Few activities can inspire your child’s imagination and encourage the development of his creative process like a family craft project – but if you think that has to mean complicated sewing lessons, a room full of pricey papers and stickers, or an innate artistic ability on your part, you’re overthinking it. These three projects are fun for kids of all ages (and their parents); quick to set up using supplies you have around the house (buttons, vegetables, paint) plus a few basic extras; and offer the whole family a chance to bond while getting the creative juices flowing.
Fruit and Vegetable Prints
Need a quick and easy last-minute craft to fill the time on a rainy day or during an unexpected visit from your grandchildren? Try these kid-friendly fruit and vegetable art prints we found on First Palette: Cut up a few different kinds of produce from your refrigerator so that the texture is exposed – think the seeds of an apple, the segments of an orange, or the fluffy top of broccoli -- and let the little ones use them instead of paintbrushes to create a variety of graphic stamped shapes.
Celebrate your next special occasion – Grandpa’s retirement, Aunt Jessica’s birthday, an all-A+ report card – with a set of custom dishes designed by your family. Start with blank china (look for plates, cups, and saucers at your local thrift stores, or get an inexpensive plain white set for a matched look) and let everyone in your family decorate their own dinnerware. Porcelain paint pens that are dishwasher safe will let you add one-of-a-kind designs to the ceramics – and you can mix the intricate patterns created by your art-student nephew with the stick-figure portraits done by your granddaughter for a set that will always remind you of your loved ones.
If you have a sewing hobby or a stack of winter sweaters then you probably have a pretty decent button collection – and while they may seem like a random group to you, they’re an endless supply of craft inspiration to your kids. Have young kids work on their colors by drawing a simple shape on cardstock – a heart, a tree, a flower – and then using monochromatic buttons to “color” it in; have older kids stack the buttons to create holiday ornaments or keychains; and give your pre-teens free reign to string the buttons into bracelets and necklaces or glue them onto barrettes. It’s the perfect opportunity to clean out your stash while creating a sweet little memento of your afternoon spent crafting together.
- Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button…Crafts!
- Make Your Own Ball Toss-and-Catchers
- Make Your Own Fingerpaints for Your Kids
- “How to Decorate Your Own Tea Set.” Apartment Therapy. (December 21, 2012) http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-decorate-your-own-tea-s-76271
- “Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button…Crafts!” How Stuff Works. (December 21, 2012) https://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/button-button-whos-got-the-buttoncrafts.htm
- “Fruit and Vegetable Prints.” First Palette. (December 17, 2012) http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/Food/Fruit_and_Vegetable_Prints/Fruit_and_Vegetable_Prints.html