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These easy DIY craft projects will keep the minds of primary school kids stimulated and entertained for hours. Win, win (and win!)
Stuck at home for the foreseeable future? Don’t succumb to family-wide cabin fever – embrace the challenge by planning a pile of pastimes for little ones that require minimal setup and deliver maximum return. Here are 28 easy yet exciting activities to entertain the kids when everyone is staying in.
A real workout for hand-eye coordination, this craft project for primary school kids flexes not only that skill, but their dexterity, concentration and more. Kids will love not just the weaving of thread or elastic but the hole punching, painting, cutting, decorating of the plate, plus the finishing touch – adding feathers!
The humble cardboard roll or kitchen towel roll can be transformed into so many things. Here’s a great way to reuse them: simply give kids some paint, paper and a roll to see which creature they come up with. This jellyfish craft activity for kids is so easy – they can just cut up pink paper for tentacles and add the always popular googly eyes.
Tracing is a fun task for primary school kids and little do they know they’re learning spatial awareness and working on fine motor skills – bonus! Have them follow the line of their hand in pencil and then cut out the shape. By adding some feathers, a beak and eyes, they’ll have a cute little chick that doubles as a sweet Easter card.
This fun craft project can be as simple or spectacular as childrens’ skills allow. For beginners, show them how to fold their paper to cut out shapes from the inside. Older kids will be able to gently pop holes with the tips of scissors to cut out more complex and detailed shapes. Then they can glue their window onto cellophane and start colouring in the panes.
Permanent markers may dry instantly but might be a worry for clothing and hands. If their regular set stays wet on the shiny surface, just add another layer of cellophane and trim. Stick it to a real window and as the sun shines through they’ll appreciate their easy DIY masterpiece in all its glory.
One of the easiest arts and crafts projects for kids to do at home is to transform a mini peg into this snappy little creature. Little fingers are the perfect size for a fiddly creation like this, which will hone fine motor and problem solving skills. Once kids figure out how to create their piranha and cut it in half, the challenge will be to attach it to the peg! Clue: sticky tape works a treat.
Doing tie-dye is a rite of passage for kids, so get their smocks on (then you can relax and enjoy their messy good fun). They'll learn the art of organisation as they prepare and set up the dye kit, which also includes sourcing their own material or piece of clothing to transform. Primary school kids will also have to practise patience as the dyed item has to sit for six to eight hours before washing machine time. But rest assured, they’ll be proud as punch with their finished craft project.
As kids get bigger their creativity gets more and more exciting. By giving them a simple task, like transforming paper towel rolls or cardboard rolls into a fairy village or a castle, you also give them free rein to ignite that imagination. Don’t be surprised if primary school kids add pets in kennels, fences and pathways and even shops and a pond to their village.
A classic paper craft project for kids big or small. For younger children, coloured paper and some sticky gems are all that’s needed to whip up and decorate their lanterns. Older primary school kids might like to start with white or black construction paper so they can create their own patterns and designs before they start cutting, adding another layer of complexity (and time!) to the activity.
One of the easiest craft ideas for kids to make at home, using pre-prepared origami paper or simple construction paper, primary school kids will be able to dive right into creating animals using simple folds. Fold the paper diagonally, corner-to-corner to make a triangle, then fold down the two outer points inwards – this creates a face with two puppy ears.
Another fold under the ‘chin’ point, and drawn-on eyes, nose and tongue, and they have their dog face. Encourage children to design more complicated faces and even finger puppets as they progress. The concentration, precision and fine motor skills involved in origami make it a perfect school holiday craft exercise.
There are loads of cool bookmark-craft projects primary school kids can make from cardboard or even construction paper. Add googly eyes, scissors and a glue stick and off they go. See if they can find a part of the bookmark that sticks out and slips between pages. This monster has ‘teeth’ that mark the page but a large ‘nose’, ‘bow tie’, or even a ‘fringe’ would all work, too.
Air-drying clay is incredible for children’s hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. Start with a big chunk of clay and have them roll it into a ball. Then press onto a flat surface. When they flip it over, they’ll have a nice smooth side ready to work on. Then they can press a leaf onto the clay to make an imprint; the under-side of a leaf is often more textured and will leave deeper grooves.
After they have left it to completely dry outside, have them trace the veins of the leaves with pencils, pens and markers. Shading the whole clay leaf in pencil will highlight all the tiny intricate marks that they wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. This craft project for primary school kids is a clever way for them to learn about botany – without even knowing it.
Easy DIY kits are an awesome option if the kids are sick of the usual craft options. This craft project for kids comes with everything they need. Let them try dot painting, giving them brushes and sticks to create different sized spots. It takes a bit of patience and practice but you’ll notice how quiet your primary schooler is as they complete their neon stones.
It may look simple but this paper-plate rainbow is a foray into visual classification for little ones, not to mention brilliant for scissor skills, sorting and dexterity. Older primary school kids will love the cutting up of the plate and paper as well as the sorting and gluing. To make the craft project more complicated, they could add suspended raindrops and clouds on string.
Like a traditional paper snowflake, only cooler... While the winter version looks pretty when you cut random shapes, this easy paper craft idea works best when the cuts are neat and exact. It’s a brilliant exercise for tweens and especially fun around Halloween time. It will take a bit of practice and, if they’re old enough, let your primary schooler use fine-tipped scissors to really get those snips precise.
Making, gifting and swapping these braided bracelets is an iconic crafting project for kids of all ages. This clever activity kit comes with everything they’ll need, from oodles of thread options to beads and stickers to customise them, as well as a loom for more complicated weaving. Have primary school kids start with a simple three-strand plait and work their way up to the harder styles. A tactile and complicated exercise, it's a winner for tuning those fine motor skills.
There’s something so soothing about the methodical looping of paper to make a big long chain. And you’ll find most kids, regardless of age, love making them. For young children, start with a basic caterpillar in bright colours for visual stimulation. They’ll love adding the googly eyes and chenille stem antennae.
While they may just want to sticky tape the pipe cleaners on, you can show them the trick of popping small holes with scissors and feeding it through the gaps so they stick up straight. Older kids may want to attempt theirs out of black paper and customise with Posca pens, or create cool cut-outs in the paper to transform their chain into a snake or lizard.
Prepare to blow their minds: yes, they actually can make their own bouncy balls… and it only takes minutes! This fuss- and mess-free kit comes with moulds and crystals they can pour in, layering to create fun patterns. Then all they have to do is sit the mould in a cup of water for a few minutes and carefully pop them out. This easy DIY project for kids is seriously cool stuff.