How to Turn Your Afternoon into a Crafter-noon!

No matter what age, your kiddo loves to use their hands and create something crafty! If you aren’t a DIYer or crafter, this likely stresses you out! I get it, but even though I am one of those moms, I don’t spend a lot of time trolling the internet for craft ideas or projects, Pinterest makes me feel like an underachiever. To be honest, after years of experience with crafts they rarely turn out like the pictures online anyway. I also feel it stifles the creative mind of kids, so I put together a “busy bucket” of my own with some key essentials! This has allowed us to craft and create all types of projects plus cheap fun for our summer days when it is even too hot to go out in the pool!

Let me help you get started and take the stress out of it for you!

  1. First, find a great place in your home for storing a bin. Measure it and find the perfect CLEAR bin – I personally think out of sight, out of mind unfortunately. As such, we have ours in the linen closet at eye level so that we don’t forget about the fun! Keeping the bin clear lets the bright items pop right out at us reminding to color our own world!

  2. Next, grab some essentials and keep them on hand. You don’t have to do this all at once, make the bin full of items that you add to as needed. Hint: the craft items you need make great stocking stuffers as well as hidden gems in egg hunts! For the little ones, craft items are also great rewards for a job well done.

  3. Also, coupons! Download the apps for Hobby Lobby and Michaels – save 40%. The dollar sections and stores have awesome craft supplies too! You don’t need to spend a fortune on items; they aren’t going to be professionals! They just need bright colors and great textures!

Here’s a few suggestions to keep on hand by age, obviously make sure they aren’t too small for choking hazards and age appropriate for safety’s sake!

Ages 2-6 – think development of fine motor skills when selecting items:

  • Finger paints

  • Crayons

  • Construction paper

  • Pom poms

  • Glue sticks

  • Pipe cleaners

  • Buttons

  • Play doh

  • Cookie cutters

  • Big Tweezers

  • Pasta

  • Yarn

  • * Sensory items are fun like shaving cream with a dab of color on a cookie sheet make some of the most interesting crafts!

Ages 6-10 – think short attention span, but loves color and creativity

  • Gel Pens

  • Markers

  • Popsicle Sticks

  • Glue

  • Glitter

  • Jewels and beads

  • Wooden spoons

  • Felt

  • Feathers

  • Ribbon

  • Acrylic Paints

  • Foam Brushes

  • * Old magazines and gift wrap and gift bags make great add ins!

Ages 10+ -- think ability to focus as well as this age loves to create actual gifts

  • Slime ingredients (I’m sorry!)

  • Embroidery Floss

  • Higher Quality Paper

  • Washi Tape

  • Duct Tape

  • Mod Podge

  • Tissue Paper

  • Fabric

  • Needle and Thread

  • * Old Tshirts, cardboard boxes and other recycled items are great for this group too!

Your kids’ imaginations will soar. They can create everything from painted rocks to high quality gifts by adding to your bin each time you find something amazing! Don’t throw out your toilet paper rolls, those can make great puppets. Old clean cans make great pencil holders combined with washi tape. Friendship bracelets are just a thread away! Even broken jewelry can become a useful craft when seen through the eyes of a DIYer! Raid dad’s toolbox for nails and make string art! There are so many household items combined with a few craft tools that can make magic!

In a generation where screen time doesn’t leave as much for the hands on activities, we even try to spend an hour a day doing crafty things around the house. My daughter’s room is adorned with items she makes and she gets so much pride in creating that it helps keep her mind busy during the summer and during the school year it gives her a creative outlet outside of her studies to release stress! Good luck and happy crafting!

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