Whether you're caring for your grandchildren, looking for something fun to do during the school holidays, or volunteering to run activities with young kids, we can all use some inspiration to keep little ones happy and engaged.
Our experts have been to Brownies and helped with the Girl Guides, so we've used our own experiences and expertise to bring together a list of some easy craft ideas for kids, using affordable craft items and bits and bobs from around the home.
You'll be amazed at what you can do with some paper, loo roll and a bit of imagination!
21 easy craft ideas for kids
1. Pipe cleaner pets
These super cute pipe cleaner pets are an easy craft idea that only need limited supplies.
Let them try their hand at making a mouse, turtle or pig following the instructions, or let their imaginations run wild trying to create a creature of their own.
All you need are pipe-cleaners and googly eyes, glue and black beads to make the features.
Follow these instructions and buy your supplies below:
2. Create a diorama in a shoe box
The only mandatory piece of kit for this craft is a shoe box and they're good to go!
Get them to create a world in their shoebox with anything from a doll's house to a fairy garden, to this ocean scene created by PLAID.
Encourage them to use bits and pieces from around the home and even venture into the garden to get some inspiration (though make sure they clean anything they use first!).
We distinctly remember making these as kids with old shoe boxes, turning them into storylands for our toys - it's sure to keep them busy for hours!
3. Egg carton animals
Simply trim around the cup of an egg carton and you can turn it into a turtle, a spider or these adorable ladybirds as made by one little project.
All you need is a pom-pom for the head, paint, and some more pipe-cleaners, googly eyes, and card to make their appearance complete.
4. Friendship bracelets
Friendship bracelets are a lovely, kind gesture. If you want to teach your child to plait, you could start simple by making bracelets from plaits.
However, if you want something a bit more advanced, get them to try their hand at this version instead. All you need is to make them a cardboard braiding disc out of some spare card, equip them with yarn and they're good to go!
5. Make playdough
Make homemade playdough using these simple ingredients from your cupboard:
• 3 cups of plain flour
• 1 cup of salt
• 2 cups of water with any food colouring added
• 4 tsp of cream of tartar
• 2 tbsp of cooking oil
Mix all the ingredients together in a pan and heat slowly.
Keep stirring until the dough leaves the sides of the pan and then store in the fridge.
6. Loo roll mermaids
We did say you'd be amazed what you could do with some loo roll!
Starting with a simple loo roll tube, they can use pens, paper, glue, and any additional crafting supplies they like to create this mermaid and hula girl.
Or, for something a little more adventurous, they could even make a zoo full of animals.
7. Sock puppets
This is an oldie but a goodie that has stood the test of time. Using any mismatched socks you have lying around, get them to create a fun character for the sock, giving it hair, lips, glasses - anything that tickles their fancy.
Take a look at these sock puppets for some fun inspiration.
You can use spare materials from around the home to accessorise or use some of our suggested craft supplies below.
8. Stained glass window
While we love this rainbow design, you can let your child run free with how they design their stained glass window to look.
All you need is black card to be the 'window panes', PVA glue, and different coloured tissue paper to stick between the gaps. It's sure to bring some colourful light to grey days.
Origami will only require paper, pens and patience from your child. However, if you start with some easy paper crafts first, they're sure to enjoy. If you'd like to try something a little more tricky, try some of these origami.
10. Tissue box monsters
How adorable and inventive are these tissue box monsters?
All you'll need to create one is a tissue box, paper, pens and anything else you'd like to decorate it with.
Follow these super simple steps for some inspiration.
11. Bubble painting
Be warned, this might be a messy one! If possible, do this craft outside or with some newspaper down first. Get your kids to create crazy, abstract paintings by blowing bubbles into a mixture before printing it onto paper or card. All you need is:
• Washing-up liquid
• Washable paint
Mix your washing-up liquid and paint at a ratio of 4:2 tbsp and get your child to blow bubbles into the mixture.
When it all foams up in a bubble cloud, place the piece or card or paper lightly on top to get the bubble paint effect!
Play around with colours or consider using scotch tape to make shapes and lines to be removed once the paint has dried.
12. Pebble scavenger hunt
Pebble painting is great fun to build a menagerie of pebble pals, but why not paint them to leave out in the community for others to find?
Kids are excited to discover them when out and about and can either keep them and take them home or hide them for others to find.
