Crafts for Kids: 100 Awesome Art Projects

Kids can while away hours of a day with a set of watercolors and a stack of new paper for painting.
Kids can while away hours of a day with a set of watercolors and a stack of new paper for painting.
4/26/20 - By Ally Noel

Did you know plastic milk jugs make awesome fairy houses, or sugar cubes are a fun substitute for Lego bricks? Sometimes we all need a little inspiration to get our creative juices flowing. And we're here to help, with a mega list of 100 arts and crafts projects you can do with your kids in the comfort of your own home.

Our list of creative boredom busters, includes everything from paper crafts, like crafting a decorative paper mache bowl, to our best slime recipes, inventive STEM activities, and projects perfect for the artsy preschooler in your life.

So, embrace your inner maker, roll up your sleeves, and craft some memories and pretty cool finished projects in the process!


String paintings are an easy craft project that produces stunning, surprising artistic creations.

Yarn, String, Fabric, and Fiber Crafts

1. Surprise yourself with these one-of-a-kind paint creations made with string.

2. Tie-dye without the mess? Yes, it can be done! Learn how to create beautiful swirls with Sharpies.

3. Adorn T-shirts and tote bags (or anything else made of fabric) with this super simple no-wax batik method.

4. If the weather outside isn't cooperating, craft some paddles and enjoy a game of balloon tennis; it's the perfect way to get out some of that energy!

5. Create unique jewels to rival the queen's using nothing more than buttons and pipe cleaners.

6. Boring paintbrushes are so last year! Watch the colors spread across the paper when you paint with a straw.

7. Turn swirls and whirls of glue into mini masterpieces with an easy salt painting.

8. Arm knitting is the perfect way to introduce kids to the yarn craft. Learn how to make an awesome infinity scarf without a cumbersome time commitment.

9. Being on-trend has never been so easy: Make this adorable pompom necklace.

10. Simply wrap colorful yarn around a chenille stem to create these stunning yarn words and shapes.

11. Macrame is the art of knotting cord or yarn to create different patterns. Learn how to make a simple wall hanging here.

12. There is a lot of prep involved in making string art. But the quiet time spent winding embroidery floss around tiny nails may make it worth it.

13. Popsicle stick weaving is wonderfully colorful and brings up nostalgic camp memories.

14. Create hundreds of tiny bubbles in a single breath with this bubble snake gun.

15. Finger crocheting is the perfect travel craft—you need very few supplies (just yarn and your fingers), and the possibilities are endless.

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Your little one will look like a pretty princess with a beautiful, hand-crafted flower crown.

Arts and Crafts Inspired by Nature

16. These nature crowns are suitable for any royal occasion.

17. Keep the magic of summer alive by crafting a nature wand.

18. Create a beautiful bouquet of stamped roses using paint and a celery stalk.

19. Not only are bird feeders enjoyable to make, but they also provide hours of entertainment for the kids, plus nourishment for the neighborhood flock.

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Kids love collecting things, and making a frame is a great way to keep all their keepsakes together.

20. Use found objects to create a memory frame and preserve your family vacation.

21. Part art, part meditation, mandala art is a calming activity you can do almost anywhere.

22. Let your kids discover the textures of different seashells by painting them fantastic colors!

23. Create kindness and cultivate compassion—all by painting a rock!

24. Sundials have been around since ancient times. See if you can figure out what time it is by crafting one of your own.

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This beautiful nature weaving craft takes just a few items to make. Photo by DirtyKids HappyKids via Instagram

25. Grab some twine, sticks, and whatever you can find around the yard to make a stunning nature weaving.

26. Create glistening original artwork using frozen water and natural elements such as leaves, sticks, and flowers.

27. If nature provides the best inspiration, then nature paintbrushes are sure to take creativity to the next level.

28. After you've peeled your avocado, turn the skin into a boat!

29. Whimsical flower crowns are easier to make than you may think. Get all the details here.

30. Make sun print paper with construction paper, contact paper, and a little bit of patience. Learn how here.

31. Nature provides us with such a beautiful canvas. Examine the structure of a leaf or the texture of tree bark by making nature rubbings.

32. Take a hike and make an awesome nature bracelet.

RELATED: 6 Easy Indoor Fort Ideas to Make With Kids

Turn scraps of paper in a crafty paper mache bowl.

Paper Crafts

33. The more colors, the merrier! Turn leftover scraps of paper into a functional paper mache bowl.

34. Any greeting card can be transformed into a bookmark with some ribbon or string.

35. Make a cute, easy kite from a paper lunch bag.

36. Just about any leftover scraps of paper can be transformed into paper beads. A little attention to detail and a whole lot of Mod Podge results in these awesome designs.

37. Up-cycle those magazines into something useful. Make envelopes following these simple directions.

38. With enough practice, you can fold squares of origami paper into just about anything.

39. Originally from Panama, molas are colorful fabric panels. Learn how to make them out of paper here.

40. Pinwheels are one of those things that makes us all wish for "the good old days." Lucky for you and the kids, they are easy to craft!

41. Cool off while looking cool with these handmade paper fans.

42. Grab some tissue paper and create a beautiful bouquet. 

43. Paper airplanes are fun, but giant paper airplanes are even better.

RELATED: 13 Simple Crafts for Toddlers and Preschoolers To Do at Home

These whimsical flower paintings are an easy, fun, and relatively mess-free craft project.

