Crafts make a nice, quiet activity that let kids express themselves and exercise their own unique creativity. But craft sets are often extremely expensive, and coloring every day can get old. But, there are a few items that cost next to nothing that make interesting crafts.
Using paper plates doesn’t have to cost a lot. There are expensive paper plates that look like fine china, and then there are packages of 500 plates at Sam’s that cost less than 10 bucks. These paper plates are nice and thin, making them easy to cut with safety scissors. Paper plates make great masks, which most kids love. They can also be used for pretend meals, to make jewelry, fake shoes, and anything else kids can think of.
Coffee filters sound strange, but searching the aisles for something to be used creatively, I noticed that they are made of paper, they are small and easy to manipulate, and they are cheap. Plunking them down got me some quizzical stares at first, but soon they were used in some interesting ways. One way we found to use them was to make hats. They are easy for even a toddler to make a hat from, and can be colored, cut, and pasted easily. These can actually be bought at the dollar store, making them the cheapest items I have found yet.
Say what? Yes, yard debris. Rocks, leaves, moss, sticks, all of these can be used to make interesting crafts. If you take a paper plate and cover it with glue, leave pieces and small sticks can be used to create outdoor scenes. They can be used to decorate the paper plate masks or the coffee filter hats. And, yard items are something that the kids can gather by themselves. Taking a small paper bag, a kid of any age can find interesting things to use to decorate paper items.
It doesn’t have to be a 100% wool yarn or one with silk fibers in it. Any kind of Wal-Mart yarn can be used to make things. We make book marks from construction paper and yarn. Taking a small strip of construction paper, I use a hole punch to cut a hole near the top, then supply lots of pieces of yarn of various lengths. They will use it to make elaborate ties for the bookmarks- bows, knots, tassels, and combinations of all of them. And with such a neat bookmark to use, they want to read for a chance to use their creations.
These can be bought in the giant Sam’s packs like the paper plates. They can be turned upside down to make excellent little people, or can be attached to any of the above items. A paper plate hat with a paper cup top and a yarn tassle is extremely amusing to a toddler.
Crafts are one of the best ways to get kids to express themselves, but have you priced pipe cleaners? You can get all of the above items for what one small package of pipe cleaners costs. And, they are not prepackaged items that tell kids exactly how they should be used.