Early child and adult skills in art and crafts especially the 5 minute crafts covers a wide range of areas beginning from speaking and reading to listening and understanding.
When kids make art or crafts they get to talk about their work which develops their communication skills. “Why did you choose that color?” “Tell me about what you made.” They learn new vocabulary from parents and when following verbal instructions they use their listening skills.
A skill all parents want our kids to grasp as soon as possible so they can start listening to us!
Now let us look at about 100+ 5 minute crafts for adults and children below:
1. Scratch Art 5 Minute crafts and Arts
We have used store bought scratch art paper as well as made our own. This is the easiest method we have used to make scratch art and this method is less messy for more long term art pieces.
2. Chalk Pastels 5 Minute crafts and Arts
Take a break from crayons and bring out the pastels! I love the soft pastels because you can blend them with your fingertips to create new colors and shading.
3. Oil Pastels
This was my favorite art supply as a child. I love the rich color of oil pastels and the way they glide on paper. For a variation try using light oil pastels on dark colored paper.
4. Paper Scrap Collage
Taking a note from Tinkerlab’s Art Tips I have started saving all the paper scraps from projects and cutting them up into pieces for collage projects.
5. Sidewalk Paint
We used this simple recipe from Learn Play Imagine. It’s easy to whip up and washes off easily.
6. Pour Painting 5 Minute crafts and Arts
Simply pour different colors of tempera paint onto a 3D surface.
7. DIY Art Material Chalk
Three ingredients: Plaster of Paris, water, and tempera paint.
8. Painting Sticks 5 Minute crafts and Arts
Sticks make a fun canvas for kids and you can display the results in a simple vase.
9. Make Your Own Stickers
The next time you are at the office supply store buy some white sticker dots. Kids can color them in to create their own stickers.
I admit that a blank sheet of paper often intimidates me. That is why I am a fan of doodling. Doodling is drawing without purpose, drawing without thinking, drawing from the gut.
At least that’s how I define it! Encourage your young artist to doodle! Not only is it relaxing but it’s good for the brain!
11. Leaf Collage
This was actually a school assignment that I thought was a great idea. Collect leaves and glue them to newspaper. Done!
12. Homemade Stamps
One of my fave DIY projects! Homemade stamps are fun to make, fun to use, and I think the results are amazing. For the full tutorial click here: How to Make a Stamp
13. Decorative Tape Collage
We tried this activity based on this suggestion from Tinkerlab’s Collage Invitation. You can put out some strips of colorful tape, some sticky backed jewels, markers, and paper for your kids and this is what she came up with.
14. Colored Salt 5 Minute crafts and Arts
I love making our own art materials at home. We have made colored salt and used it for science and art projects. It’s a great starter project for kids who want to be involved in making their own art materials.
15. Handprint Art
Children love to get their hands covered in paint. Let them! Messy art is important for developing creative confidence. Use washable paint and have a stack of paper handy. Better yet, roll out a long sheet of butcher paper and let a group of kids make a giant handprint mural!
16. Parent Child Art
Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center. Sit side by side with your child and create drawing or painting using the same materials and a theme.
17. 3D Heart
Print our template here and make a colorful 3D heart! We made these in my daughter’s first grade classroom for Valentine’s Day.
18. Painting with Feet
After doing handprint paintings you may consider letting the kids dip their feet in paint and walk over a long piece of butcher paper! It is a slippery process so be sure to do it on a place they won’t hurt themselves if they fall.
19. Homemade Watercolors
Another fun homemade art supply to try is homemade watercolors.
20. Shaving Cream Painting
This process is messy sensory art fun! Even for grown-ups.
21. Easel Art
You can even encourage your young artist to try and paint something they see. Another fun variation is paint with a friend or grandparent!
22. Spin Art 5 Minute crafts and Arts
This spin art machine is fairly inexpensive and a lot of fun to use, even for the littlest of artist.
23. Ink Blot Color Mixing
If you limit the palette to red, yellow, and blue paint this project doubles as a color mixing lesson.
24. Salt Paintings 5 Minute crafts and Arts
Place a sheet of paper on a cookie sheet. Squeeze glue directly from the bottle onto the paper to “draw” your picture.
Dump the excess salt into a bowl. You can add different colors in stages. When finished let dry completely and shake off excess salt. The more glue you use the better the salt will adhere to it.
You can also try a variation using plain salt and adding color via eye droppers.
1. Wizard’s Brew
We have made this countless times and it always induces lots of squeals and screams of delight!
2. Book Ramps
Build ramps out of books! These are great for use with Matchbox cars and remote controlled cars. Enlist your child in the process of making for an easy hands-on engineering project.
3. Lego Building Challenge
Lay out a collection of Lego pieces and challenge your child to build something specific from the available parts. This is a much more inventive use of LEGO than simply following premade directions for building.
