideas to make it more challenging.
I even give you ideas on how to adapt each craft to use for
other themes, or along with other ideas.
In other words, there are many more craft ideas within this
volume than first meet the eye. This book will provide a jumping
off spot for you to go on to create your own ideas and craft

If that isnt enough, I also outline some ways you can use each
craft as a skill builder or use other learning tools to get double
duty out of each craft.
Lastly, I offer other resources that you can turn to for more
inspiration in your crafting or in building more learning
opportunities into your crafts.
I tried to write each of the crafts out in such a way that you
could get the absolute most out of each and every one.
This book has many special features designed to enhance your
reading experience. If you are new to e-books, then you may
want to take special note of this section.
This section only applies to the digital version of this book.

Preparation is Golden...
Preparing your materials and your craft in advance is probably
the most important factor in whether the craft time with your
child is fun for both of you or whether it is full of stress for you
and tears and frustration for your child. Here are a few things to
think about.
1. If possible, do the craft for yourself the night before
you plan to do it with your child.
This serves two purposes. First of all, it gives you the opportunity to see what parts of the project may be difficult for
your child to do or what you may want to change in the
project. Sometimes you will find that a particular idea just
wont work with your child and youll have to scrap it. Better
to find this out before you try to sit down with your child and
do it.
2. Gather all your materials before you sit down to craft.
This is a hugely important factor in a successful craft session with your child. If you have to keep popping up and
getting some supply needed for your project, youre probably going to come back to a disaster. Children have such
short attention spans anyway - If you make them wait while
you go get the next supply, they will either give up on the
project and not want to continue or find something else to
entertain themselves like cutting their bangs.
Having everything assembled in advance, including covering your surface with newspaper, gathering smocks and
protective clothing, and preparing clean up materials like
soap and water, will make the entire craft project a stressfree, fun, and memorable time for you and your child.

A Note On Safety...
Im sure you are a very safety minded adult and you dont need
me to give you a long song and dance about how to keep your
kids safe during crafting.
Having said that, I still want to mention a few things.
1. Dont walk away and leave the child unattended while
crafting. Theres all kinds of things that could happen to
hurt them, not to mention destroying the craft area.
2. Dont let kids do parent jobs like stapling, hole punching,
hot glue, etc.
3. If youre using small objects like brads and buttons, dont
let your child put them in their mouth. Small objects pose a
choking hazard and should be controlled.
4. Only let children use safety scissors to cut.
5. Only use nontoxic paints, crayons, and markers.
6. Closely monitor kids around any object that is hot like a
hot glue gun or oven.
Little Kid skin burns easily.

Cardboard Fairy Houses

This fun fairy craft will inspire pretend

play and storytellingfor non-stop fairy



toilet paper tubes

small foam cups

circle of cardboard

glue gun or fast acting glue


colored paper

black marker


1. Paint the toilet paper tube, foam cup

and cardboard base.


Then just draw on some details on the roof with your black marker.


Cut little windows and doors from colored craft paper and glue into position.


Now it's time to play!

2. When the paint is dry glue the base,

paper tube house and foam cup roof


3. Then just draw on some details on the

roof with your black marker.


4. Cut little windows and doors from

colored craft paper and glue into position.



Now it's time to play!


Papier Mache Planets


Step 1: Gather Balloons

I gathered an assortment of round balloons

Step 2: Create Papier Mache mixture

I then created my papier mache mixture by mixing flour and water. This is your "glue". Should be the
consistency of pancake could probably add some eggs and milk, hmm, and some chocolate
chips...ok...I digress. You get the point.


Step 3: Start applying

I applied three layers of strips to each balloon, allowing each layer to dry in between. You don't want to be so
neat and smooth with the layering. Remember, planets are textured, I think, either way, they're more
interesting that way.

Step 4: Drying Process

On a damp day, placing the planets in front of the oven door helped speed up the drying process.
Temperature around 200
The balloons will shrivel up...and die, I mean dry. No point in trying to remove them.

Step 5: Base Coat

Once dry, I painted each planet with a coat of white primer before applying the color. Then let them dry again.
Resting the planets on flower pots helps keep them stable.

Step 6: Start Painting!


I use acrylic paints. The colors are easy to mix and they clean up easily with water.
This image shows the first layer of color. Let each dry before your second coat. At this point, I added hooks
made out of a piece of wire. Almost like an upside down "T" with a loop. insert into the hollow planet so the
top of the "T" sits within each side of the hole.

Step 7: I'm ready for my closeup


A closeup of Neptune and Venus.

With two coats of base color, sponge on a second darker or lighter color to bring out the texture. This works
best when the planet is not fully dry. Have fun, you can't really make any mistakes here.


