6 thrifty children’s art ideas

July 16, 2021 • Lewis Goldsbury

With so much of our entertainment accessible on screens these days, it can often be a struggle to encourage our children away from the television to get crafty and creative.

However, the benefits of exercising our children’s creative muscles are endless; it fires up their imaginations, improves their logic skills and gives them the opportunity to express themselves. Plus, you are left with something that your child has created to put on the fridge or gift to a grandparent at the end of it.

The reality of children’s art is that most of us probably don’t have reams of wool, sets of watercolour paints or packs of pipe cleaners lying around to use as supplies. That’s why we are sharing our top 6 thrifty children’s art ideas that you can get stuck into using items you probably already have lying around the house. Easy!

Become origami masters

Origami can be pretty tricky, but learning it at home could not be easier. All you need is paper and possibly a handful of YouTube tutorials. If you don’t have any paper, you could even save old letters, flyers and junk mail to use.

The great thing about origami is that it suits children of all ages. There are some pretty easy techniques to master, such as hats, planes and boats. Older children can take on the task of impressing you with more complex designs.

Turn your kitchen into a bath bomb lab

Start your day with a fizz and make your own bath bombs. You might be surprised at how easy they are to create using items you may well have stashed away in the cupboards. Plus, not only will your children enjoy the process of creating the bath bombs, but it’ll also get them into the bath in the evening without any protests to try out and enjoy their handiwork.

There are plenty of ‘recipes’ for bath bombs online. BBC Good Food’s is super simple and gives you plenty of ideas on what to use as baking moulds, including empty yogurt pots, ice cube trays or plastic biscuit cutters.

Play dough DIY

And whilst you are in the kitchen, perhaps try creating homemade play dough. It only takes around half an hour and it’s ready for the children to get stuck into immediately. All you need is vegetable oil, salt, plain flour and some food colouring, and if you store it in an airtight container, your play dough should stay fresh for months to come.

There are a lot of recipes online for homemade play dough, but again, BBC Good Food’s is super simple and easy to follow.

Discover your green fingers

Get green fingers in more ways than one by combining plant pots and paints! You may have some terracotta plant pots lying around at home but if not, they cost around £1-2 from most garden and hardware stores. If you can get your hands on some, challenge your children to paint them, creating the most colourful design they can.

Once complete, you could even use them to plant some seeds. You don’t need a garden or outdoor space to do this. There are plenty of vegetables that you can grow indoors on a window sill, including cress, herbs, kale and more.

Rock ‘n’ paint

An even thriftier alternative to painting plant pots is painting rocks. Provided that you have paint, there’s no trip to the shops necessary. You can simply head out on a walk and pick up as many rocks as you can find. Any regular paint will work for this craft, however, for the rocks to really stand out, then acrylic paint is best.

Painted rocks became somewhat of a craze over lockdown. Residents of villages and neighbourhoods hid brightly painted rocks around the local area for people to find on their daily walks. Could you start doing something similar? Even if it’s just within your home!

Sock it to them

Who knew you could get crafty with socks? In fact, there are quite a few different ways you can create puppets and stuffed animals using socks. All you need are some socks, some elastic bands or hair ties, some cotton wool or rice for stuffing, and ideally some googly eyes to give the sock animals a bit of personality.

For inspiration on what you can create with a pair of old socks, check out these ideas from 5 Minute Fun. Just be careful that your children don’t get carried away. You could quickly end up with a household sock shortage.

So, next time your children tell you that they are bored, there are no excuses. Children’s art ideas can be found all over your home with a little creativity and imagination.

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