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5 min read

It can be a challenge to keep kids busy when you are stuck inside on a rainy day. Their seemingly endless energy can either work against you to destruct all of the housework you have managed to accomplish, or you can channel it into constructive arts and crafts projects.


If you went to the local craft store in search of projects to load up on, you will find that the cost adds up pretty quickly. You can mitigate some of those costs by shopping clearance aisles and dollar stores, or you can skip the craft store all together. We have compiled a list of terrific craft projects that can be done with common household staples.

Cotton Ball Painting

No paintbrushes? No problem. Cotton swabs and clothespins will come to the rescue for a fun spin on a traditional craft.

What you Need:

Muffin Tin

Cotton Balls


Copy Paper




Food Coloring

Mixing Bowl


With this activity, you will start by making your own non-toxic, washable paint using water, salt, flour and food coloring.


Step One: In a small mixing bowl, combine equal parts water, salt and flour. Blend mixture until the consistency is smooth.


Step Two:Separate the paint mixture into the muffin tin, giving one section per color.


Step Three:Add food coloring to the divided paint mixture and stir until completely blended. Add more food coloring for a brighter intensity color and less for a lighter, pastel color.


Step Four:Prepare your copy paper canvas. Decide if you will cut a shape out to be painted like an Easter egg shape or a rain boot shape.


Step Five:Clip cotton balls to the ends of clothespins. You will need one for each color to start with, plus an extra supply of cotton balls to be replaced as needed.


Kool Aid Playdough

Inspire creative modeling with a batch of non-toxic, completely edible playdough made from pantry staples.

What you Need:

All Purpose Flour

Warm Water

Cream of Tartar


Vegetable Oil

Kool Aid Packets

Food Coloring (Optional)

Several small mixing bowls


Step One:Using a separate bowl for each color, mix ¾ cup all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon cream of tartar, and ¼ cup salt.


Step Two:In a separate container, combine ½ cup of warm water with one packet of kool aid drink mix.


Step Three:Add the kool aid mixture to the dough powder and mix well. Add a few drops of food coloring to deepen the intensity of the colors if desired.  Let sit five minutes.


Step Four:Knead dough on a floured surface until it is no longer sticky.


Store homemade playdough in an airtight container for up to two weeks.


Cereal Box Aquarium

A cute way to display the seashells and sand that you brought back from your last beach vacation has just turned into a fun craft to do with your kids. Create a cereal box aquarium with items found around the house.

What you Need:

Empty Cereal Box

Construction Paper (or Copy Paper and Crayons)

Green Pipe Cleaners or Straws

White Paint (Optional)

Googly Eyes or a Black Marker

Small Rocks




Glue (use both white glue and a stronger option like hot glue)


Step One:Using scissors, cut a window hole in the front side of the cereal box. Leave a half inch border all the way around. Leave the cereal box intact, except the window.


Step Two (Optional): Paint the outside of the cereal box a solid color like white or black to cover up the marketing that is printed on the box.Let dry completely.


Step Three:Cover the inside of the cereal box with blue construction paper to make the appearance of water in your aquarium.You can also use blue tinted saran wrap.


Step Four: Spread a thin layer of glue in the bottom quarter of your background panel and cover with sand. Let dry completely.


Step Five: Cut pipe cleaners or straws to different lengths and make two bunches to depict seaweed, glue each bunch of ‘seaweed’ on either end of your background panel.


Step Six:Cut three small fish shapes from construction paper (or use copy paper and crayons to color).


Step Seven:Give each fish an eye with a googly eye or a black marker.


Step Eight:Attach the fish with glue or foam mounting squares if available to give a little dimension.


Step Nine:Glue small stones down to the bottom (floor) panel of your aquarium.


Step Ten:Embellish with seashells


Cellophane Stained Glass Window

Decorate a window in the playroom or their bedroom with a fun faux stained glass project using cellophane and dish soap.

What you Need:

Colored Cellophane (or tissue paper)


Dawn Dish Soap


Foam brush or sponge



Step One:Choose a design and cut shapes from the different colors of cellophane available.


Step Two:Make a mixture of dawn dish soap and warm water. This will act as the glue that holds your pieces to the glass.


Step Three:Thoroughly clean the window.


Step Four:Brush on a small amount of soap water using a sponge or foam brush. Adhere a cellophane shape. Hold a few seconds while you soak up any excess liquid with a rag.


Repeat this process until your design is complete.


Paper Plate Weaving

Use paper plates and scrap yarn to create a weaving craft that also works on building dexterity skills.

What you Need:

Paper Plates

Stylus or large needle to poke holes

Childrens Plastic Sewing Needle



Crayons, markers or craft paint to decorate the frame.


Step One:Draw a simple shape in the middle of each paper plate. Use simple shapes like hearts or stars.


Step Two:Using a stylus or poking tool (like the sharp end of a kabob stick), go around the outline of the shape and poke holes at even intervals.


Step Three:Thread a children's needle with yarn and let them stitch through the holes in any pattern that they would like.


Step Four:Decorate the frame of the plates with crayons, markers or paint to make them more interesting to display.


Even if you don’t particularly consider yourself a crafty person, or have a hoard of craft supplies at your disposal, there are plenty of ways to cultivate creativity with your kids while at home. These projects are just a small sampling of the possibilities for craft projects using common household items.