Budding Trees
Youll Need
White Construction Paper
Brown Tempera Paint
Spring Colored Tempera Paint


1. Pour brown tempera paint into a paper plate or pie tin. Dip
childs hands into paint and stamp on paper, with fingers
together, in a line to make a tree trunk. Re-dip the hands and
then stamp hands onto the top of the tree trunk with fingers
2. Wash hands. For younger kids, let tree dry completely
before moving to step 3. Theyll forget that the paints
wet and lean into it, making a mess.
3. Pour spring colored tempera paint into a paper plate or pie
tin. Dip index finger into the paint and stamp on the tree to
make brightly colored buds.
4. Let picture dry completely when complete. Dont forget to
write the childs name and date on the picture.
This is a good opportunity to talk with your child about the
seasons, as well as what buds are and why they are
growing on the trees.
You may want to take kids out to look at some buds on the trees
to help them make the connection between their
craft project and whats happening around them.


Skill Building
I really like this project, especially for very young children. It is
something that they can do entirely by themselves, with a little guidance.
There is no cutting or putting together by an adult.
It really looks like what its supposed to look like when
the project is complete. This gives kids a feeling of accomplishment, especially if Mom or Dad doesnt have to
ask, What is it?


Tissue Paper Valentines Day

Craft for Toddlers
This is a fun and easy Valentines Day Heart Craft that even the youngest toddler could do.
An added bonus? It is a great craft for building fine motor skills. It makes a great Valentines
gift for daddy or another special someone in your little ones life.
For this project youll need:

Construction paper

Red or Valentine themed tissue paper (I bought ours at the Dollar store)

Glue stick

Step 1. Draw a large heart shape on the paper

Step 2. Allow your child to use a glue stick to apply glue inside the heart shape (help them if
they are too young to do it themselves).
Step 3. Have you child rip the tissue paper into different sizes and let them stick them all
over the heart.


Step 4. It doesnt matter where the put the paper, the goal is to fill in the heart up.

Step 5. Then cut the heart shape out with some scissors.

This is such a fun and easy craft idea for toddlers to do!


Coffee Filter Flower

Youll Need
A Basket-Type Coffee Filter
Food Coloring
Small Paper Cups
Green Pipe Cleaner
Skill Building
When you are using the food coloring to color the coffee filter,
you can talk about what happens when you mix colors and
have your child predict what will happen when they mix certain
colors together.


1. Set up a couple of different paper cups with food colored
water. If youre doing this with a group of kids, use a
different eyedropper for each color.
2. Lay the coffee filter out on a flat surface covered with
newspaper. With the eyedropper, drop food coloring onto the
coffee filter. The colors will bleed into each other and create an
interesting pattern. Let dry completely before
moving to the next step.
3. Make the flower: Pinch the center of the coffee filter, lift it up
by the center, and run your hand down from the place where
you pinch to the end of the filter. This should give you kind of
a cone or cup shape. This will be your flower.

4. Make the stem: Tightly wrap a green pipe cleaner around

the tip of the cone you made in the step above. You
should wrap it around a couple of times. Hold the pipe cleaner
upright and you will see that you have a flower on a
stem that slightly resemples a tulip or some other cup shaped

More Ideas...
You can do this same project using watercolor paints
instead of food coloring
Create leaves for your flower and glue them onto
the stem.
Create several flowers and assemble them into a bouquet.
Give your flower away as a Mothers Day gift, or just to
say I love you!
After you create a flower, you can put it into a terra cotta pot. If
you put some playdough or styrofoam in the bottom of the pot,
you can make it stand up.
You can cut the edges of the coffee filter with craft scissors and
create a fancy edge on your flower.
You can use the same assembly idea and create flowers out
of tissue paper, kleenex, paper bags, fabric, etc.


Fun Creative Painting For Kids

7 more creative ideas that will inspire you to set the brushes aside and try painting a new
way. Any one of these tools would make a fun painting session, or you could set-up a no
brushes allowed painting tool buffet!


1. Jumbo Pom Poms

These big fluffy balls are fun to dip in paint and bounce across the paper. You can hold one
with your fingers, or clip one to a clothespin. We especially liked dipping the pom pom in
multiple colors before printing with it.

2. Kitchen Tools
Your kitchen is full of interesting gadgets for painting! Here are a few we have enjoyed
painting with:

potato masher



honey dipper


sponges and scrubbies

bottle brush


Part of the fun can be washing the tools afterward, too. Make sure to use washable paint, and
set-up a tub of soapy water for easy clean-up.


3. Feathers
You can make interesting marks with a delicate feather brush. Paint with a single feather, or
tape a bunch of feathers together. Bonus: Kiddos have to use their pincher grasp to hold the
small feather.

4. Sticks
One of our favorite ways to paint with sticks is scratching designs into a swatch of wet paint.
You can also try squeezing paint onto the stick, then rolling it across the paper. How else
could you paint with a stick?

5. Combs
Scraping paint across the paper with various combs creates some neat designs. We like to
squeeze two lines of paint across our paper, then pull the comb through both colors. Try
skinny combs and wide-toothed combs, too.

