Children’s imaginations are boundless, which makes them endlessly curious and excited about trying new things. That’s why they often end up making a mess when they’re left on their own – something you likely already know all too well.
Fortunately, there are many activities that can channel your child’s energy and creativity without making too big of a mess. We recommend using simple arts and crafts to keep them busy and ignite their imagination. Not only does arts and crafts stimulate their creativity, but it’s also incredibly fun to do. This fun hobby is also not as messy as you would think, especially if you choose activities that don’t require as many materials and steps.
Here are our top picks for clean and simple arts and crafts to try at home with your child:
1. Build a Paper Pinwheel
Most young kids are fascinated by the colour and movement of pinwheels, so what better way to make them even more excited than by making one with them? Paper pinwheels are easy to make, and all you need is a sheet of paper, a pin, and a stick. Here’s a quick guide on how to make one.
The best part about making paper pinwheels is that they’re also easy to customise and decorate. Encourage your child to decorate their pinwheel however they like and watch their imaginations run wild. For this, you can use different colours of paper, crayons, sequins, and anything else that your child will love when making their pinwheel.
2. Make Popsicle Stick Puppets
Popsicle stick puppets make simple but eye-catching toys for young kids. Best of all, they’re also very easy to make. You don’t need complicated materials to make them – just popsicle sticks (or any similar tool), paper, glue, scissors, and crayons.
The awesome thing about these stick puppets is that you can make it as simple or complicated as you and your child wants. Simply draw your puppet on a sheet of paper, cut it out carefully with scissors, and then glue it on the popsicle stick. If you want even more detailed puppets, you can use other materials like yarn, cotton or googly eye stickers to bring your child’s puppet to life.
3. Weave Friendship Bracelets
Weaving bracelets is one of the most creative and meaningful arts and crafts you can do with your child. And you don’t need a bunch of materials to make one – just some thread (ex. embroidery thread, yarn, wool, etc.) of different colours and scissors.
The most exciting things about weaving bracelets with your child – aside from making something together – is how customisable it is. You can mix and match colours easily to create different bracelets, giving your child more possibilities to express themselves. Tell your child that you’ll make bracelets for each other or encourage them to make bracelets for their friends or teachers at school. Here’s a simple braid pattern that you can start with.
4. Fold Simple Origami Figures
Origami can be difficult and complicated for little ones, but you’ll be glad to know there are many simpler versions that your young child can do. The great thing about origami for children is that it builds their creativity and develops their attention to detail. The key to doing origami with your child is to start with figures that are basic and straightforward, with creations that only require a few steps. Once you’ve created a few easy ones, you can progress to more difficult creations. You’ll find a wide range of simple origami figures to try here and here.
5. Craft Picture Frames
Picture frames are incredibly easy to make, requiring only cardboard, glue, and decorating materials. Start by drawing the shape of your picture frame on a piece of cardboard and then cut it out carefully. You can then glue your child’s favourite picture on the inside border to keep it in place. If you and your child are feeling extra creative, you can even glue on buttons, glitter, yarn or any other thing you want to decorate it with. Make sure to display your creations proudly after making it.
6. Bake Shaped Cookies
There are few activities more fun (and delicious!) than baking shaped cookies with your child. And while you can use shaped cookie cutters for this, it’s much more fun to shape them on your own. Start with simple shapes and outlines of the thing you’re making. And if you don’t mind a little mess, you can then add chocolate chips, sprinkles, or frosting for more decorations. After baking them, treat yourselves for a job well done by enjoying the cookies together.
A Little Mess Isn’t So Bad
Whatever activity you decide to try with your child, remember not to get hung up on keeping everything clean and pristine when you do it. Much of the fun in arts and crafts with your child is making a mess – a beautiful mess – together. So while you certainly want to minimise the mess as much as you can, remember that a little mess here and there will be nothing compared to the fun memories you’re making with your child.