Kids love art and crafts because they get to be creative, make a mess and produce a masterpiece. Here are 50 Brilliant Ideas for Art & Crafts for Kids (That Are Worth The Mess):
You might also like to download our Free 50 Art & Craft Ideas for Kids Checklist.
And just in case you are in any doubt about why you should do arts and crafts with your kids, here are 8 Reasons Why Crafts Activities for Kids are So Important.
#1. Finger Print Painting
Messy but lots of fun, use your thumbs and fingers and dip them into paint. You can use your thumb to make heads and fingers to make the rest of bodies for people or animals, or make creative patterns with your fingers and thumbs.
#2. Potato Stamping
A fun and quick craft project for kids. Cut potatoes in half (let Mum or Dad do this bit) and then cut out an indented shape on each half. For example a leaf or a star or flower shape. If you have a large enough potato and small enough cookie cutters they are easier to cut with than free hand.
Then dip your new stampers into paint and onto your paper to make fun prints.
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#3. Paint Some Butterflies
One of the easiest and most fun art projects with any age child is to take a piece of paper, fold it in half, open it and put lots of different splashes of paint into the centre of your piece of paper. The more colours the better.
Fold the paper again and gently run your hands along the fold to flatten the paper. Then open out and see your beautiful butterfly.
Once the paint has dried, draw on antenna and eyes and a smile!
You might be interested in the L’il Da Vinci Cabinet, perfect for storing your child’s artwork. It offers an easy and stylish way to display and store your child’s art.
The A4 frame holds up to 50 sheets and has a latched and hinged glass front door to give easy access to quickly turn your child’s art into a masterpiece.
Keep old magazines for making collages or collect some leaves and petals the next time you are outdoors to create a nature collage.
Draw your main design for your collage. It could be a tree or a house or a dinosaur. Let your imagination go wild but just make sure your thing is big enough for sticking things onto.
Then start to fill in your design with either cut out pieces from magazine pages or if you’re using leaves and petals stick those on.
You could also add some cotton wool for clouds.
#5. Make Puppets
Cut the fingers off old rubber gloves and decorate them for finger puppet characters or use socks that have lost their partners and sew on buttons for eyes and wool for hair and have a great puppet show then! Why not make a mini theatre out of a box?
#6. Blow Painting
Use thicker paper for this activity. Let your child dollop a blob of paint onto the page and give them a straw to blow the paint in different directions.
Supervise younger children well to ensure the straw does not touch the paint!
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#7. Play Dough
Play dough is super easy to make, and it will keep for weeks if stored in a resealable plastic bag. You can make different colours using food colouring to add some interest!
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Add all ingredients to a saucepan and heat gently until if forms a dough.
- Once it has cooled slightly let each child knead it.
- Split it into several smaller balls and add food colouring.
- Using gloves, knead the food colouring into the ball until the dough changes colour.
- Give your child a rolling pin and some cookie cutters to create great shapes.
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#9. Paper Plate Birds
Make some cute birds from paper plates, instructions on happyhooligans.ca, and let the kids have fun with painting and decorating their own bird.
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#10. Make Pompoms
Here’s how to make pompoms. You’ll need cardboard, scissors and wool of different colours.
- Using a small bowl, draw 2 circles onto the card.
- Using a smaller bowl or glass draw a 2nd circle in the middle of each of the larger circles.
- Cut the centre circle out leaving a rim of approx 2 inches.
- Place one cardboard circle on top of the other
- Holding the wool in place with your finger, feed ti through the centre hole and over the rim.
- Repeat until it holds easily then pass over to your toddler to do.
- Keep going until there is very little space left in the center and the card is completely cover.
- Using a sharp scissors cut along the outside edge following along the outside line of the circle.
- Once you have fully cut through, move the 2 cardboard templates slightly apart and thread a some wool into the gap
- Tie it tightly and double knot
- Pull away the templates and you should have a pompom that your child can decorate and play with.
Cover the table with newspaper sheets and get out the poster paints or watercolours and lots of paper and have an art session with just your hands at the kitchen or dining table.
Dip hands into the paint and then onto the paper. Try making different patterns and using different colours.
#12. Paper Snowflakes
All you need is basic printer paper and scissors and you can make pretty paper snowflakes that look great in windows, on presents, walls, your Christmas tree.
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These Photo Flowers are very easy to make and are a great Mother’s Day art & craft project for your child, especially for the smaller members of the household.
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#14. Sand Pictures
Use a piece of card, glue and sand (or you can use glitter too) to create a work of art.
- Paint the glue onto the card and let you child sprinkle sand over the page.
- Once have finished, shake the picture off over a tray and the sand will have stuck on to create a pretty picture.
- You could get them to draw a picture and just add glue to certain parts so it adds a new dimension to the image.
More Sand Art ideas in 23 Sensational Sand Play Ideas Kids will Love
#15. Make a Valentine’s Heart
Make something special for the sweet person in your life. This simple heart-shaped collage is very effective as a decoration for St. Valentine’s Day, and suitable for toddlers and children of all ages to make.