6. Toothbrushes
I guess, technically, a toothbrush is a brush, but its no ordinary paint brush! Toothbrushes
are fun to dip in paint and then tap, slide, and scrub across the paper.


7. Lids
Before tossing them in the recycling bin, collect a variety of lids from juice bottles,
applesauce pouches, and other food containers. Dip and stamp the lids on your paper dont
forget to try both sides of the lids.
Creating with these painting tools is all about the process, not the product. That being said,
the artwork created with these tools would make great wrapping paper, cards, or
abstract masterpieces to hang on the walls. Have fun!


Paper Plate Leprechaun

Youll Need
9 Inch Paper Plate
Orange, Green, Yellow, Black, and White
Construction Paper
Skin Color Tempera Paint


1. Paint the back side of a paper plate skin color. Let dry.
2. Cut out a beard shape from orange paper to fit around the
outer edge of the paper plate. Cut out 2 eyebrows from orange
paper as well. Cut out 2 white ovals and 2 black circles to make
the eyes. Glue the beard, eyes, and eyebrows in place on the
3. Cut a green strip of paper measuring 11 x 2 inches. Cut a
rectangle of green measuring 6 x 7 inches. Cut a strip of black
paper measuring 7 x 1 inches. Cut a 1 inch square of black.
Cut a yellow 2 inch square. These are the pieces of the hat.
Glue the green rectangle to the top of the plate. Glue the green
strip overlapping the rectangle and going across
the top of the plate to make the hats brim. Glue the black strip
to the hat to make a band. Glue the yellow square in the
middle of the band, and the black square in the
middle of that to make the buckle.

green 6 x 7 rectangle
yellow square
black square
black 7 x 1 strip
green 11 x 2 strip
orange eyebrows
black pipe
orange beard


4. Finish the Leprechaun by drawing on a nose and

mouth. Cut out a pipe shape from black paper and glue it
coming out of the mouth.
Craft Tip...
Glue sticks work well for this craft. They dry quickly and
they are a lot less messy.
You can make skin color paint by mixing white, a drop of red
and a drop or two of yellow.
More Ideas...
This project may be a little difficult for very small children, but
you can make it easier by painting on the beard, drawing in
the face and pipe, and cutting out a one-piece hat and yellow
buckle without the hat band. Older kids might want to try
tearing the paper to make the beard and eyebrows... its a
neat effect.


Recycled Water Bottle Fish


Make a whole school of fish with this easy Crafts original water
bottle project. Great way to reinforce a lesson on keeping our
waters clean.
Clean, Dry Water Bottle
Green Card Stock
Acrylic Paint in Three Colors of Green
Large Wiggle Eyes
Blue Paper Cup
Take the top off a water bottle. Squirt a generous amount of
paint inside in all three colors. Replace lid. Shake vigorously to
coat the inside of the bottle. Do not mix too much. You'll want
interesting patterns of color, rather then an even mix. Let dry.
Cut out a tail shape making a 1/2" tab to fold and glue to back
of fish. Cut out a fin making a 1/2" tab to fold and glue to the top
of the fish.
To make the stand, cut off the bottom of a cup keeping only the
top 1-1/2". Cut the edge to resemble waves. Set the fish on the


Tissue Paper Easter Egg

Youll Need
Easter Colored Construction Paper
Easter Colored Tissue Paper
White Glue

A five year old

did this egg.

A two year old

did this egg.


1. Print out the Easter eggs on the following page on
construction paper.
You can use any color, but pink, white, yellow, and other pastel
colors work best. Cut the eggs apart and work on
one at a time.
2. Cut tissue paper into 1 inch squares. You dont have to be
precise, but you should try to use a few different colors
if possible.
3. Pour some glue into a small paper plate or tray. Loosely
crumble up a piece of tissue paper. Dip it into the glue and glue
it to the egg. Continue this until youve filled in the egg.
4. After the glue is dry, cut out the egg.
More Ideas...
Very young children may have trouble with the concept
of crumpling the paper and dipping it into the glue. As an
alternative, spread the glue over the egg for the child and
let them place the tissue paper within the glued area. It
will still turn out nice even if it isnt crumpled.
You could use torn pieces of construction paper instead of
tissue paper.
Craft Tip...
If youre working with a very young child and you want to
spread the glue on the paper rather than have them dip the
tissue paper, try using a glue stick instead of white glue.
You can spread it over a small area at a time, the tissue will
stick well, and it is less messy.
NOTE: If you want to work on a bigger egg, you can blow up
the template on the next page on a copy machine, or just draw
your own egg.



