You probably don’t need anyone to tell you that kids can be notoriously difficult to entertain. If you’ve ever spent considerable time in the seemingly futile endeavor of keeping young ones occupied for anything longer than a few seconds, you might find yourself more exhausted than you could ever have conceived before children became a part of your adult life. You may feel like banging your head against the wall, wondering if you will ever be able to find a saving grace.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep their incessantly inquisitive minds on check. We’re talking genuine engagement that lasts. We’re talking about keeping children occupied for, quite possibly, an entirely new measurement of time: hours. There is no better way to ensure this type of sustained stimulation than through hands-on projects. Behold, some of the best kids activities and crafts.
1. Icicle Art
With some string, PVC, water, food coloring, and freezing outside temperatures, your kids can create some compelling and colorful ice sculptures through manipulating friction and gravity. Tutorial: housingaforest.com
2. Homemade Pegboard String Art
Take an old pegboard, cover it with fabric, and get some pegs and strings. It’s surprisingly captivating, and you might be surprised by what you see after the kids are done with it. Tutorial: kleas.typepad.com
3. DIY Birdseed Ornament
With a bag of birdseed, cookie-cutters, and non-toxic adhesive, you can create outdoor ornaments that will satisfy your kids and the birds in your yard. Tutorial: ehow.com
4. Hallway Obstacle Course
If you’ve got some ribbon lying around, or anything stringy such as yarn, you can attach fictitious laser paths between the walls to teach children about the importance of agility in navigating high-tech security systems. Or just do it because it’s fun. Source: brassyapple.com
5. Easy DIY Marble Maze
Where’s the fun in buying a handheld maze toy? With a box lid, some straws, and a marble, you can keep children entertained through a customized assembly process that you can’t get in one of the manufactured alternatives. Tutorial: therapyfunzone.net
6. DIY Pool Table
Kitchen Island + cups + paper towel rolls + ping pong balls = homemade pool table. It might not be the most professional presentation, but it’s nearly just as fun for a lot less money and space. Instead of a pool cue, use lungs.
7. Sticky Spider Web
Some tape and some origami spiders create a fun, albeit creepy project if you aren’t a fan of things with eight legs. Just don’t walk into it. Tutorial: handsonaswegrow.com
8. Paper Crown
If you feel like your kids tend to call the shots in your household, you can’t go wrong with letting them don themselves appropriately with a paper plate, crayons, and scissors. Tutorial: meaningfulmama.com
9. Sockman (Or Sockwoman)
It might not snow where you live, but a sock filled with rice and adorned with buttons comes close to emulating the experience.
10. The Ultimate Fort
You might even be compelled to make one for yourself. All it takes is some cardboard sheets or large boxes to create a house within your house. Tutorial: mrsgoffskinders.blogspot.com
11. Marble Slide
It’s surprisingly gratifying to watch marbles fly down the slope of a pool noodle, and your kids will probably agree.
12. Snow Ice Cream
Your kids can make their own version of this season delicacy with snow, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. Sprinkles optional but recommended. Source: sugarpiefarmhouse.com
13. Paper Airplane Darts
In a test of precision and hand-eye coordination, a large board with holes of various scores can bring the heat of competition to your home.
14. SIMS in a Box
You may discover that your children have a knack for urban (or rural) planning. Source: picklebums.com
15. Sink Foam
Combining something white and foamy with some colors provides endless opportunity. Source: spotofteadesigns.com
16. Slime Ribbons
With store-bought or homemade slime atop a suspended rack, the fun begins as the ribbons slowly ooze. It’s hard to describe how gratifying this stuff is with a pair of scissors. Tutorial: homegrownfriends.com
17. Blow the Polar Bear into His Den
Similar to the DIY pool table, all this takes is a little bit of lung power and some cups along with something light and fluffy (cotton also works).
18. Hanging Garden
19. Bubble Wrap Run
It’s fun to pop bubble wrap with your hands, so you can imagine how much the fun can be amplified with a walkable path of the stuff.
20. DIY Ring Toss
21. Paper Mosaic
Let your kids cultivate their artistic ability with the classic trio of construction paper, scissors and glue. Source: chippewavalleyfamily.org
22. Milk Carton Birdhouses
They’re easy to make with scissors with endless design possibilities, and easily suspended to tree branches with string. Tutorial: onecrazymom.com
23. Egg Carton Art
Plastic balls fit perfectly into the empty slots, and the combinations are virtually infinite.
24. Contact Paper Art
With a window as a canvas, some contact paper and painters tape create the ultimate transparent canvas.
We started by making these wonderful bird kites from krototak.com. They are so simple and even work indoors if there is no wind.
Making a Ivory soap cloud in a microwave is one of the coolest science experiments kids can do. Tutorial at: ourbestbites.com