Looking for some low-mess and simple creative projects for kids to set up at home?
I got you!
I’ve been hanging out in Casey’s Little Play Club, chatting all things creativity and kids.
I’ve gathered together some easy ideas that are quick and simple to set up.
Cardboard is the Hero of the Crafty World. If you stockpile cardboard boxes like me (Thanks online shopping!) this is a perfect way to reuse them.
Pull the box apart and draw different-sized frames across the cardboard. Offer different markers and invite your mini-maker to create masterpieces inside the frames.
Draw an outline of your child’s current obsession (animals? dinosaurs? unicorns?)
Or maybe a symbol of a celebration that you are about to enjoy? (This ghost was from Halloween.)
Bring out the washi tape and model how to use your thumb and pointer to tear the tape.
Invite your mini-maker to press the tape down inside the shape.
Again with the cardboard! Cut out a shape and use a hole punch to create holes around the edges.
Thread some twine or ribbon downwards, like the black twine in the picture, to create a weaving frame.
Provide your little artist with some ribbon and show them how you can thread the ribbon over and under, over and under.
Mixed Media Masterpieces
Dinos are so hot right now at my place. I provided my kids with crayons, paint sticks, markers, a glue stick and paper scraps to decorate the dino. Instant collage masterpiece!
Collage is one of my favourite art processes for kids.
Here are some different paper techniques. And just look at all that vocab!!
It has been a hot minute since I last blogged, because LIFE, but I had to share these collages inspired by the CBCA Book Week 2020 theme of “Curious Creatures, Wild Minds.”
This year, I am lucky enough to be teaching in the school library. On Fridays, I teach 7 Kindergarten classes.
We had explored the collage technique of Jeannie Baker. As we read shortlisted Book Week books each week, I would model a process that would add to the collage. I’d arm the classroom teacher with materials, and then students would work on their collages in class during Learning Centres. The whole process covered 3 lessons/ 3 weeks.
We now have 140 Curious Creatures from the Wild Minds of Kindy on display in the school library and I am. in. love. with. them. all.
I think this would also be a very rad process art project for Halloween.
How to create your own Curious Creature collage
You will need: A baseboard cut from a cardboard box Paper scraps PVA glue white paper black marker Yarn, paper straws, matchsticks and other bits and bobs
We created our collages on a square piece cut from a cardboard box.
The first step was to cover the baseboard in colourful scraps of paper.
We discussed how you could have overlapping pieces of paper.
We explored some vocabulary around the textures of the paper.
Secondly, we discussed the meaning of the word ‘creature.’
I displayed literary examples of creatures from picture books.
We examined Gwyn Perkins’ tutorial on how to draw your own curious creature.
Students then drew their own curious creatures. I encouraged them to draw a black line drawing on white paper. Some students chose to colour in their curious creatures and I am here for it.
At the outset, we discussed how there is no right way or wrong way to create. We also talked about how I expected all of the creatures to be different.
In the third week, we discussed borders. I presented each class with a bag filled with crafty bits and bobs. Cut up paper straws, matchsticks, yarn- all kinds of fun materials to explore! I modeled how to create a border on the edge of the baseboard.
Once the glue had finally dried, teachers brought their collages into the library and several students discussed their collages and what they enjoyed most about the process.
One of my favourite responses was from a little boy who declared that the collage process made him feel “craftable and older.”
If you make collages inspired by this post, I’d love to see them! Tag @ohcreativeday on social media.
The National Simultaneous Storytime celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a rollicking read featuring some jazz-loving, ostentatious chickens.
To celebrate, we created this cardboard chicken diva craft. It was also a fun and simple colour exploration.
What you will need for this Chicken Diva craft:
Embellishments like sequins, tissue paper or beads
We traced the templates onto an IKEA box to create our chicken parts.
You could simply print the template onto thin card. Or a paper version would work too.
I provided a variety of colouring materials- chalk pastels, paint pens, oil pastels and watercolours. We discussed the colours of the chicken characters. As we created we discussed the tints and shades of pink and blue. We added details in Sharpie.
We fixed all the pieces together with push pins to create moveable chooks. If you don’t have push pins, never fear. Just glue it all together.