Paper Plate Bear

Youll Need
Paper Plate
Brown, Pink, White, and Black Scraps
Construction Paper
Brown Tempera Paint
Paint Brush
Black Marker
Glue Stick


1. Paint the back side of a paper plate brown. Let dry.
2. Cut out the nose and pupils from black paper. Cut the ears
and cheeks from brown paper. Cut the eyes from
white paper. Cut the center of the ears from pink paper. A
template for all the parts above is at the bottom of this
Outer Ear (brown cut 2)

White Eye (Cut 2)

Inner Ear
(pink cut 2)
Black Pupil (cut 2 )


Head Shape
Nose (black)


3. Glue the pink center onto both of the ears. Glue the ears to
the top of the plate. Refer to the picture of the finished product
for placement. Glue the pupil onto both eyes and
glue eyes, cheeks, and nose to the plate.
4. Finish the bear by adding the mouth, whisker dots,
and a line to split the cheeks.

More Ideas...
To make this a girl bear, you can tie a bow and glue it in
front of one of the ears.


Handy Flower
Youll Need
A Large Sheet Construction Paper
Green Tempera Paint
Another Color Tempera Paint
Paint Brush
2 Small Paper Plates


1. Paint a tall green stem on the sheet of construction paper.
Paint it down the center, with your paper laying vertically. Draw
a circle on one end of your stem to be the center of your flower.
2. Pour green tempera paint into a small paper plate to make
the leaves.
Pour a second color of tempera paint into a second paper plate
to make the petals.
3. Dab each hand in the green paint and stamp it onto either
side of the stem to make the leaves. Wash hands before
moving to next step.
4. Dip one hand into the second color of paint and stamp it all
around the outside of the circle, fingers facing out.
This will create petals around the center of your flower. Let dry
This project works really well on large sheets of butcher
paper, especially if youre working with a child with big hands.
More Ideas...
You can experiment with lots of different kinds of handprint
flowers. Ive seen tulips, for example, that are really cute when
they are made from handprints.
Make this a sunflower by using yellow for petals, green for
the stem and leaves, and brown for the circle center.
This makes an excellent Spring or Summer project.
If you are a daycare or pre- school provider, you could cut out
around each childs flower and staple them up on a bulletin
board. You could even put a picture of each child in the center
or write their name in to create a flower children
Having a bucket of warm water handy will make this project a
lot easier to clean up.

Summer Pennant
Youll Need
A Sheet Construction Paper
Paper Towel Tube
Glue Stick
Crayons or Markers
Decorating Accessories


1. Cut a triangle out of construction paper that measures about
8 inches long and 5 inches wide on the short
side. This is your pennant.
2. Decorate your pennant with things that remind you of
summer. You can cut flowers, watermelon slices, or anything else that reminds you of summer out of construction
paper and glue them on your pennant. You can also
color pictures, use stickers, cut out pictures from magazines,
etc. to decorate your pennant.
3. When youre done decorating, write the word Summer
across your pennant.
4. Glue your pennant onto a paper towel tube. Glue it to the
top so that the tube becomes the handle for your

Craft Tip...
A glue stick, rather than white glue, works great for
this project and creates a lot less mess.
More Ideas...
Paint the paper towel tube to coordinate with your pennant.
Cover your paper towel tube with an 11 x 6 inch piece of
construction paper. Make pennants for other themes or for a
special birthday. Attach streamers or ribbons to your pennant
to make it really special.
Experiment with other shaped pennants. There are some
examples on the bottom of the page.


Tissue Paper Fireworks

Youll Need
1 Sheet Black Construction Paper
Tissue Paper
White Glue
Small Paper Plate


1. Cut tissue paper into 1 - 2 inch squares.
2. Draw a firework pattern in chalk on the black paper. This will
serve as a guide for the tissue paper.
3. Pour a little bit of glue into a small paper plate.
4. Loosely crumple up a square of tissue paper. Dip it into the
glue and place it on the pattern. Continue to crumple, dip, and
place until you have completed your fireworks. Depending on
the size of your paper and fireworks, you may want to put a
couple on the same page.
This is a fun project for kids because it gives a three
dimensional effect for the fireworks AND they get to crumple up
paper. What could be better!
If youre planning to attend a fireworks show, this would be
a good opportunity to talk with your child about fireworks and
how loud they are so that they wont be afraid of the real
More Ideas...
Older children can draw a scene below the fireworks to make it
look like they are exploding over a house, city, etc.
You can use metalic pens to highlight your fireworks and make
them shiny.
If youre working with a very young child, you may want to put
the lines of glue directly on the paper and show them how to
place their tissue paper balls on the glue lines.
Try using tissue paper thats different colors or patterns.
You could do this craft with a craft stick and save yourself a little
mess. Draw a line with your glue stick and then press the paper
into the line of glue.
Tissue paper is so thin that it should stick without any problem.


