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Looking for craft ideas you can do at home without spending a lot of money or time planning? All you need are some basic supplies like scissors, glue, and paint. If you’re a craft novice, no problem! Take stock of what you have and do a quick search online for some fun ideas. Crafts can be a fun way to engage with your child, help them develop fine motor skills, and decorate your walls with their creations. Especially for young children, it’s more important for them to enjoy the process and express themselves creatively than it is to create an Instagram-worthy masterpiece. Here are some quick ideas to get your creative winter juices flowing!

Paper Plates

Paper plates are a super helpful crafting supply. Use them to make almost any animal’s heads and bodies – even attach a stick to make a puppet! Think of circle-shaped foods you can make like pizzas, watermelon, or pies. Or, cut out eyes and attach some string to make a mask your child can decorate.

Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Rolls

The cylinder shape of these rolls offers a base for so many fun craft ideas. Use them for an animal or a favorite character’s body. Glue two together for binoculars, build houses or castles, or cut them into rings and paint them to make snowflakes or flower petals.

Coffee Filters

Coffee filters are so much fun to color or paint because of the unique texture and how the colors spread. They can also be clipped in the middle to make a butterfly, flowers, or cut into heart or snowflake shapes for seasonal crafts.

Cotton Balls, Q-tips, and More

Raid your medicine cabinet for some fun crafting materials! Cotton balls are wonderful for gluing together for snow or fur. Use Q-tips to build a house, make a snowflake, or even for wonderful little decorative dot accents on paper or boxes. You can draw a head, arms, and legs on a Band-Aid to create a funny looking character – or use them to create or hold down butterfly wings!

Photo: fizkes via 123RF

Dried Food

Kids get a kick out of using food on their crafts! Small dry pasta or beans can be glued onto projects, made into a necklace using string or ribbon, or glued together to create an ornament! Rice or beans can go into sealed containers like a closed toilet paper roll or paper plates stapled together to make shaker instruments.

Recycled Materials

Along with saving money by using household products for crafts, you can teach your children the importance of reusing and recycling. Pieces from old craft projects can make a collage or mosaics, while old magazines are great for creating vision boards or practicing letter and shape recognition.


Your child’s little hand can make dozens of adorable crafts – plus, most kids love to stick their hands in paint! Create a hand wreath with green paint or Santa’s beard with white. Make a favorite or seasonal animal like a brown turkey, red cardinal, white polar bear, or a blue peacock. You can even use a handprint to recreate a character from a favorite book like the Hungry Caterpillar or Thing 1 from the Cat in the Hat.

Now that you’re full of ideas for crafts you can do with materials you have at home, we want to leave you with a few more tips:

  • Make sure to supervise children under two with any small objects that can become a choking hazard.
  • Make clean-up easy by putting down newspaper or a washable cloth.
  • Teaching your child crafting skills like cutting, gluing, drawing, and painting help develop their fine motor skills. They can take time and practice, so it’s important to be patient and encouraging as they’re learning.
  • Resist the temptation to fix your child’s project. Someday you’ll look back at that mixed up snowman and be amazed at the progress they’ve made!
  • Try to select crafts that have at least one part where your child can freely create. This could be painting with whatever color they want or gluing objects to a collage.
  • Add extra fun by creating crafts that can also be played with like puppets or musical instruments.

As always, have fun!