Art projects are something that every parent will research at some point, if not multiple times. There are some truly amazing projects you can do online. Pinterest will give you project overload even. So instead of picking various projects that you can do, we decided to go once again for themes. These are areas that can be broken out into hundreds of different areas and will give you a lot to think about. Let’s be honest as well, sometimes we really want to make cute projects ourselves, and we use the kids for an excuse to make them. That way if it doesn’t come out great, it was just a child’s project. Sneaky aren’t we.
There are a gazillion paper projects out there, some as simple as putting glue and glitter on a card, all the way to Pepakura, where you can make the most amazing things. Start small, start keeping all the paper things that you might throw out, such as cardboard rolls from paper towels and throw away card stock. Make a box of “supplies” and then you are ready to make any project you see that you like. In fact, choosing a project with a child is half the fun. When you have mastered the small stuff, you can then move up to Pepakura. With Pepakura it’s like making old-time plastic models with pieces from a box, but it’s all made with paper patterns. Everything from paper animals, to full suits of cosplay armor.
Papier-mâché is like poor man’s clay. You can make it from almost any paper, or buy it in packets from the craft store in powered form (much easier). The advantages are that it is easy cleanup and the end product is very lightweight. You won’t be expecting something that you can put in an art show (unless you are amazingly talented) but it will be fun and easy. Our favorite things are to cover various shaped balloons and assembling the more unusual pieces into something bigger. Great fun
Another old-school favorite, though it can be a bit messy you so better do this outside and with supervision, is tie-dye. You can make simple things such as shirts that have that hokey 70’s look, or you can make some amazing pieces of wearable artwork, it’s all up to you. Once you show your child how to tie and paint, you will find they will be off and running with their own ideas. A suggestion we found that helps a lot is to buy a lot of cheap white cotton cloth from a fabric store. You can cut it up into large pieces and they can use that for experimentation, it works out much cheaper, and if something amazing comes from it, it can be an amazing wall hanging.
Puppets are another one that is a lot of entertainment. There are so many different ways you can make puppets. Half the fun is making the puppet, the other half is playing with them. You can make them from everything from pennies, feathers, and pipe cleaners, to wood and cloth. Again, search puppet designs and you will be overwhelmed. The nice part is once they make one puppet, they will make more.
Drawing is not quite as much immediate fun, but all children love to draw. Teach them a little on how to draw, and you will be amazed at how they suck it up. Even if you can’t draw a stick figure, you can buy simple starting drawing books, preferably cartoon level to start, and sit with them and draw. Give them some encouragement and this is a skill that will just get better in life as they keep at it.
Painting is a bit more fun. We aren’t talking painting some Bob Ross masterpiece, but just playing with colors. You can make bubble painting, hand paintings, stencils, sponges, and even use squirt guns. It’s just fun to experiment. This is another one that can get out of hand, so better done outside unless you don’t mind that psychedelic carpet.
There are so many fun things to do, that a trip to the crafts store can get you lost into fantasy land. If you take your kids you can spend hours there trying to decide on what projects to do. They are truly amazing places for the imagination. Our advice is to start simple with instant gratification, then move up to more difficult things. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, if you start with the 10,000 piece one you will never finish it and never care, but start with a 50 piece one and work your way up and you will learn to love them. It’s the same with crafts, start simple and work your way up. Happy crafting.