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8 fun arts and craft projects for the whole family

By Inés Fung 19 February 2020

Header image courtesy of Make Life Lovely

With the health crisis ongoing, we know the options for indoor family activities are dwindling. There’s only so much to do when you’re stuck at home with the kids, and everyone is going a little stir-crazy.

Giving the little ones screen time is an easy solution, but detrimental to their growth. Why not get hands-on and messy to pass an afternoon? We’ve rounded up eight of the best kid-friendly arts and crafts projects for you and your family to get creative with!

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Photo credit: Maria Siriano

3-ingredient slime

Playing with slime, or even just watching slime videos, is super therapeutic. It’s a shame that oftentimes a tub of this colourful goop is overpriced, or made with Borax, which is harmful to our skin after prolonged contact (it’s a concentrated chemical cleaner, after all).

It’s actually quite easy to make your own with just three ingredients you probably already have laying around the house: white glue, baking soda, and contact lens saline solution. These three ingredients come together to form the most basic slime, so it’s up to you and your family to decide what liquid food colouring, glitter, and other bits and bobs you want to add into your ooey-gooey slime.

Tips:

  • The slime keeps for at least a month in an airtight container, so there’s fun to be had over and over again.
  • Make sure your contact lens solution is made with boric acid and sodium borate, otherwise the slime won’t form.
  • Add shaving cream to make your slime fluffy!

For detailed instructions, please check out this tutorial.

Photo credit: @rockpapervinyl

Galaxy in a jar

Not only are these galaxy jars (also known as nebula jars) downright dreamy to look at, but they’re also a great segue into teaching the little ones about space, as well as easing any sensory issues they might have!

They’re super simple to make, only requiring a clean glass jar with a lid, acrylic paints, cotton balls, glitter, and water. You can play around with colour combinations and paint types (glow-in-the-dark paint is easy to find and makes the jar look truly out of this world!) to create your very own galaxy or nebula.

Shake it gently to watch the glitter swirl and we guarantee this will buy at least a couple minutes of silence from your kiddo as they’ll be mesmerised.

For detailed instructions, please check out this tutorial.

Glow-in-the-dark bubbles

Creating glow-in-the-dark bubbles will require some adult intervention, as pliers or wire cutters are needed in the process. If you’ve got a blacklight at home, simply remove the ink core from a couple of highlighters and add it to a store-bought bottle of bubble solution. The colours will pop more if you make these ahead of time, but the neon vibrancy will glow regardless.

For bubbles that will glow without a blacklight, just snip off the ends of some activated glow sticks and pour the liquid inside into your bottle of bubbles. If the five minutes it takes to make these glowy delights tire you out, invest in a bubble gun or bubble fountain to easily light up the room.

For detailed instructions, please check out this tutorial.

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Edible play-dough

Play-dough was a “forbidden snack” when we were young, especially tempting when formed into creative shapes like doughnuts or even burgers. Its texture is definitely reminiscent of cookie dough!

Now you and your family can make edible play-dough, so whoever said that you shouldn’t play with your food was obviously wrong. Fair warning though, the recipe is chock-full of sugar, so it’s not the best snack for the family, but pretty to look at and play with nonetheless.

You only need pre-made frosting and powdered sugar to make edible play-dough, and it stretches and pulls just like the actual thing. Now’s the time to break out your favourite novelty cookie cutters and moulds as well. If you make some edible play-dough after reading this article, please do show us your doughy creations!

For detailed instructions, please check out this tutorial.

Mini volcanoes

If you’ve ever made a paper-mache volcano for a school science fair, you’ll know you’re in for a good time while making these mini volcanoes. Turn the colourful eruptions into an educational opportunity for your kids (or even teens!), where they’ll be able to learn about chemical reactions and—if you want to take it even further—geography and volcanic activity.

All you really need is vinegar and baking soda, but food colouring and glitter should add that pizazz to the eruptions. These mini volcanoes won’t be as messy as the gigantic paper-mache volcano you might have made, thanks to a handy baking tray that’ll catch the “lava.”

For detailed instructions, please check out this tutorial.

Make your own fossils

Making your own fossils is an educational craft that’s perfect for the adventurous little ones who’ve just entered their dinosaur phase. They also make cool finds for at-home treasure hunts and archaeological digs, provided you’re armed with a little spade and brush for authenticity.

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, save those coffee grounds as they make up a crucial part of this homemade fossil recipe. If you don’t live anywhere near a beach, fine grain sand can usually be found at arts and crafts supply shops. There’s no greater satisfaction than cracking these babies open and finding your “fossil.”

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list 👇

Homemade bath bombs

We love watching bath bombs fall apart into glittering swirls and intoxicating scents during our baths (or let’s be real, on our screens since most of us don’t have a bathtub at home).

It’s always a good time browsing the selection at LUSH, but did you know you could easily make it to your custom fancy at home to rival any store-bought bath bomb? All you need is citric acid (alternatives include cream of tartar and cornstarch), baking soda, food colouring, and essential oils.

For sore muscles, Epsom salt can be added to the mix. Or add a toy for a special surprise after it fizzes out! It’s a kid-friendly project, so get the whole family involved, or let the tots have a playdate. Homemade bath bombs also make great gifts and party favours, wink wink.

For detailed instructions, please check out this tutorial.

Wine cork stamps

Got a lot of wine corks laying around? Enlist your kids into giving them new life by making stamps! The actual crafting part will mostly be an adult effort, as it requires craving shapes and letters out of the used corks with a sharp blade, but your kids can have plenty of input on what stamps they want done.

The only things you’ll need to buy are stamp pads, and you’ll have the most unique stamps without needing to spend a single dollar. The stamps are great for personalising other craft projects like birthday party invites if you kick it old school and do it on paper.

For detailed instructions, please check out this tutorial.

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Inés Fung

Contributor

Currently based in Hong Kong by way of Calgary, Inés has always had a passion for writing and her creative work can be found in obscure literary ’zines. When she’s not busy scouring the city for the best gin-based cocktail, she can be found curled up with her journal and fur-ever friend Peanut. Don’t be surprised if you cross paths with her and she already knows all your mates.

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