25 Classic Crafts For Kids

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25 basic crafts for kids

I am always amazed by the traffic some of my classic ( in my mind not exciting) crafts get. They are the ones that I thought we all did in preschool ourselves or at summer camp but after my kids and I spent a sunny afternoon painting rocks ( a classic !) I decided to make a  list of my favorite classic crafts to share.

Painting Rocks – grab some watercolors, water, and brushes. We have a gravel driveway so we sit right down and paint around us. The rain  ( or a hose) will wash away the paint but for a few days if your lucky or a few hours if you are us you will have a little patch of rainbow in a sea of grey.  This was a fantastic activity for kids of different ages. My 5-year-old and almost 2-year-old both had a blast.

Milk Carton Bird Feeder –  A great way to recycle and teach about birds at the same time.  My kids love watching birds from the breakfast table and I love how quiet they are when they do. We will be making a few more of these soon.

Color Mixing – Simple as pie and such a fun activity for kids from toddlers to tweens. It’s amazing how such simple materials can turn your kids into color scientists trying to make just the right mix.

Newspaper Pirate Hat  – I think I made 500 of these when I was a summer camp leader. They are simple, fun and frugal. A win in every way.

Pasta Necklaces –  How many have you made? If you say none you have to dye some pasta and make one.  Excuse the very old post that needs major editing now that people actually read my blog.

Paper Plate Tambourine –  What’s not to love about a craft that uses up extra paper plates and a few pieces of pasta? Great for toddlers and older kids love them too.

Hand Print Butterflies – I love any craft that includes my children’s tiny ( and not so tiny anymore) hand prints. This butterfly is classic.

Empty Container Drum – add a few pieces of tissue paper, some glue and something to hit it with and voila a drum!

Paper Plate Sun – We all need more sunshine in our lives and this one doesn’t give you cancer. It might not be a classic to all parents, but I am not sure there are too many preschool teachers who haven’t seen this one.

Classic Egg Carton Caterpillar – For me this is the ultimate classic craft and I was floored but thrilled when so many people pinned it. It’s a classic for a reason.

Painting With Water – Yes it’s that simple. Great on concrete but works on any surface you don’t mind getting wet. Kids love it.

Leaf Rubbings –  Run outside and grab a few leaves, paper ( even scrap) and a crayon or two and you have a fun and educational craft!

Cotton Ball Clouds – Great for teaching about the weather or just fun to explore textures this classic is easy to make on a rainy and cloudy day.

Egg Toss – More of an activity than a craft this is exactly what it sounds like. You toss an egg off the deck and hope it survives in the case you crafted.

Apple Prints – Although we made ours into a valentine using apples to print or paint is almost as old as using potatoes. Which we have done too. No need to use them for anything fancy just grab paint, slice the apple or potato and have fun.

Paper Plate Turtle – Any craft made with a paper plate gets my vote for a classic, but this is probably the one I have used the most over the years. I have more paper plate animal crafts here.

Sponge Painting – Another classic this is a great one for family toddler’s hands. Older kids can cut the kitchen sponges into fun shapes themselves to take it to the next level.

Playdough –  I loved helping to make playdough in preschool ( when I was a child) and thanks to these great playdough recipes I love it as a mom too. Anything that takes me back to 1980 deserves a place on this list!

Paper Lanterns – We make these for Chinese New Year, but they can be made with different paper colors for almost any occasion.

Paper Bag Puppets – If you have never made one of these I question your childhood activities. Th epitome of a classic kids craft the paper bag puppet uses a household item ( well everyone had paper bags in the 80s it seemed) and creativity to make something to play with.

Paper Crowns – usually made for birthdays in my classrooms these paper crowns can be made in a matter of minutes to make any child feel like a royal.

Fishing For Letters Game – No preschool class is complete ( in my biased opinion) without some version of this simple and incredibly fun game. You can make one for your kids easily without breaking the bank. In my last class, our fishing rod was a knitting needle with yarn and a magnet. Fancy ? No. Useful? Yes !

Cereal Bracelets – A teacher’s dream. This easy craft teaches patterning, counting, sorting  and works on fine motor skills. It takes no time to set-up and can also be a snack.

Popsicle Stick Coaster – My sister still has the set of coasters I made her 20 years ago and there is no reason not to make this classic with your kids and give them to someone as a gift too.

Tire Track Art – This is a mainstay in toddler daycare classes everywhere. Kids love this and it’s easy to see why.


What is your favorite classic craft you have done year after year?



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