My daughter is a crazy crafter – often covered in glitter, glue and colourful markers. Each day is a real battle to try and think of new and interesting craft activities to keep her engaged.

With the festive season and summer holidays just around the corner, I’ve rounded up a few of our favourite craft activities to keep in my back pocket for when any signs of boredom strike! Try them… and let us know what your kids enjoyed most! By Tamsyn Cornelius

  1. Create your own play dough

Whip up a quick batch of play dough in just a few minutes.

What you will need:

2 cups of plain flour

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

½ cup salt

2 tablespoons of cream of tartar

Up to 1,5 cups of boiling water

Food colouring

A mixing bowl

The face of one who just helped his mom make play dough!

What you will need to do:

Mix the flour, cream of tartar and oil together in a bowl. Add a few drops of food colouring into the boiling water and then add to the dry ingredients in increments, slowly mixing together until you get a sticky dough consistency. Allow to cool and then knead dough for a few minutes until it gets to the desired consistency and is well blended. If dough still seems sticky, add a little more flour and continue to knead.

Make as many colours as you like and let your little ones enjoy a fun-filled day of moulding creative dough creatures.

Tip: If left in the open, your dough will dehydrate and harden, so to prolong your dough, store for up to 6 months in an air-tight container.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Activity Time: Unlimited.

2. Create a Lion Mask

Get creative and help your toddler create their very own lion mask that they can use to dress up and play with their siblings.

What you will need:

A paper plate, string, stapler, scissors, strips of yellow and orange paper and glue.

What you will need to do:

Cut out the centre circle of the paper plate – ensure that it is big enough that your toddler’s face can be seen through the middle. This will form the frame of the mask. Next, let your little one glue on yellow and orange strips of coloured paper to the outside of the frame in a circular pattern. This will form the lion’s bright mane!

Once the glue dries, staple a piece of string to the back of the mask – ensuring that it is big enough to fit over your child’s head and to keep the mask in place.

Let your little one roar away with this fun colourful lion mask that will get their creative juices flowing.

Prep Time: 10 minutes to prepare items and cut paper strips.

Activity Time: up to 30 minutes to create mask and allow glue to dry.

3. Create an egg-carton caterpillar

What you will need:

An egg carton, paint, white stickers, scissors, a black marker and pipe cleaners.

What you will need to do:

Cut a strip of the egg carton so that you have one long section that will be the body of the caterpillar.

Tip: Use a large egg carton for this project (the ones that typically hold 18 or 30 eggs). The larger the egg carton, the longer the strip that you will use for the body of the caterpillar.

Let your toddler paint the body in any colour they like. Once the paint is dry, use your scissors to create tiny holes running on either side of the body (you could also use a hole punch for this). Use your pipe cleaners and thread these through the holes to form tiny caterpillar legs on either side. Be sure to secure the legs underneath the body so that they do not fall off during active play. Next, add small white stickers to the front for eyes, and use a black marker to create a nose and mouth.

Let your little one enjoy their very own caterpillar creation. They could use the rest of the egg carton and create an entire family of caterpillars!

4. Make noodle necklaces

Do you have a budding jewellery designer living under your roof? This is a simple yet educational project in which you can improve your little one’s fine motor skills and also use the pantry staples you have available at home to create custom noodle jewellery.

What you will need:

Different sized pasta (as long as they have a hole through the middle), food colouring, plastic bags, rubbing alcohol, paper towels and wool.


What you will need to do:

Get your kids to separate the different sized pasta into small plastic bags which can be sealed at the top. Add a few drops of food colouring to each bag. Add a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, which will help to dry out the pasta faster. Seal and shake the bags until all the pasta is covered in your chosen colours. Next, lay your pasta out on a paper towel to dry but be careful as food colouring does stain!

Once dried, cut a piece of wool that will be big enough to tie around your little one’s neck. Let them thread the dried colourful pasta onto the wool to form a necklace. They can alternate colours and sizes and create a one-of-a-kind piece! Once complete, tie the two ends together and let your little one parade in their newest creation.

Tip: If you have any leftover coloured pasta, let your kids create matching bracelets or little charms for their rooms.

Prep Time; Up to 20 minutes to dye pasta.

Activity Time: 10 minutes to thread a necklace.

5. A miniature toilet roll town

Save all your used toilet rolls and help your kids create an entire miniature town to stimulate the imagination.

What you will need:

Used toilet rolls (lots of them), scraps of wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper, coloured cardboard, pens, paint, glue, glitter and paper cupcake holders.


What you will need to do:

Wrap each of your toilet rolls in different scraps of colourful paper or wrapping. Each roll will be an individual house so you can decorate them as you see fit. Cut out little cardboard windows and doors and stick these onto your colourful homes. For the roof, place an upside-down empty cupcake holder on the top of each roll. Be sure to glue down the edges so they don’t loosen.

