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Kids Art and Craft Ideas

Home > Sydney > Art | Fun for Children | Lists
by Jessica Valls (subscribe)
Professional photographer, writting for fun!
Published May 4th 2012
Art and Craft Ideas for Kids

Need craft ideas for kids?
Need an easy and dirty project to keep your kid busy?

Whether you are a babysitter, a nanny, a mother or even a grandmother, we all know that kids need to be entertained. And entertaining kids can get quite extreme sometimes.

I'm a babysitter myself and sometimes require fun ideas to get this little boy busy. So for those of you in need of some fun and creative activities, here are a few that I'm sure you will enjoy as much as the kids do. I know I have fun doing them.

These craft projects are very easy to make and use materials found around the house, such as egg cartons, toilet rolls, cardboard boxes, paper, newspaper, glue, paint, etc.
And they will definitely provide hours of fun both for you and the kids.

So here's a list of arts and craft ideas.

Papier Maché piggy bank
What you will need:
Flour (1 cup) and Water
A balloon (colour does not matter)
A paintbrush
- Colourful Paint
- Egg cartons

Start by preparing the non-toxic glue. Put a cup of flour in a medium bowl and add water a little bit at a time, mixing the paste at the same time. You'll know the glue is ready when you get a thick texture with no lumps, that looks a lot like proper glue.
Then, tear as many strips as you can out of half the newspaper and use the other half to protect whatever it is you will be working on.

Blow the balloon up to the size you want. It can be a small piggy bank or a big one. You chose.
Once that is done, you are ready to start your papier maché.

Step 1: Now to make the papier maché you have to take a strip of newspaper and cover it with the glue you made. Then hold your balloon face up (with the knot at the bottom) and glue one end of the strip to the bottom and with your hand glue the strip vertically, right to the top centre. Repeat this step as many times as you need to cover the whole balloon. You have your first layer of papier maché.

Step 2: You will need to make at least 4 to 6 layers for your papier maché to be solid. So, you will have to repeat the layers, letting every layer dry a bit in between, until you have really covered the whole balloon with a thick layer of newspaper. A good thing to do is change the way you glue the strips. The first step has to be vertical but the next ones can be horizontal or side ways it doesn't matter. As long as you have covered the whole surface in every layer.

WARNING: Do not glue anything over the knot you have made on the balloon. Always leave a little hole on the knot when you glue the strips.

Step 3: Let the balloon dry for about an hour. If it's sunny you could put it outside it would dry faster. Be careful it doesn't blow away.

Step 4: Once the balloon is dry you will notice how hard it has become. That's a good sign. Now you are ready to pop the balloon inside and carefully remove it from the hole I was talking about. Hold the end of the balloon tight when you blow it in case the whole balloon goes inside. It will be hard to remove once inside.

Step 5: When you're done removing the balloon you now have to think of what animal you will be doing. I know a piggy bank is supposed to be a pig, but you can be creative and make something else. I don't know, a penguin or some other easy animal.

Let's say we're doing a pig because this is what everyone will do the first time around. You will need to cut out the egg carton to make the nose, use the part where the egg fits in, that's perfect for the nose. For the ears you can cut out two triangles out of the egg carton. And then, you can use a piece of the newspaper to make a curly tail.

WARNING: I would suggest gluing the nose over the hole where you removed the balloon, that will hide it.

Step 6: Once you've glued the nose, ears and tail in the right place, you're ready to paint. So for a pig, you'll be needing a lot of PINK paint. This is actually good, because you can teach your kid how to mix colours. For pink you need to mix red and white together. To get a darker shade of pink for the inside of the ears maybe just add a bit of red when you're done with all the pink. Don't forget to make a big mix of the same pink as you need to cover the whole balloon and nose.

Step 7: And now, the final touch. When your pig is ready and dry, you will need a sharp knife to cut a rectangle on top of his back. It will have to be big enough to fit coins in.

Your Piggy Bank is now ready for use.

A flour balloon face
What you will need:
- 2 balloons (colour matters in this case, so choose two nice colours)
- Flour
- A funnel
- Black marker
- Wool
- Double faced tape
- 2 fake plastic eyes (Optional)

There's not much preparation to do for this one, although you might want to work outside or something as it can get messy with the flour.