4. Grass Heads Your very own Chia pet!
5. Gluing Wood
I had some scraps of birch wood left over from a project so my kids put them to use making wood sculptures held together with wood glue.
The furniture designer in me used it as an opportunity to show them how strong the right glue can be!
6. Paper Helicopters
7. Water Beads
These are a sensory exploration must-have! Just be sure to use them with children who do NOT put things in their mouth as they are a choking hazard. Here are some science activities we have tried with them
- Place the clear beads in a bowl of water. They will visually disappear….tell your child to feel for them.
- Place the beads on a paper towel for a few days and watch them shrink back up to their original size.
- Freeze them! Make a large ice chunk from water and hydrated beads. Then place the icy water bead mix in a bowl or kiddie pool filled with water. The full size water beads will unthaw, shrink, and then grow in size again.
8. DIY Lava Lamp
Have you tried making a DIY lava lamp?
9. Clay and Craft Stick Structures
It’s not a secret that we like to build with clay. I also love paring it with other materials, in this instance my son used clay and craft sticks to build a tower. Other good parings for clay are bamboo skewers and wood blocks.
10. Sand Rivers
This is a classic for me since I personally love to build them! All you need is a sandbox, some digging tools, and access to water.
NOTE: This activity is only suitable for sandboxes that drain.
Start by digging a long, twisty channel through the sand. For the best river, make it slightly slope from one end to the other. Then dig out “lakes” at each end of the channel.
Pack the sides of the channel so they don’t immediately slide inward once water is added. When you’re done creating the river, pull a hose around to the top lake, bury for added effect with the end of the hose pointing into your lake, then turn on a slow trickle of water.
Within a few minutes the river will start flowing! Add boats, plastic animals, toy soldiers, bridges, matchbox cars, whatever you can think of!
11. Harvesting Seeds Materials:
A variety of dried flowers, bowl or cup, Ziploc baggies, paper towels, stapler
- Step One Give your child a variety of dried flowers and a bowl or large cup
- Step Two Show your child how to find seeds in one of the flowers. Start with a flower that has easy to find and distinguish seeds. Some flowers seeds are so tiny your child might not even recognize them so you may need to show them samples of what they are looking for.
- Step Three Wet a paper towel and place it into the Ziploc baggie. Add several staples across the bottom of the bag about 1 inch from the edge. These will prevent the seeds from falling to the bottom of the baggie.
- Step Four Ask your child to place the seeds in the bag and press into the paper towel with some spacing in between them.
- Step Five Seal the bag and tape or hang it in a sunny window or outside in a sunny spot. Your seeds should sprout in a few days!
12. Fort Building
Build a fort in your living room! Bring in dining room chairs, chip clips and sheets. Add in a camping light and pillows and you are set!
13. Colored Ice
Make some colored ice sticks and use them for a variety of science and art activities.
14. Ice Cream in a Bag
Everyone MUST try this during the summer!
15. Clay Boats
A classic engineering activity, take clay and ask your kids to mold it into mini boats. They will quickly learn what shapes and properties make a boat float!
1. Washi Bamboo
Another stick decorating project we love: pair bamboo and washi tape together. Bamboo has a smooth texture just perfect for tape to adhere to. Add in some paint on top of it for even more color!
2. Flower Lei
If you have a camellia bush or other hearty flower growing ion your garden try this: Gently pop out the center of the flower and string it on a piece of string. Add more flowers and tie the ends together to form a simple colorful lei.
3. DIY Wrapping Paper
4. Paper Clip Jewelry
String colorful vinyl coated paper clips together to make necklaces and bracelets. To make Paper Clip Cuff cut a toilet paper roll in half and then again down the center.
Use paper clips to decorate the edges, and securing it to your wrist with a couple rubber bands.
5. Leaf Garland
Gather some leaves and make a hole in them using a hole punch. String the leaves onto a long piece of yarn to make a rustic leaf garland. This would also be fun using some decorated leaves.
6. Envelope Book
You can easily do it with plain white envelopes and decorate them. .
7. Robot Faces
Cut some adhesive backed magnetic sheets cut into little pieces and stick them to pom poms and googly eyes. Then stick the pom poms and eyes to tin cans to make robot faces.
8. Paper Planets
A simple paper project with lovely results!
9. Recycled Crayons
A classic craft everyone should try. Recycle old crayon bits into your own colorful crayons. This is the method we used:
10. Paper Beads
Have you tried making paper beads? Use different recycled paper for colorful unique beads!
11. Toilet Paper Roll People
This was a hit at our co-op preschool a few years back. Have children decorate toilet paper rolls as people using googly eyes, fabric scraps, pipe cleaners, and yarn.
12. Decorating Rocks
Besides sticks another favorite natural canvas of our is rocks. Chalk markers look amazing on rocks and so does Puffy Paint.
13. Glow Stick Jewelry
Don’t toss old glow sticks out! Use them as a base for colorful DIY bracelets.