When I posted this simple drawing game for kids on Instagram, the crowd went wild!
So I thought I better dedicate a blog post to its awesome self.This is a collaborative, drawing game that I’ve dubbed “Pass the Portrait.”
Hand-drawn portraits by kids are one of my very favourite things in life.
It involves all family members and simple materials.
Here’s how to play this simple drawing game for kids of all ages. You need some good-quality paper and a Sharpie for each family member.
Everybody starts with an oval on their page. The page is labelled with the name of a family member. That oval is that person’s head.
We started with the feature of eyes. So you had to draw in the eyes of the family member named on your paper.
Then you PASS THE PORTRAIT to the person next to you. Next we opted to draw the nose.
PASS THE PORTRAIT. Add the family member’s mouth.
Keep passing the portrait until all features are filled in and then colour in the portraits. Each family member will end up with a portrait that bears maybe 6% resemblance to their actual visage, but collaborative art activities is where it’s at, my friends!
Yes yes, there are actually 5 members of my family. But the 5th member went off-script and chose to do a self-portrait.
If somebody doesn’t want to stick to the script, my advice is ROLL WITH IT. I would kill for eyelashes like that. This kid is my often-reluctant creator, so it’s important for him to express himself as he pleases.
We then unleashed the watercolour palette and paint sticks. Some family members coloured their own portrait. Others coloured the portrait of another family member.
These simple cardboard masks for kids are an amazing project. We originally made them as prototypes for a READ + CREATE class I had scheduled for the holidays. We all know how that story ends #coronavirus Seeing as the class was cancelled, I’m giving the idea to you.
To run this as a READ + CREATE activity in your home, simply read a book about monsters or wild characters.
We were going to read ‘Wild’ by Emily Hughes. ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ would work beautifully too.
Then invite your child to create their own wild creature.
Create your own simple cardboard mask for kids
Seeing as we are all indoors for the moment, we have had a huge influx in online shopping delivered to our door.
Use the boxes to create these cardboard mask.
I cut out several oval-shaped bases for the faces and pre-painted these.
I then cut out various shapes to resemble facial features. Lots of circle, semi-circles and rectangles.
I presented these shapes to my kids with paint sticks and paint pens.
We discussed the different shapes that we could use to represent different facial features.
They coloured their cardboard facial features.
My main tip would be to encourage your children to experiment with the placement of cardboard facial features on their base board.
Once they are happy with how it looks, glue all the features in place with craft glue.
I then presented some tulle and ribbons so that my kids could further embellish, but they weren’t too hot on that step.
Tape a dowel rod to the back of the cardboard mask and let your inner-Wild Thing ROAR!
This tea party craft for kids is such a fun, hands-on project for parties or bigger groups.
It is open-ended and involves using lots of different materials. Total winner for all ages!
In 2019, I ran the Kid’s Crafty Corner at the Sydney Tea Festival.
These tea party small worlds kept the crowds of creative kids engaged and entertained.
This crowd-pleaser was originally inspired by these Under the Sea sculptures by my friend, Arielle at Art Camp LA.
Here is what you’ll need for this tea party craft for kids….
I set up a smorgasboard of craft materials featuring:
Paper straws and toothpicks
Sprigs of rosemary
Flowers and gumnuts
I greeted all mini-makers with the prompt of “What materials can you use to create a mini tea party?”
* To colour pasta, place dry pasta in a ziplock bag. Add a few drops of food colouring into the bag. Squeeze in a few drops of hand sanitiser. (You don’t want to soak the pasta.) Zip the bag up and massage the liquid through the bag. Once it is evenly dispersed, pour the pasta out onto basking paper and allow to dry.
Each mini-maker was given a paper plate and a ball of play dough to start.
(You can find my fave play dough recipe here. I substituted the vegetable oil with coconut oil.)
Then the little creatives were let loose on the smorgasboard and they collected their materials. I adore how every tea party is so unique. When they presented their tea parties to me, I asked them something along the lines of “Tell me- what is happening at your tea party?”
I love how each tea party feels a bit like a Dr Seuss world.