Step 1: This is the less fun part that you might want to do beforehand as it takes a bit of time and the kid might get bored. But anyway, your first step is to fill the balloon with flour. Of course you don't have to fill it all up, just about 2 cups of flour, a bit less. Use the funnel to pour the flour into the balloon. You will notice that at some point you can't put more into the balloon. This is the annoying part. You'll need to tighten the flour into the balloon and pinch it while adding more flour into the top. Then tighten again, and so on. You will need to do that until the balloon is the size you want it to be. I would do it the size of my whole hand.

Step 2: Now hold your balloon with the knot facing upwards. The knot will be part of the hair. Cut a couple of 6cm pieces of wool to create the hair. Tie each piece of wool on the top of the balloon where you tied the knot. You could actually use cotton or anything else to create a different hair style. Just be creative. If you have those 2 eyes, you can also glue them with the double faced tape under the hair where eyes are meant to be.

Step 3: Use the black marker to draw the rest of the face. Draw a smile, of something funny.

Your flour balloon is now ready. And because there's flour inside, your kid will be able to model it into different shapes.

Pasta Picture Frame
What you will need:
- Pasta (different types, sizes, shapes)
- Glue (non-toxic for kids)
- Cereal box
- Paint and paintbrush (optional)

This is an easy project. Not much preparation needed. Just set up your working place with all you need, and you'll be ready to start.


Step 1: Cut out a frame shape out of the cereal box. If it's for a mum for Mother's Day, cut out a heart. If it's just a normal frame, cut out a square or rectangle. Your choice.

Step 2: Help your child to glue the different types and shapes of pasta onto the frame until you have covered the whole surface. You could even do the same project with shells.

Step 3: This step is optional. Your child can use the paint to paint some of the pasta into different colours. Personally I prefer it natural. But colours always make it more appealing to kids.

And you're done. Your kid's frame is finished. You can then tell the kid to either place a photo inside before offering it, if it's for Mother's Day for example.

Butterfly Painting
What you will need:
- A4 sheets of paper (you'll need a lot of paper as this gets really fun for kids)
- Paint (the kind you find in tubes, very important)
- Newspaper

Place the newspaper over your working table, as it can get messy with the paint. Wouldn't want it to stain anything.

Step 1: Fold the A4 paper in two horizontally.

Step 2: Open the paper and use the paint tubes to place different blobs of different coloured paint right on the fold you just did.

Step 3: Fold it back to how it was in step 1 and use your thumb to press on the paper, spreading the paint everywhere. Spread it as far as you can in any direction until there's no more paint to spread.

Step 4: Open the paper again and surprise. You have an amazing butterfly painting.

You can do that as many times as you want with different sheets of paper, with different colours every time. The result will always be different. I love this one.

Potato Stamps
What you will need:
- 3 potatoes
- A knife
- Paint
- Plate
- A4 sheets of paper
- Newspaper

Use the newspaper to cover your working table. Cutting potatoes and using paint will get messy.

Step 1: Cut each potato in half.

Step 2: Use the knife to cut shapes out of the potato. Cut on the inside so you can use the round outside bit to hold onto the potato as a stamp.

Step 3: Prepare different colours of paint in your plate.

Step 4: Dip the potato shape in any colour and stamp it onto the paper.

Your child with have a blast with that. Different shapes, colours etc. He will be learning a lot, too.

Bird Feeder
What you will need:
- Bird seeds
- Peanut butter
- Toilet roll (without the toilet paper of course)
- 2 plates
- String
- Newspaper

Again, use the newspaper to cover your working table. Unfortunately this project does require you to go out and buy a couple of things. But once you've got everything you need it's a pretty easy, quick and messy project. Great for the kids who love animals and nature.

Step 1: Spread the peanut butter onto one plate and the bird seeds onto the other.

Step 2: Roll the toilet roll in the peanut butter, make sure there's a lot of peanut butter stuck to it.

Step 3: Now roll that onto the plate of seeds. The seeds should stick to the peanut butter. Make sure that the whole roll is covered.

Step 4: Cut a long piece of string and put it through the roll and finish by tying a knot with both ends.

You can make as many bird feeders as you want and put them all onto a long string. Hang it outside on a tree and wait for the birds to come feed themselves. It's amazing. They love the peanut butter and seed.

Hope these arts and crafts projects got you and especially your child occupied. There's so much to learn and it's fun at the same time.
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