Preschooler-Friendly Crafts

44. Transform pompoms and clothespins into paintbrushes to create these simple flowers.

45. A few twirls of a pipe cleaner around a finger opens up a whole world of imaginative play.

46. Nothing makes my kid smile more than bubbles—add paint to those bubbles and watch the fun begin.

47. Make a cute garden-themed busy box from felt scraps.

48. Ice paints are a perfect way to spend a warm afternoon with your favorite toddler.

49. Paper plate twisting is an action art activity perfect for a tactile learner.

50. Bathtubs are the ideal place for a little messy play! This bathtub finger paint does not disappoint.

51. Q-tip painting produces stunning works of pointillist-style art.

RELATED: 25 Stem Activities Easy Enough for Preschoolers

Watercolors on coffee filters make a magical masterpiece.

52. The swirls and whirls of watercolors on coffee filters are pure magic. Transform these creations into a coffee filter butterfly.

53. Salad spinner art is budget-friendly and easy to set up. Plus, the paint splatters are contained for easy cleanup!

54. You can never have enough bubbles! Tape together a handful of straws and become a human bubble machine.

55. There is nothing quite as thrilling to a toddler as watching marbles race through this homemade cardboard tube run.

56. When in doubt, make play dough.

57. Little ones will love digging into these sensory bins for exploratory play.

RELATED: 19 Science Fair Projects for Kids From K to Middle School

Have fun crafting a verdant little world in a Mason jar.

STEAM-Inspired Craft Projects

58. Introduce your kids to gardening with Mason jar terrariums.

59. The possibilities are endless when you mix glue and a few other materials to create the perfect slime.

60. Learn about the Japanese art of Gyotaku, or fish printing, to measure the daily catch.

61. Sugar cubes are suitable for way more than sweetening beverages! Engineer structures like houses or sugar cube igloos.

62. Send secret messages with crayons and watercolors. Find out how here.

63. Learn how to make a rainbow walk.

64. Edible science is always a win in my book. Homemade rock candy is a surefire hit!

65. Engage in a marshmallow toothpick building competition. She who builds the tallest tower gets to eat all the marshmallows!

66. We all know what happens when you mix oil and water. Add a little food coloring and salt to this scientific reaction and create a lava lamp.

67. Believe it or not, you don't need fancy equipment to make homemade ice cream: Try these step-by-step instructions for making ice cream in a bag.

68. Explore the intricate balance of nature in a Mason jar with a tabletop biosphere.

69. Here's a no-mess activity: Race your soap boats all while learning about friction.

RELATED: 63 Easy Science Experiments for Kids To Do at Home

Garbage never looked so cute as when crafted into these egg carton flowers.

Arts and Crafts Using Recycled Materials

70. Don't recycle that empty egg carton before pulling out the paints to make pretty egg carton flowers.

71. Shrinky Dinks were pretty much a staple of my childhood, but did you know you can make them from recycled plastic you probably have in your home? Learn how here.

72. Kids go through a lot of T-shirts. You can turn them into market totes with this simple, no-sew method. 

73. Say hello to summer breezes by making earth-friendly wind chimes.

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I-spy bottles are a great way to recycle materials and keep your kids entertained at almost no cost. 

74. Keep your road trip entertainment screen-free by making an I-spy bottle.

75. When you bend and cut cardboard tubes, you can create stamps that are perfect for chubby little hands.

76. Transform an old plastic milk jug into an awesome fairy house. Bonus: It's waterproof—so it can live outdoors in the yard.

Make boats with your old pool noodles. 

77. Repurpose those worn out pool noodles into a boat and keep the fun afloat!

78. You may have outgrown your favorite T-shirt, but that's no reason to toss it. Transform rags into riches with this easy T-Shirt Bracelet.

79. Pop! Pop! Pop! Who can resist bubble wrap? Mix in a little paint, and these crafts are pretty much irresistible.

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A simple collection of straws can be crafted into a nifty whistle.

Musical Crafts

80. Follow these three easy steps to make a straw whistle, and you will be humming a happy tune!

81. If you find the sound of rain pattering against the windows soothing, then this rain stick is the perfect project.

82. Get pitch perfect by creating a harmonica using craft sticks and elastic bands.

83. Grab some beans, old coffee cans, elastic bands, cardboard boxes, and whatever else moves you to make a recycled musical instrument.

RELATED: 65 Essential Life Skills to Teach Kids at Every Age

Kids love squirt guns, and when you fill them with paint, it takes art-making to a whole new level. 

More Creative Arts and Crafts Projects We Love

84. Fill water guns with paint and watch the colors swirl, drip, and splatter with squirt-gun painting.

85. We all know thumbprints are unique. So, it makes sense to turn them into original pieces of art.

86. Munch your way through a rainbow with this food art project!

87. Simply freeze a shallow pan of water to create this mini Winter Olympics venue.

88. Create a winter wonderland inside a Mason jar with water, glitter, and some corn syrup.

89. Make a healthy popsicle with fruit, yogurt, and a touch of honey.

90. Simply mix vanilla pudding with food coloring and presto: You have pudding paint.

91. Even the youngest artist gets incredible results from tape resist name art. Bonus idea: Use the same technique to craft a DIY Mother's Day Card.

92. Make dream catchers out of paper plates to capture all those whimsical childhood ideas.

93. Sponge balls are just as fun as water balloons—and reusable! Learn how to make them here.

94. Puppet play is excellent for social-emotional growth and early literacy skills. These super-simple popsicle stick puppets bring imagination to life.

95. Popsicle stick puzzles don't have lots of little pieces that can get lost, which makes them even more fun.

96. Turn all those souvenir theme park and amusement park maps into magnets and let the family fun memories "stick" with you.

97. Wiggly worm puppets take about 10 minutes to make—and leave zero mess behind. Plus, they inspire hours of imaginative play.

98. Watching tiny spheres of color explode onto a canvas is mesmerizing when you create water balloon art.

99. Your kids will never have as much fun getting clean as they will with these DIY bath bombs.

100. Turn cookies, candies, and cereals into beads with this deliciously creative candy necklace.

Unless noted, photos by the author