11 Easy Craft Ideas for Kids to Make With Stuff You Have at Home

Going out to snag art supplies might be out of the question as we social distance, but there are plenty of simple, fun crafts kids can do during quarantine that require materials you already have on hand.

Captain America costume DIY
Photo: Primary

Parents everywhere are juggling a variety of to-dos, all under one roof. Finding ways to keep kids engaged and learning is not only key to getting it all done—but to enjoying precious bonding time together. While crafting can be a wonderful go-to activity, it's easy to find yourself worrying that you don't have all the materials on hand. Thankfully, there are plenty of crafts to do in quarantine that call for recycled or everyday household items you likely already have, like milk cartons or paper towel rolls. (RIP, easy-to-come-by paper goods.)

Here are a few cute crafts you and the kids can easily do while social distancing.

1. Make Your Own Museum

San Antonio Museum of Art
San Antonio Museum of Art

The San Antonio Museum of Art has launched an initiative called "Make Your Own Museum," encouraging parents to inspire their children to curate their own museum at home. For instance, you can create a diorama that includes family photos carefully placed on the walls, handmade pottery, or sculptures made from trinkets found within the home and more.

2. Paper Mache Bowls

The Spruce Paper Mache Bowls
The Spruce

The Spruce's tutorial makes it simple to create your own unique, brightly colored paper mache bowls, using newspaper, water, flour, foil, paint, scissors, paintbrushes, and a glass bowl.

3. Slime

The Spruce slime
The Spruce

The good news: Kids are obsessed with slime. More good news: It's a fun, easy craft that teaches the science of polymers and offers an opportunity for sensory play. Check out The Spruce's DIY slime tutorial which requires everyday items like borax and glue.

4. Word Building Blocks

Managing to boost literacy and artistic skills simultaneously, this word building blocks craft from awarding-winning toy company Educational Insights calls for paper, markers, and tape.

5. DIY Play-Doh

In their tutorial, the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas walks you through making your own play-doh using simple ingredients like flour, oil, salt, and natural coloring from flowers.

6. Compost Starter

Talk about a craft that keeps on giving. Recommended for kids who are 5 or older, this compost starter tutorial from Educational Insights requires a one-gallon container, soil, food scraps, and worms (optional). Kids will learn how to reduce food waste and create their own dirt for gardens and planters.

7. Coffee Filter Sun Catchers

Colorful coffee filters
Photograph by Alexandra Grablewski

Chances are you have plenty of coffee filters lying around. Kids can color them with watercolor markers, advise the experts from Sittercity, America’s first online resource for in-home care. Then, hang it up by a paperclip and spray it with water from a spray bottle. When it’s dry, put it in the window, and you’ll have a sun catcher just in time for summer.

8. Captain America Costume

Primary Captain America costume

By following this easy DIY tutorial from kids' clothing company Primary, your kid will be well on their way to winning an Oscar for costume design. For their Captain America look, you'll need a dress (like the brand's cobalt blue Perfect Pocket Dress), paper plates, red felt, a blue headband, white masking tape, red marker, garbage can lid OR cardboard, red, white, and blue paint, double sided fabric tape, and scissors.

9. Paper Plate Sunflowers

child holding sunflower
Image Source

Using just popsicle sticks, paper plates, paint, and sunflower seeds, kids can make bright and cheerful faux sunflowers. The how-to from SitterCity: Have kids paint small Vs on the outside of a paper plate to make petals. Paint a popsicle stick green and the paper plate yellow. Glue the popsicle stick (sunflower stem) to the back of the paper plate, and add sunflower seeds to the center of the plate to complete the project.

10. At-Home "Mani-Pedi"

ten little diy paper pedicure
Ten Little

Set up your own in-house "salon" with your little ones, suggest Fatma Collins and Julie Rogers, co-founders of kids shoe company Ten Little. To do: Start by tracing their feet, draw on toenails, and let them use nail polish for a mini-pedicure. If you’re feeling brave, offer to let them give you a pedicure after their practice round on paper.

11. Upcycled Friendship Bracelets

Fiskars friendship bracelet craft

Fiskars' upcycled friendship bracelets are a craft kids can wear when they're done—win-win. Plus, it's eco-friendly, because it calls for repurposing an old T-shirt.

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