To share outside, make sure to resource responsibly with acrylic paint and avoid accessorising.
13. Melting snowmen biscuits
It may not be Christmas but we think snowmen decorating is for all year round. These melting snowmen biscuits are easy to make and even easier to eat!
All you need is:
• Biscuits for the base
• Icing for the melted snow
• A marshmallow for the snowman's head
• Writing icing for the details
14. Calming glitter jar
These jars are beautiful and a craft idea that your child is sure to enjoy.
They're also known for being calming and therapeutic and have been used as a mindfulness tool with kids if they need to relax.
A great how-to guide on how to make a glitter jar can be found here. All you need is a jar, water, clear glue, glitter, and a glue gun to firmly close it shut once finished.
15. Paper plate shark
Decorating paper plates is an easy way to pass the time, but this shark tops the list for being the most creative.
All you and your little one need are paper plates, paint, glue, and scissors to make a cool shark of their own. Follow this step-by-step guide if they need a helping hand.
16. Elmer the Elephant decoupage
Using an old milk bottle, some tissue paper, and some PVA glue, your child can make their very own Elmer the Elephant!
Rinse your bottle clean before starting and following these instructions to cut it to the right shape.
They can make an elephant family playing around with different décopatch paper designs. It isn't too difficult and no matter their age, this craft idea is sure to be a fun and calming activity.
17. Fingerprint painting
Using poster paint or washable ink, get your child to use their fingers to press prints onto paper and then using a pen, turn these into characters such as spiders or little chicks.
They could create a whole scene with a fingerprint blossom tree, turn their designs into cards or use it to make wrapping paper. There are so many possibilities right at their fingertips!
18. Mini pom-poms
Mini pom-poms are really easy to make - all you need is a fork, wool and scissors.
While they're fun to make, they provide a jumping board for craft ideas on how to use the finished pom-poms.
They could make mini monsters, glue them to pegs or attach them to string to make a cute garland for their room.
19. Minion Stones
These minion stones aren’t only super easy to make, but they’re great for kids who are fans of the movie Despicable Me and ideal if you live near the sea. All you need are some stones, acrylic paint, a black Sharpie and you’re on your way to creating your own group of minions.
20. Paper kites
If the weather is fairly nice and there’s a good breeze going, why not make some mini kites? The kids can decorate their kites as much (or as little) as they like and it’s a great way to get them outside in the fresh air.
The main supplies you’ll need is glue, string, craft paper and paper straws. If you’d like to spruce up your kite a little you can always get some glitter glue and ribbons too.
Who remembers good old potato painting? It’s easy, fun and literally requires paint and your chosen veg. To make the activity a little more stimulating, why not set the kids a task to see who can come up with the best picture, or challenge them to draw a particular animal or object using a particular piece of veg.
Ready to go craft ideas for kids
If you're busy, you might find it easier to give your child a ready-made craft kit that comes with all the craft supplies, clear instructions and an image of the finished product.
Below are some great craft kit options, six for less than £6.
Paint Your Own Dinosaur Money Box
This dinosaur money box is a great craft idea for kids, not only to be creative but to encourage them to save money too! Kit includes the ceramic dinosaur shape, six paints and a paintbrush to get your kids painting.
Fairy Pom Pom Kit 2 Pack
These bright pom pom fairies are a fun craft idea that they hang proudly in their room. Kit includes pom poms, felt pieces, ribbon, glitter crowns, pipe cleaners and googly eyes.
Colour Your Own Pencil Case Kit
All kids need a pencil case, so why not decorate their own? Kit includes the pencil case and eight felt tip pens.
Rainbow Dreamcatcher Kits
This rainbow dreamcatcher is sure to catch any bad dreams with its sunny, colourful design. Kit includes coloured card templates, self-adhesive foam pieces, wool, feathers & ribbon to hang for two designs.
Sealife Mosaic Picture Kit
This kit will keep your kids busy using the colour-coordinated foam tiles to create the picture beneath. Kit includes design cards and self-adhesive foam tiles to create this underwater scene.
Llama Cushion Sewing Kit
Super cute and quirky, encourage your child to practice their needlework with these llama cushions, to keep or to gift. Kit includes pre-cut felt pieces for two llamas, sequins, googly eyes and plastic needle and thread.