Better still, it can be made entirely from recycled materials (except for the glue)!
Fall in love with more Valentines Crafts for Kids
#16. Art Photo Project
Go round your neighbourhood and takes lots of different photos of things from interesting angles. Ipiccy.com is a free online photo editor that lets you adjust and crop and try different hues on your photos, you can also build photo collages on it.
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#17. Easter Chick Pop Up Card
Our Cheeky Chick project is available to download for free, all you will need is some white and coloured paper, colouring pencils or crayons and scissors.
Glitter and feathers are optional to decorate!
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#18. Shoebox Fairy House
An old shoe box makes and ideal house for fairies! Alternatively you could create a castle from a larger box, let your imagination go wild!
- Use the lid as the front of your house. Stick white paper on and draw a design, including windows and a door
- Cut around these to create openings. Only cut the door around 3 sides so it can open and close.
- Wrapping paper or tissue paper can be stuck inside to create a blind or curtains. You could also paper a wall or two to make it pretty.
- You can add a 2nd floor inside using a flat piece of strong cardboard taped half way down the box.
- Stairs and furniture can be made from straws and cardboard.
- Now add some furniture and leave some little nibbles for your fairy!
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#19. Leaf Rubbings
Collect a variety of different shaped leaves and with paper and crayons you can have fun making leaf rubbings!
These simple Easter Egg Mosaics are good for children of all ages, they can make their own designs on the eggs, and it’s a great activity to help preschoolers learn their colours. Except for the glue, these mosaics don’t cost anything to make, and can be made entirely from recycled materials.
#21. Create a Snow Globe
Using a jam jar, glitter, some baby oil (to make the glitter fall more slowly), water and any little Christmas decoration figure e.g. a snowman. Glue figure to the inside of the lid, add glitter & baby oil and fill up to water (allow room for your figure). Screw lid on tightly and shake!
#22. Crayon Wax Painting
Use a candle or white crayon to draw on a white sheet of paper to create Wax Art. Then paint over their drawing and watch the paint run off the bits where you have coloured with wax and a picture will magically appear! For the best effect, use a darker coloured paint.
#23. Mosaic Sun Catchers
For this activity you will need a roll of clear, glue backed book covering and some coloured tissue paper or sweet wrappers.
- Cut 2 identical squares of book covering.
- Remove the backing from the 1st one and let your child stick on the coloured tissue or sweet wrappers.
- They can make a random pattern or you could have the plastic sitting on an image below which they can use as a rough outline.
- Once they are happy with the picture, peel the backing off the 2nd square and use it to cover their picture.
- Place in a window and watch the sun shine through.
#24. Draw Me Paintings
You’ll need a huge piece of paper as big as your child. Get them to lie down and draw around their outline. Then they can paint and decorate themselves! If you don’t have long paper you can do draw around your hand outlines and paint and decorate your hands with rings and bracelets.
These paper folded bracelets from picklebums are fun to make and are also a good way to upcycle old artwork.
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#26. Draw Your Town
On a big piece of paper ask your child to draw their town out starting with your house and drawing on roads, buildings, parks and monuments. You might need to go for a few walks to remind yourselves where everything is.
#27. Make a Box Car
Take a big cardboard box and create an amazing car out of it. Paint the sides and take off the lid. You might like to make a steering wheel and little mirrors to attach to your car. When the paint is dry, draw on the doors and don’t forget the handles! Then climb in and drive off!
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These cute minions are also made from toilet paper rolls. Full instructions with a great printable sheet available on Craftsbyamanda.com.
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#29. Tie Dying
If your child is tired of their boring white socks, why not have a tie dye day? You will need white clothing, bucket, water, various dyes, rubber bands, rubber gloves to protect your hands. How you fold and secure with rubber bands helps determine the pattern that results. Best to start with lightest colour, if using more than one, and follow dye instructions carefully. More tips here
#30. Batik Painting
Use Glue Gel (NB regular white glue doesn’t work for batik painting), a white t-shirt and acrylic paints. Draw your pattern on with the glue. Tip put a paper bag between the front and back of the t-shirt so the glue doesn’t go through both layers).
Then once the glue is dry paint over the design (don’t layer on too much paint or it will be hard to get off), soak the t-shirts in warm water overnight and the glue will begin to dissolve and reveal the white designs.
#31. Melted Crayon Eggs
Kids will love to watch as the crayons melt creating a cool marbled effect on the eggs. Almost like magic! Small grate crayons onto some paper. Hardboil your eggs then while the eggs are warm place them onto the paper and drop the crayon shavings over it, they will melt into swirls over the eggs.
#32. Tin Can Lanterns
Tin can lanterns are fun for older kids to make, and look great. Any pattern can be created – just draw what you want, and then use hammer and nails to create the pattern. Pop in a tealight candle and enjoy!
#33. Make Google Eyed Bookmarks
Try our Mykidstime project to make some Google Eyed Bookmarks!
