This Week We Made: Families Try Fun Craft Ideas for Kids
Learn| February 15, 2021
We asked three influencers who focus on play-based learning to road test one of the fun craft ideas for kids from Noteworthy, and the results are inspiring.
Who doesn’t love a crafternoon? Whether it’s a weekend or a midweek activity, a cool crafting session can be thrilling and challenging: you’ll end up with something made by hand and there are learning benefits. As these three influencers show, there are plenty of fun craft ideas for kids from Noteworthy. Their results will inspire you to give them a go!
Two Minute Tie Dye with @where_learning_meets_play
Meet Jen, a teacher and mum of six, whose main goal is to help kids develop a love of learning. “It underpins everything children do at school,” she says on her blog. “If a child loves learning and is excited about it, they will learn much more.” For their crafternoon, Jen and five of her kids decided to try tie-dye T-shirts, inspired by one of the fun craft ideas for kids in 17 Craft Projects Perfect for Primary School Kids.
“It’s definitely the MOST fun my children have had all holidays! … I don’t say this often, but I would absolutely recommend this to almost anyone,” wrote Jen in her post on @where_learning_meets_play. “Many activities are more suitable for certain ages/interests/temperaments etc, but I found this such a great equaliser for my children. Note: my eldest and his girlfriend were out, but they would have given it a go. I will definitely be tie-dyeing more!”
Hot Tip: Tie dye can be messy fun, which is part of the appeal, but it is recommended to set up with a plastic tablecloth and use the gloves provide
How To Do It
Step 1 You’ll need a two-minute tie dye set and a 100% cotton white T-shirt. The [tie-dye] set has containers that make it easy, and you can reuse containers with any of the regular tie-dye sets. Note: no zippers in microwaves so shorts must be wrapped in plastic and left for eight hours, like regular tie dye.
Step 2 [Source your own] large bowl with a cooling tray on top. Open boxes.
Step 3 Lay out the T-shirt and stand a fork in the middle. Curl the shirt around the fork, or fold in one of the ways that is shown in the instructions (there are plenty of ideas given). Note: the fork helps you twist the t-shirt into a roll, but needs to be removed before you microwave.
Step 4 Place elastic bands over the shirt bundle.
Step 5 Fill bottles to the line with water and shake.
Step 6 Place the T-shirt over a bowl and squirt dye on in any way you like! We did it in pizza fashion. It was so good for Libby, 4, who is working on patterning! It was also fantastic for the other children, working on patience and focus.
Step 7 Place in the container and microwave for 2 mins.
Step 8 Cool in the container for 15 mins, then 2 minutes on a plate.
Step 9 Take elastics off and rinse with cold water.
Step 10 Wash with detergent and dry as usual.
What You'll Need
Choose from any of the tie-dye kits below. The two-minute kit will be speediest, but there’s also plenty of kits to try that don’t require a microwave.
- Tulip Two-Minute Tie Dye Kit Berry Blast
- Tulip One Step 3 Colour Classic Tie Dye Kit
- Tulip One Step 3 Colour Tie Dye Kit Moody Blues
- Tulip One Step 3 Colour Tie Dye Kit
- A plain 100% cotton T-shirt
A Rainbow Cardboard Roll City by @our.tiny.moments
Kara is an Aussie science teacher raising two boys, Arlo, 3, and Finn, 8 months. As she says in her Instagram bio, she’s “passionate about learning through play.” Kara and Arlo took their inspiration from a monochromatic cardboard roll city skyline craft project in 13 Clever Craft Projects for Kids to Make at Home but decided to make theirs an explosion of bright vibrant colour, amping up the effect with loads of buildings, each with a myriad of tiny windows.
As Kara said in her post on @our.tiny.moments “Some of our most played-with creations are from cardboard. There is nothing better than upcycling some cardboard rolls into a small world city scape.”
How To Do It
Here are Kara’s easy-to-follow steps:
Step 1 Cover the cardboard roll in paper ensuring you tuck down the ends into the hollow of the rolls.
Step 2 Get creative with your city designs using your paint markers.
Step 3 Using a circle of paper, make a cone for the roof.
Step 4 Let your toddler’s imagination run wild as they explore the city!
What You'll Need
To recreate the Rainbow Cardboard Roll City or the Monochromatic version, try the following:
- Colorific Cardboard Rolls 36 Pack
- Quill A4 80gsm Paper Brights Assorted 25 Pack
- Quill A4 80gsm Paper Fluoro Assorted 25 Pack
- Quill A4 80gsm Paper Cold Assorted 25 Pack
- Kadink Construction Paper A4 Assorted 500 Pack
- Uni POSCA PC 5M Paint Marker Assorted 8 Pack
- Otto Washi Tape Black and White 8 Pack
- Otto Washi Tape Pink 8 Pack
- Otto Washi Tape Blue 8 Pack
A Fun Air-Dry Clay Necklace by @playtime.messy.madness
Jacinta is a teacher, now “enjoying play-at-home mum life” with her two kids. Looking for afternoon activities for her eldest that provided one-on-one time, she took inspiration from an air-dry clay project in the 13 Clever Craft Projects for Kids to Make at Home round-up of fun craft ideas for kids. The project kept them busy and engaged for more than one afternoon; the pair stretched the project over three whole days.
Her son “absolutely soaked up every minute of that 1:1 time,” Jacinta said in her post. “While wearing my teacher hat, this activity ticks so many boxes. The best part is that your child can be as little or as actively involved in whatever way works for you (eg: you could make all the beads yourself and just get your child involved for the threading part)... If you wanted to take this activity one step further and add a Maths component, try counting the beads as they are threaded, name the colours as they are picked up, or make a patterned sequence. You really are only limited by your creativity with what you could make.”
The bonus? There are excellent learning benefits, said Jacinta. “Clay is harder to manipulate than soft playdough, [so] a greater fine motor skills workout is given to those little hand muscles. This is helpful to build up the strength for writing activities as children get older.” The threading is “another great fine motor task.”
How To Do It
This is how Jacinta and her son approached the project:
Step 1 Mould the air-dry clay into different “beads”, using both hands and different cutters.
Step 2 Use a straw to poke holes through the beads.
Step 3 Wait overnight for the clay pieces to dry.
Step 4 Paint the pieces! Jacinta’s hot tip? “I always use washable paints when doing painting activities with the kids and have some wipes on standby for easy clean up.”
Step 5 Wait overnight for the paint to dry.
Step 6 Use threading laces to make some beautiful necklaces.
What You'll Need
- Kadink Air Dry Clay 500g White
- Kadink Washable Bright Poster Paint 125mL x 4 Pack
- Kadink Washable Pearl Poster Paint 125mL x 4 Pack
- Kadink Washable Fluoro Poster Paint 125mL x 4 Pack
- Learning Can Be Fun Threading Laces 12 Pack OR DIYi Jute Twine 15m