Messy Mane Lion

Youll Need
2 Large Paper Plates
Golden Yellow Tempera Paint
Brown, Yellow, Orange, Black and White
Construction Paper
Paint Brush
Glue Stick
Black Marker


1. Paint the back side of 2 paper plates golden yellow. Let dry.
2. Cut several rectangles about 2 x3 inches out of brown,
orange, and yellow construction paper.
3. Put the 2 plates together with the unpainted sides together
and staple once to hold them together. Gather up 4-5
rectangles and sandwich them between the two plates, making
sure that at least 2 inches of the rectangles stick out from
between the plates. Staple in place. Continue all the way
around the plate. Try to overlap the rectangles a little. This will
be the lions mane.
3. Cut slices into the rectangles all the way around the plate to
create fringe.
Use your hand or a pencil to roll the fringe toward the inside and
separate each piece of paper.
The more you mess up the mane, the better it looks.
4. Cut out 2 white ovals and 2 small black ovals to make the
eyes and the pupils. Glue the pupils on the eyes and the eyes
onto the lion. Draw the rest of the face with a black marker.
Cut 6 thin strips of black paper to make whiskers and glue them
This project is a lot of fun for kids because they dont have
to be careful with it for fear of tearing it up. The more they
mess around with the mane, the better it looks!
Skill Building
Although small children wont be able to assemble the lion, they
can get in some good cutting practice while cutting the mane
into fringe.
More Ideas...
Tape a craft stick to the back of the lion to give kids something
to hold and play with their creation -- making it a

School Time
Youll Need
Printer and Paper


1. Print the picture on the next page on plain paper.
2. Color the school bus. Color the pictures of the people or
animals you want on your school bus.
3. Cut out the squares on the dotted line and paste them into
the windows on the school bus.
4. Have your child explain why they chose each of the people
or animals on your school bus.
Skill Building
This is a good opportunity for kids to use their observational
skills. In addition, they get the chance to practice their reasoning
Some kids may take the correct path and only put children on
their bus. Others may prefer the animals, and still others may
choose all the happy characters.
There is no right answer.
However, for a child to practice their logic skills, you have
to make them explain why they chose each of the animals or
children on their bus.
This project is not exactly a craft, but it will keep your child
engaged for a little while with little guidance on your
part. This one is exceptionally easy for parents and provides a
lot of good skill building exercises for kids.
I decided to include a school bus project because my son is
absolutely crazy about them. We have a stop right in front of
our house. He runs to the window whenever he hears them
coming and waves to all the kids. He cant wait to be a big kid
so he can ride the bus too... but I can!
More Ideas...
Mount all the pictures and the bus on cardboard. Attach
velcro to the back of the pieces and the windows, and
change the people on the bus according to mood.



Lava Lamp
Youll Need
Clear Container with Lid
Cooking Oil
Food Coloring


1. Fill container 1/2 to 2/3 full of water.
2. Add several drops of food coloring (any color) to the water.
Put the lid on and shake it up to make sure the water and food
coloring are well mixed.
3. Fill the container the rest of the way full with cooking oil.
Tighten the lid so that child cant open it. Seal the lid if
4. Gently turn the container upside down and then right side up
to see the lava lamp effect.
This is a good opportunity to talk with your child about the
differences between oil and water. Make it a science project,
rather than just a neat thing to make.
Ask your child to make predictions about what will happen each step of the process.
For example:
What will happen when we add the food coloring?
What will happen when we add the oil?
What happens if we shake it up?
What happens if we let it sit for awhile?
If youre concerned about the lid coming off, spread some
hot glue around the threads of the lid before you put it on
the bottle. That should seal it in place.
Its impossible to illustrate this craft, but kids will find it
interesting. You can really use any type of container that has
a good solid lid that you can tighten down. Whatever container
you choose,
I recommend using something that is long and slender, rather
than short and fat. The effect is easier to see that way.
Once you make one of these, youll be able to keep it around a
long time. Kids will continue to go back to this if you make it
available. I suggest that you only allow your child to play with
the lava lamp under supervision.


Fall Diorama
Youll Need
Tempera Paint
Hot Glue
Shoebox With Lid
Things From Nature


1. Turn shoebox over on its side and set it inside the lid. This
will create a tray for your diorama. Glue down with hot glue (a
job for an adult).

2. Paint shoebox a fall color inside and out. Let dry completely.
Color the templates on the next page and cut out.
Glue to the inside of the box, along the back and side walls.
Make a tab at the bottom of the tree and squirrel to make
them stand up. Let dry.
3. Go on a nature walk and collect things that represent
Autumn, like acorns, fallen leaves, twigs, pine cones, etc.
When you return from the walk, glue all the things you found inside your shoebox to create a fall diorama.
Kids will get a good chance to exercise their observational
skills with this craft.
This will also help reinforce seasonal concepts.
On first glance, this may seem like a project that is
too difficult for younger children... its actually perfect.
I called this a diorama, but for a very young child its really just a
The template pieces on the next page are really only designed
to supplement what a child collects.
Some of the things that a child collects may not glue easily to
the diorama. A pinecone, for example, wont stick very well with
white glue. On these types of items use a glue gun.