Tip: Run out of wrapping paper scraps? Paint some of the houses in bright colours, add glitter for sparkly interest or use brown (or white) paper and colourful pens to create your own patterns and interesting designs.

In the end, let your children set up an entire town of homes in their play rooms for hours of enjoyment.

Prep Time: Dependant on number of houses to be made.

Activity Time: Unlimited.

6. Paper Plate Fans

Create a fun, colourful paper plate fan that would be very welcome on a warm day. Your little one can create their own fun designs and then then use their own creations to fan themselves off in the summer heat.

What you will need:

Half of a paper plate, glue, two sucker sticks, paint, colouring pencils and scissors.

What you will need to do:

Use your scissors and cut the paper plate in half. Give each kid one half of the paper plate to decorate. Let them paint, colour or draw any design they wish on their half of the paper plate. This will form the top part of the fan. Once their designs are complete and the paint is dry, you will need to help them create the fan’s handle with the two sucker sticks glued together. Glue the sucker sticks across one another at one end to form a ‘V’ shape. Now glue the top two sections of the ‘V’ to the base of the fan. Allow the glue to dry completely before using this fun, personalised paper plate fan.

Prep Time: 5 minutes to collect items.

Activity Time: 30 minutes to decorate, glue and dry.

7. Make a set of binoculars

Help your little explorer create this simple set of binoculars that they can use on their next adventure.

What you will need:

Two used toilet rolls, paint, a hole punch and string.

What you will need to do:

Get your kid to paint the two toilet rolls in any colour they prefer. They can even mix up the colours and create an interesting pattern. Once they are done painting, set the toilet rolls aside to dry out completely before continuing.

Once dry, glue them together down the vertical length of the roll. Again, set aside to dry. This will form the ‘looking glass’ part of the binoculars.

Next, using a hole punch, punch one hole on either side of the toilet rolls and thread through a piece of string long enough to go around your child’s neck. Tie the string on the other end of the binoculars and you’re all set.

Let them adventure outdoors with their colourful binoculars tied around their neck.

Prep Time: Up to 1 hour for paint and glue to dry.

Activity Time: 15 minutes to complete the creation.

8. Create Abstract Art

Need something that will take minimal effort but will keep your toddler busy for some time? Well, this clever craft project only requires two items and will take you minutes to set up. The best part is that they will have a stunning artwork to display at the end.

What you will need:

A blank page, a pen, ruler and colouring crayons.


What you will need to do:

Using your ruler and pen begin to draw lines all over the page – in any direction you please. The more criss-crossed and intersecting lines, the better. In the end, your page should be covered in what would appear to be triangular shapes. That’s your part of this craft done!

Next, whip out all of your toddler’s colouring crayons and set up a work station where they can colour in each triangle, as neatly as possible. They should colour in the lines and use as many different colours as they can. This will take some time to complete, but once done, they will be able to proudly display an abstract artwork.

Tip: You can frame their work of art, or let them put it up in their bedroom to add some colour.

 9. Body tracing

Create a life-sized replica of a friend or family member and let your child cut and colour it in their own ‘paper person’.

What you will need:

A willing volunteer, a roll of newsprint, pen and crayons.

What you will need to do:

Get a volunteer to help you – another family member would be ideal. Roll out the newsprint on a hard floor surface. Ask your ‘volunteer’ to lay down with their entire body on the paper and then assist your toddler to trace around the person to form a visible body outline on the paper. The end result should be a life-size silhouette of your volunteer.

Next, let your kid cut out the silhouette and then colour in their ‘paper person’ in any way they choose. Perhaps they want to draw colourful patterns or add stickers and other crafting materials. Alternatively, you could help them draw life-sized clothing and a face to finish off their new character.

Prep time: 10 minutes to trace a volunteer.

Activity Time: Up to an hour of colouring fun.

10. Create 3D Paper Flowers

Decorate the walls with fun, colourful flowers that your kids can create themselves in this fun crafting activity.

What you will need:

Coloured paper, scissors, a stapler, double-sided tape, wool and a hole punch.

What you will need to do:

Use two sheets of coloured paper and help your toddler fold it in half lengthways. Next, you will need to keep creating small folds until both pages are completely folded into thin pleats. Get your little one to unfold the pages and then help them accordion fold the pages using the original creases as a guideline.

Fold the accordions in half and trim the edges – you can cut curves or sharper edges, as these will be the outer petals of your flower. Use a stapler to staple the two accordion shaped pages together in the centre. Next, use double sided tape to tape the two sheets into one circle. Fan out the folds and watch as a flower circle begins to take shape.

Cut out a smaller circular shape in coloured paper and paste this to the centre of your flower. Now you have created your very own colourful 3D flower creation.

Tip: Create a flower garland by creating various flowers in different colours. Use a hole punch to punch the flowers and use wool to string them together. Use this to decorate a wall or bedroom.

Prep Time: 10 minutes to fold pages.

Activity Time: Up to 20 minutes to complete a flower garland.





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