You’ll need some coloured card or construction paper, some scissors, a ruler, some glue and a pen and pencil.
You could use craft googly eyes instead of drawing them but we liked the idea that each child could make their bookmark eye design individual.
#34. Paper Pinwheels
Cut 4-inch squares from colourful patterned paper or card. Make a diagonal cut from each corner halfway to the center of the square. Roll every other corner to the center. Bend a pin near the top with pliers so you can attach your pinwheel with the pin to a stick e.g. a lolly pop stick.
Start with a simple sewing project like felt purses where you sew sides together then fold down top 1/3 and sew a button on as a fastener. Or try applique where you sew a smaller item onto a bigger item.
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#36. Painting Rocks
We like to collect smooth medium sized rocks when we are the beach and then turn them into interesting rock faces when we get home. You can paint the whole rock to start with. Then when that’s dry have fun painting on the facial features, eyes, eyebrows, noses, lips, ears, maybe even some hair.
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#37. Make a Pencil Topper
Create cute pencil toppers to make colouring and homework more fun. Here are instructions for Feather Pencil Toppers on the Bhg.com website or visit for Mocomi.com for lots of free printables for pencil toppers.
Hama Beads burst onto the scene a few years ago. If your kids have forgotten them, it’s a good craft activity and there’s no limit to creativity and inventing shapes and designs.
And once your child’s finished designing with Hama Beads how to iron them so the design stays together is a trick worth knowing.
Origami is a good craft to do with your child, as you get to sit down and interact while transforming a simple piece of paper into something beautiful. The origami-instructions.com website has lots of different origami shapes to attempt.
#40. Paper Weaving
Paper weaving craft for kids is a fun way to take ordinary scraps and transform them into colorful art. You will need 2 pieces of paper in contrasting colors, scissors and cellotape. You’ll find instructions for paper weaving on Kidsactivitiesblog.com.
#41. Make a Mask
The Scribble YouTube Channel has lots of fun videos on making different kinds of masks from cats to pandas to birds.
#42. Press Flowers
If you have a flower press then you’re all set. If not you just need some sheets of paper and some very heavy books.
- Go out and search in the garden or nearby park/woods for some different flowers.
- You don’t need many just a few flower heads.
- Put them between the sheets of paper and halfway in the pile of the heavy books or in the flower press and tighen it.
- After a few days the flowers will be neatly pressed and have dried out.
- You can use these to make pretty pictures or cards.
#43. Pasta Bead Necklaces
Take a packet of pasta tubes and divide it into different bowls and add a few drops of food colouring to colour the “beads” then adding 1/2 tsp of rubbing alcohol to help the colour set.
Dry overnight on a tray on parchment or waxed paper. You could also paint the pasta different colours, just allow the painted pasta to dry thoroughly before stringing.
Cut the string for the correct length of necklace, and tie a knot in one end, then your child can string as many pasta beads on as will fit before you tie the necklace ends together.
Find your knitting needles and some wool and teach the kids to knit a scarf. Can be for themselves, or their favourite doll/teddy. There are lots of helpful resources out there to get you started. Here’s a basic knitting a square project:
Modelling (and we don’t mean the catwalk variety) is fun for kids of all ages. You can make different animals or characters. The best one to use is air drying clay as that will save you baking it to dry but you could also model with plasticine or salt dough (see next Craft).
Make up a batch of salt dough and let your toddler mold it into fun shapes.
Bake it in the oven until it goes hard and your toddler can decorate it once it has cooled down. These make ideal Christmas decorations too.
#47. Paper Chains
Another fun activity that can suit seasonal themes. Cut your paper into strips and glue (or staple) one end of the strip to the other end. Then link a new chain through before gluing its ends. See how long a chain you can make! And try different colours and patterns and decorations on your strips.
#48. String Painting
Kids can make unique works of art using paper, paint (use paper plates for different colours) and a piece of string.
- Fold paper in half and open it out.
- Take a piece of string and submerge it 3/4 of it in paint leaving the end without paint to hold onto.
- Lay the paint covered string on one side of the paper, fold the paper over it, you’ll feel the string through the paper and start to pull the string out moving to the edges of the paper.
- Add a different color to the string and put it back onto the paper and continue until you open the paper out for your marvellous string painting!
One of the simplest drawing activities is doodling. You can also have fun doodling away creatively drawing wherever your pen takes itself and then colour in the spaces different colours to make a nice colorful doodle image.
#50. Pipe Cleaner Creations
- Make a bundle for her head leaving it open at the top. Use 1/4 of a pipe cleaner to make a loose S-shape for each of her curls. Hook them onto the top of the head bundle. Use 1/4 of pipe cleaner to make a very small bundle to cover the top of her head.
- Make a spiral for her upper body, and skirt for her lower body. Insert arms and legs through the spiral. The legs can hood on to the end of the upper body spiral (inside the top of the skirt).
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Over to you now. Any more ideas for fun art and crafts for kids? Share them with us in the comments below.