Ghostly Handprints
Youll Need
Sheet of Black Construction Paper
White Tempera Paint
Black Marker
Small Paper Plate


1. Pour some white tempera paint into a small paper plate.
2. Dip the palm and fingers of your hand into the paint. Stamp
hand onto the black construction paper with fingers together.
You can do this a couple of times if you have room. Let dry
3.Turn the paper upside down so that the fingers are facing
down. Use your black marker to draw scary faces on
your ghosts.

If youre doing this for a pre- school or daycare, you can

have several children stamp on the same large piece of
paper to create a variety of ghosts.
You can also do this project by using a footprint instead
of a handprint.
Instead of using a marker to draw in the ghosts face, you could
dip an index finger into black paint and dab on 2 eyes and an
O mouth.
To make this project more challenging, you could draw a scary
scene in chalk on your paper first, and then turn it upside down
to stamp your handprints.
Having a bucket of warm water handy will make this project a
lot easier to clean up.


Toilet Paper Tube Bat

Youll Need
Black Construction Paper
A Toilet Paper Tube
Glue Stick
Printer and Paper


1. Print out the template and copy the wings and the feet onto
black construction paper. Print out the face on white paper and
color (So youll be able to see it.) Cut out the wings, feet, and
2. Cover the toilet paper tube with a 4 x 6 inch piece of black
construction paper. Glue the paper in place.

3. Fold the feet where indicated and glue the tab onto the
bottom of the covered tube. Glue the face onto the
tube on the same side as the feet. Fold the wings in half, open
back up, and glue around the back side of the tube.
See the picture above for placement.
These bats dont have to be black, you can make your bat any
color you want. My daughter always insists that everything be
pink. Glue wiggle eyes over the top of the eyes for a different
To make this more challenging, print it all out on black paper
and then cut out small pieces of white paper to make the
fangs and eyes.
Make this a spooky bat by following the directions above and
then using red dots for the eyes.
Although you can use white household glue for this project,
I do recommend using a glue stick instead. It holds well, wont
wrinkle or pucker the paper, and is a lot less messy.






Slimy Worm Painting

Youll Need
Black Construction Paper
Orange, Light Green, and White Tempera
Yarn Scraps


1. Pour tempera paint out onto small paper plates, one for each
color youre using. Thin the paint slightly with water if its too thick.
2. Cut a piece of yarn for each color youre using thats about 8
inches long. You can also use different widths of yarn.
3. Dip the yarn into the paint and then drag it across your piece
of construction paper. Try to use a different piece of yarn for
each color of paint so the paint doesnt get muddy.
Kids can pretend that they are painting with slimy worms.
Remember, this craft is about the fun of painting with worms. It
doesnt matter if it actually looks like anything when its done.
Once they are done with their worm paintings, let the picture
dry completely.
NOTE: This project can get very messy, so make sure that kids
are wearing old clothes or a painting smock. You may also
want to keep some paper towels and water available to wipe
their hands.
Tape your paper down to the table before starting to paint
to cut down on the mess.
Sprinkle a little glitter or sand on the finished painting while
still wet.
Add a little sand to the paint and mix up. This will make your
worms seem even more slimy.
Use pink, purple, and blue paint on black paper for a very
different look... You could even do this for another theme,
like Independence Day.
This is a great Halloween craft, especially if you spark the
childs imagination about how these are creepy worms that they
are painting with. Its also fun to do with a group of kids, like for
a Halloween party. This project will even keep the attention of
very young children.


Native American Headband

Youll Need
Brown Construction Paper
3 Other Colors Construction Paper
Stapler or Glue


1. Cut 2 strips of brown construction paper that are the full
length of the paper and about 2 inches wide. Staple them
together on the ends, overlaping about 2 inches. Fit them
around your childs head and then staple them on
the other end. You should have a headband that is the right
size for your child.
2. Cut 3 feather shapes measuring about 6 - 8 inches long and
2 inches wide. Each of the feathers should be a different color.
3. Cut slits in the feather shapes to make them look more real.
Dont cut all the way through the feather, only cut about half an
inch in. Cut slits the full length of each feather on both sides.
4. Staple or glue the feathers onto the inside of the headband
so that they stick up when worn.
You can do fun things like make up an Indian name for
your child and write that on the headband.
Try doing this project with real feathers instead if paper
feathers. You can make this project much more challenging by
creating an entire headress: Put feathers all the way
around your headband, staple a strip of paper to the back of
the headband, and cover the entire thing with paper
feathers. This is an ideal project to do for Thanksgiving. This
is a good opportunity to talk to your child about American
Indians and their contributions to Thanksgiving.
This project provides a lot of good cutting practice.


