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Looking for DIY projects that won’t equate to a three-hour cleaning detail? These easy and tidy crafts will keep the kids entertained and your sanity intact.
Countering “I’m bored” syndrome with kids has always been a bit tricky. However with the rapidly changing COVID-19 (coronavirus) health environment, there’s even more pressure on parents to keep a packed schedule of fun activities while we stay at home.
If you’re looking for easy and tidy crafts that don’t involve litres of glue or floor-staining paint, try these five super easy chaos-free DIY projects with minimal cleaning required.
One of the simplest (and tidiest!) arts and crafts activities. To start, get a blank piece of paper and get your kids to first draw a pattern on both sides: dots, lines, flowers, rainbows – anything that they enjoy or that inspires them! Then start your folding adventures with a basic paper airplane:
Use all those finished toilet paper and paper towel rolls to craft a fun and super easy marble run. Once again, have the kids start off by colouring all the rolls.
For this paper craft DIY project, you need a large piece of sturdy cardboard (no specific size required, but something large enough to be the canvas for their marble run course and strong enough to stand up) and have them draw on this, too.
Put 4-5 very generous dots of Blu-Tack on one side of each roll.
Stand the cardboard up against a wall and encourage your kids to stick the rolls firmly against the cardboard with a generous amount of Blu-Tack. Make sure they angle the tubes slanting down, but still touching enough that the marble will stay inside. This will create an “obstacle course” for the marbles to run down.
Using Blu-Tack will mean the rolls are easy to move around and create new obstacles. If you don’t have enough or you aren’t having luck getting them to stay on the cardboard, then opt for masking tape.
You can do this DIY project for kids with paper plates or basic cardboard. Place the plate on top of your child’s face and with a pen or pencil very gently mark where their eyes, nose and mouth are. If you are using cardboard, you’ll need to draw the outline of their face or the shape of the mask, as well. Help them cut the shapes and the holes in the right spots.
Then let the kids take over: encourage children to draw faces of their favourite animals or movie characters or create their own new creatures. They can get more creative with feathers, beads, ribbons and pom poms (though this will mean a little bit more mess!) To secure the masks to their faces, attach a bit of string or elastic to each side of the mask with tape, and tie at the back of the head.
One of our top easy and tidy crafts, this will keep kids busy for hours – again and again. Take a large heavy duty cardboard box (such as for a stove or fridge) and use a box cutter or scissors to remove all but three connected sides from the main section of the box: the centre panel will be the front of your “stage” and the two side panels will be the support to hold it up (and hide the backstage antics!).
Use a ruler and box cutter or scissors to cut a large rectangle in the top half of the centre panel, leaving space for whoever is performing to kneel or hide at the bottom and show their face or puppets at the top.
Once you have created the base, let the kids go wild colouring all over the stage front and side panels to decorate it. They can use this stage for anything: to act out movies or shows, play charades, do puppet shows or even for other games like playing shops.
“Tidy” is not a common word in the world of caring for babies or toddlers. However, there’s “mess” and there’s “mess”. Using simple sensory tubs is a craft activity that’s less messy than ones that use staining ingredients like paints, textas or food dye. Just ordinary water and dry pasta are great for craft ideas that stimulate little ones without committing yourself to hours of cleaning afterwards!
Lay out a large towel and add a few centimetres of water to the bottom of a container that is big enough for fun but not too deep that your child can’t reach in. Get safe kitchen utensils (like a wooden spoon or soup ladle, plastic cups and bowls) and supervise them as they splash and play. Encourage children to use the cups and spoons to fill different bowls with water.
For kids who won’t try to eat their toys, dry pasta is also a great sensory play item that can be used in a similar way to water. Kids can spend ages scooping and filling different things with the pasta in the tub – just like a mini sandbox, sans the tiny grains that will cover your house for months.
Cleaning up the water with the towel, or the pasta with a dustpan and broom, is the work of just minutes.