During school breaks, rainy days, or just nights when everyone stays in, it's great to have some craft ideas to reach for. It gives parents and kids alike a fun activity for the evening. Sometimes, it's a chance to get a little messy, a lot silly, and just keep everyone busy for an hour.

Arts and crafts are the perfect solution for any budget, too. Many projects only require household items you already have lying around. Creativity is the name of the game, after all, and it's a fun challenge to make something new with what you already have. Otherwise, with the addition of a few simple supplies, the possibilities are endless. If you want ideas to occupy hands and minds, hone fine motor skills, and learn how to make something new, try out these fun craft ideas.

Make Pet Rocks

Pet rocks experienced a surge in popularity decades ago, but they remain a great source of joy in 2023. They can be anything you want - from goofy faces to holiday-themed creations. You don't need a great amount of artistic talent to make a pet rock, either, since there's no "right" way to do it. It's the perfect craft for all ages, even the littlest finger painters, and they're so much fun to display.

To make pet rocks, you'll need to pick up the following supplies.

  • Acrylic paint
  • Several small to medium-sized rocks (preferably with at least one flat side)
  • Googly eyes or other fun add-ons (optional)
  • Paint brushes

Since there's no single, correct way to make a pet rock, let your imagination do the driving. Dip into some black and yellow paint and turn it into a bee. Make a rainbow rock with every color. Encourage kids to go wild with it and come up with their creations. You can use googly eyes, pompoms, or other fun add-ons to stick on the rock or just keep kids busy with paint.

Once the rocks are dry, find a fun place to display them. You might have a perfect corner in a flower bed or keep them on a windowsill. Everyone in the family will love seeing their little creations as they walk by!

Make Your Own Puzzle

Puzzles are surprisingly easy crafts to make. You don't have to go out and buy a whole box worth of little pieces when your family can make and design something everyone contributes to! This is the craft that keeps on giving, too, as you can take the puzzle apart and put it back together again and again.

To do this kids' craft, you'll need the following basic supplies.

  • Markers
  • A pencil
  • A piece of drawing paper
  • A cardboard rectangle or square (like a side of a cereal box)
  • Scissors

For this fun project, use the markers to draw a picture on the piece of paper. If you want an easy puzzle, help kids create a simple image and let them color it. For example, you could draw a basic butterfly, a flower, or something with easy components to reassemble.

Once the picture is drawn and colored, lightly draw the puzzle piece shapes over it and glue it to the cardboard. This will make cutting much easier. If you have an old puzzle around, you can even use those pieces to trace the shapes onto your new picture. Once you have all your puzzle pieces drawn and the paper attached, cut them out with the scissors, mix up the pieces, and get to work!

Grown-ups may need to help younger children with tracing and cutting on this project, but they'll still have a great time coming up with an idea for the picture and coloring with the markers!

Cotton Ball Art

You can use just about anything to make art. You don't always need a ton of supplies - or even paintbrushes! Plenty of cute crafts (like this one) use common household items instead. You'll only need three things to get started.

  • Cotton balls
  • A paper plate
  • Acrylic paint

Lay out a handful of cotton balls, set up your paint, and go! Dip the cotton balls into the paint and dab them on your paper plate to make all sorts of different pictures. Cotton ball rainbows are delightful, or you can use them to make beautiful flowers, cute animals, or whatever your heart desires.

Let kids experiment with different textures by dragging the cotton ball around the plate, pressing it down gently, or rolling it around. Seeing everyone's creations at the end is exciting! You can even go one step further and glue painted cotton balls to the plate for a 3-D effect.

Homemade Birdfeeders

This DIY tutorial leaves kids, adults, and all the birds around your home feeling happy. There's something for the entire family and then some! Who doesn't love watching little birds flit in and out of the yard, enjoying the seeds that were left out for them? This combines the love for animals, crafting, and recycling all into one food afternoon.

To make your own birdfeeders, you only need four things. You won't even need to visit the craft store for this one!

  • Paper towel rolls (or toilet paper rolls)
  • Bird seed
  • Peanut butter
  • A piece of yarn or string

The idea is simple. Spread the peanut butter all over your paper towel roll then roll it through the birdseed. By the end, it should be completely covered in seed. Push a small hole through both sides of the paper towel roll at the top and thread the string or yarn through it. Now it's ready to hang on a tree, on your porch, or wherever you want!

Coffee Filter Flowers

Kids of all ages (and many grown-ups) love experimenting with color. These coffee filter flowers can be as bright as you want! Add all kinds of colors or try your hand at giving them patterns like real flowers. The only limit is your imagination. This one might get a little messy, but sometimes that's half the fun! Just make sure you put down some old paper or work on an easy-clean surface. Here's what you'll need.

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Coffee filters
  • Markers
  • A spray bottle and water

Color the coffee filter however you like, and remind kids that the more color they add, the brighter their flowers will be. When everyone is done coloring, spray the coffee filters with water. The color will spread like a tie-dye effect. Let the coffee filters dry completely, then fold or scrunch them to look like flower petals. Attach your pipe cleaner for the stem and use others to make leaves. After a few of these flowers, you'll have a beautiful, homemade bouquet!


Doing crafts with your family is one of life's simple pleasures. You'll treasure the memories for years to come and get some wonderful art to show off at home!

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