Snow Play Picture Frame

Youll Need
A Printer
Printer Paper
Thin Cardboard
Markers or Crayons
Transparent Tape
4 x 6 Inch Photograph


1. Print out the template on the next page on printer paper or
construction paper.
2. Color the frame.
3. Glue the frame to thin cardboard and let dry. (Cereal box
cardboard works well.)
4. Cut out picture frame, including the center hole.
5. Fit the frame over your photo and tape it to the frame on the
back side.
Glue sticks work well for this project because they wont soak
through the paper and discolor the picture.
An exacto knife makes quick work of the center hole, for
grown-ups only, of course!
The reason for gluing the frame to the cardboard before you
cut it out is to avoid cutting it out twice.
More Ideas.....
1. Glue a loop of ribbon to the back to make a hanger.
2. Use archival tape instead of scotch tape so that picture and
frame can be placed in childs scrapbook.
3. Cover photograph with contact paper or put a thin piece of
plastic between frame and photo to protect it.
4. Write the title and date or year to create a keep sake.
This is a really easy way to help your child build some
Kids love to see themselves in pictures. This is also a good way
to show your child that you value them.
After all, if you have framed or helped them frame a picture that
they are in, then they must be important.



Mitten Ornaments
Youll Need
Twine or Yarn
Permanent Marker
Thin Cardboard
Sharp Object to Make Hole in Felt
Decorating Accessories


1. Trace the childs hand onto a piece of thin cardboard with
their fingers together and their thumb out. Using the tracing,
create a mitten shape around the traced hand. Cut out the
mitten shape.
2. Fold over a piece of felt so that there is a double thickness.
Trace the mitten out onto the double thickness of felt with a
permanent marker. Cut out mitten through both layers. This
will produce two identical mittens - one for the right hand and
one for the left.
3. Create a hole through the wrist of each mitten. Thread a
piece of twine thats about 10 - 12 inches long through
each of the holes and tie it together. This will create a loop that
connects both mittens.
4. Using a little glue, you can decorate your mittens with scaps
of felt, ribbons, sequins, buttons, lace, etc.
5. Once completely dry, you can hang your ornament by
draping it over a limb on the Christmas tree.
If you have trouble getting the felt to stick together, or youre
working with an impatiet audience, you may want to use hot
glue instead.
You dont have to use felt for this project. Try making mittens out of construction paper.
These make great decorations for Winter too!
You can use these ornaments to decorate other parts of your
house. For example, they look really nice hanging over a
door knob, hanging from a large wreath, or even hanging
from a chandalier.
Dont forget to write the childs name and the year on the
back with a permanent marker to create a keepsake that will
hang on your Christmas tree for years.


New Year Calendar

Youll Need
The 12 Month Templates
A Printer
Pen or Marker
Hole Punch


1. Print out the templates on the next twelve pages. One for
each month of the year.
2. Write the correct numbers for the days of each month. Color
the pictures.
3. Staple the pages together, in monthly order, at the top.
Three staples work well, one in the middle and a quarter of the
way in on both sides. Punch a hole in the top center so the
calendar can be hung.
Talk with the child about each month as you go.
Whats special each month?
What holidays are in each month?
What month is the childs birthday?
What season is it?
This is also a great way to get in some counting and
practice writing letters.
I know its kind of a pain in the neck to write in all the
numbers for each month, but it was the only way to make
the template usable year after year.
This project is definitely best done over a few days.
This calendar would make a great Grandparent gift!
You could print out the calendar on heavier paper and cover
the picture in the top box with your childs photo!




Valentine Garland
Youll Need
Pink and Red Construction Paper
Pinch-Type Clothespins
Decorating Accessories


1. Cut a piece of twine, thin rope, or yarn as long as you want
your garland to be.
2. Cut several hearts out of pink and red construction paper.
Youll need one heart for every 6 - 8 inches of your garland.
You can use the heart on the next page as a guide for how
large your hearts need to be. Double, triple, or quadruple your
paper to cut several hearts out at a time.
3. After you cut out your hearts, you can begin decorating
them. Try to make each one different to get the best effect for
your garland. You can use any materials you choose: glitter,
doilies, stickers, markers, crayons, smaller heart centers, etc.
4. After youre done decorating the hearts and glue has dried,
use the clothespins to clip the hearts onto the twine. Clip each
heart about 6 8 inches apart, leaving a little extra on
each end for hanging.
Tip: It may be easier to hang your garland before you clip your
hearts to it.
If you are doing this project for a daycare or preschool class,
have each child decorate one heart for the garland, write their
name on it, and hang it to share with the rest of the class. Its a
great way to give kids a sense of belonging in their school.
This project is a great way to inexpensively celebrate and
decorate for the holidays, seasons, months, or anything you
want to teach your child.
You can hang just about anything on your garland, other cut
outs, fall leaves, Christmas ornaments, plastic toys, etc. Simply
take down the hearts and exchange them with another theme.
This is great for a kids room!


Dollhouse for small play

set figures


Here is a simple Dollhouse that can be made from two pieces of foamcore and some scrapbook papers or just
tissue paper and old magazine cutouts.
Supplies needed:
-2 Pieces of standard foamcore or recycled foamcore signs
-glue and or sticky dot type roll glue ( I like the sticky dot type as it does not warp the foamcore as badly, but it
does cost more)
-chip brush or cheap paint brush (for applying water thinned glue)
-Utility Knife and or X-acto knife
-Scrapbook papers, tissue papers, stickers, etc
-Ruler or straight edge for cutting
-Cutting mat (to protect table)


Step 1: Cut the Foamcore

First you will need to cut the ends off the two pieces of Foamcore so that they are square. Do this by
measuring the shortest width and then make all the sides that size. Use the utility knife with a fresh blade and
make sure to go all the way through when cutting.
Now take one of the square pieces and cut it in half.
This will make the top two pieces that fit together. The other square will be the floor.

Step 2: Notch out the top two pieces

Now take the two top pieces and find the center and mark it with a pencil line.
Next find the center of the pencil line and make a small mark.
Now cut out a 1/8 inch notch halfway up (where you made the mark) on both of the pieces.
See photo.

Step 3: Place pieces together to make sure they fit

Now flip one of the notched pieces over and fit into the other notched piece. They should fit together nicely.
If not adjust cuts as needed.
The bottom of the X should have the notch at the top.
Now with it put together make a small pencil mark to show which way up. This will help when cutting out


Step 4: Cut out doors (optional)

Now decide where you want your doors and cut them out. Use the figures that you will be playing with for
height measurement.


How to Make Playdough



Play dough is a fun, clay - like substance that kids love! It is very easy to
make, and provides hours of fun! It can be expensive to buy at stores,
but it's very easy and costs nothing to make it at home! The only
materials you will need are:
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
food dye (any color, be creative!)
newspaper to cover the surface you're working on
It only takes about 10 minutes to make
Step 1: Set Up


Find a good work space (I used the floor) and cover it with newspaper. also, find a medium sized bowl for

Step 2: Add the Ingredients




Measure out 1 cup of four, and pour it into the bowl.

then, measure out 1/2 cup of salt, and add that to the bowl, too.
lastly, fill the measuring cup with 1/2 cup of water and pour it into the mixing bowl.

Step 3: Mix it!


take a spoon - any spoon will do; and use it to mix up the ingredients. Mix it until it's mushy and it's neither
watery nor flour - y.


Step 4: Color it!

Add a few drops of food dye to the mush. then pick it up and start kneading it. this is easy, just play around
with it. if desired, add more food dye to improve color.


Step 5: Viola!


You're finished! if it's a little sticky, knead a tiny bit of flour into it. use your imagination! you can make
whatever you'd like!


Spring Butterfly Craft

Who is ready for spring? I love it when the temperature

starts warming and the trees and plants start turning
vibrate colors. I can't think of a better way to celebrate
spring than to do some crafts with your kids. This
butterfly craft is not only cheap to make, but you might
already have all the supplies in your home. If not, your
local dollar store will have everything you need.


Spring Butterfly Craft

Supplies needed


Coffee Filters

2 inch wire pics with small bulbs on the end

Black Sharpie

Crayola Model Magic (white)



1. Your butterfly is made of a coffee filter. The smaller side of the coffee filter is the
center of your butterfly. Lay the filter down on the table with the center of the
butterfly on the left side. Don't cut on the left fold.
2. Design the shape of your butterfly with the black Sharpie on the coffee filter. Cut it
out so each of the sides touch the center of the butterfly.
3. Make veins with a permanent marker on both sides.
4. Roll out of the clay into two long thin pieces and put one on top and the other
underneath. Make sure they are longer than the center section. Connect tale and
5. Fold the wire pic (antenna) in half and mush it in the clay at the top.
6. Open your butterfly and use watercolors to give your butterfly it's beautiful color.
If you want, you can color the clay too. I left mine white since my butterfly was so
You can put these butterflies on a skewer if you want to make them come to life. Make sure
you wrap the clay around the skewer in the middle if you want to do this option. You can also
make several of these butterflies without skewers and put them in a shadow box like a
butterfly collection.
This craft is fun for any age child, including teens. My daughter loved doing this project with
her younger brother. This spring craft is inexpensive, fun, and easy. Decorate your home for
spring with the spring butterfly craft and before you know it, you will be dreaming of
butterflies and warm weather.


TRY this Top 10 Spring Crafts for Kids

1. Flower Cork Craft | Love, Play, Learn

2. Paper Plate Birds | Happy Hooligans


3. Acorn Flower Craft | Crafty Morning


4. Paper Bag Tiaras | Happy Hooligans


5. Paper Plate Bunny | Love, Play, Learn


6. Butterfly Finger Puppet | While Wearing Heels


7. Chick Craft | Crafty Morning


8. Cupcake Liner Flowers | Laughing Kids Learn


9. Cherry Blossom Art | Alpha Mom


10. Paper Plate Sheep | Housing a Forest


The End