14. Paper Dolls
15. Fairy Wands
Materials: Herbs from your garden, sticks, rubber bands, ribbon, burlap, long fabric scraps cut into 3 or 4-foot lengths
- Step One Wrap a rubber band around the top of your stick.
- Step Two Place a stem of herbs under the rubber band and wrap the herb around the stick.
- Step Three Wrap a ribbon around the stick covering the herbs. When you get to the bottom of the stick tie a knot. Add a dab of glue to secure the knot and prevent it from unraveling.
- Step Four If desired add beads onto the loose ends of ribbon, knot the ribbon around a bead or add glue at the end, and trim ribbon ends as necessary. Tip: Wrap the end of the ribbon with a piece of clear tape so that you can thread it with beads more easily.
1. Nature Mandalas
Next time you are outside in the garden, collect a few leaves or flowers and create a mandala! Mandalas are decorative circular designs, they can be drawn or created using found materials.
2. Bubble Wrap Rug
Next time you get a package with bubble wrap SAVE IT! Throw it on the floor, connect separate sheets with duct tape and pop away! What a fun way to spend an hour!
3. Book Writing
When kids are really interested in something, making a book about the topic is great way to encourage creative thinking, even if the topic is Minecraft or Shopkins!
4. Lego City
One of our favorite all-time activities is to bring out the LEGO bin and create and an enormous Lego City.
5. Cardboard Box 5 Minute crafts and Arts
It never fails, put a large cardboard box in front of your kids and walk away. Trust me, they’ll be busy for an hour.
6. Pins and Styrofoam
7. Light Show
Grab a handful glow sticks, turn out the lights and swing them around! The light leaves faint traces as your move them.
This is a great activity to try this in front of a big mirror and the perfect way to work out some pre bedtime energy!
8. Bead Sorting
Kids love to sort small objects! I had a ton of these flat marbles lying around.
Thaumatropes are a classic optical illusion project for kids!
10. Shaker Noisemaker
Easiest homemade instruments ever: grab a few small Tupperware containers and some small, noisy objects: think beads, rice, beans, pasta. Place them in the containers and make your own shakers. Ask your child if they can hear the differences in the sounds made by various objects.
11. Balloon Fun
Besides a cardboard box, the cheapest toy you can buy for your kids that provides hours of fun has to be balloons.
12. Woodworking 5 Minute crafts and Arts
Balsa wood is soft and perfect for kids to work with because it’s really easy to nail into. Here is a simple woodworking starter project:
Cut a few pieces of balsa wood into smaller pieces, put them out on a table with some tools, tacks, screws, and small nails and invite your kids over!
Make sure your children know how to use the tools safely, and supervise as needed depending in their ages. With proper precaution this simple woodworking activity is a sure hit for kids even as young as 4.
13. Flowers in Contact Paper
Cut two sheets of clear contact paper. Peel the backing off and stick flower petals to the sheets. When done place the other sheet on top and seal along the edges. Hang this in the window for some colorful flower suncatchers.
14. Confetti Rice
Colored rice is a wonderful material for sensory play.
15. Outdoor Bakery
This usually means making cakes from mud or sand and then decorating them with flowers leaves, even spices from our herb garden. A fun addition is to put sand in and old spice shaker and use it as “sprinkles.”
16. Tape Roads 5 Minute crafts and Arts
We love using painter’s tape to map out roads on our kitchen floor! It comes off easily when you are done with the project. P.S. If you have a long hallway consider mapping out a bowling lane on the floor. Use wood block as your pins and a soccer ball as your bowl ball.
1. Spinfinte Tops
These easy to make tops spin for-ever!
2. Rope Climbers
We made these using pre-cute paper doll shapes.
3. Cup & Ball Game
Transform a yogurt cup and skewer into game that gets your hand-eye coordination.
4. Tin Can Stilts
A classic DIY toy!
5. Tube Blocks
Yes, you can make building blocks from TP rolls!
6. Rattle Drums 5 Minute crafts and Arts
7. Hexactly Fun
If you like block play consider adding this set into your collection. The hexagon shapes offer a new building challenge to kids Hexactly.
8. AquaDoodles 5 Minute crafts and Arts
If you don’t have Aqua-Doodles run out and buy a set. It’s just a simple cloth board that changes color when wet. But it never ceases to amaze kids (or adults for that matter).
9. Marble Run
A favorite project we do every once in a while using items for our recycling bin.
10. Op-Art Pinwheels
Print out our template and make a few colorful pinwheel for your garden!
11. Disco Discovery Bottles
Materials: Empty Water Bottles, Glowsticks, Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks (optional), fun stuff to fill the bottles with: water beads, rice, milk, orange juice, soda, rock salt, salt, flat marbles, tissue paper…
This is a temporary project! These Disco Discovery Bottles will glow for one night only. If you want to keep them longer consider omitting the hot glue step and changing out the glow sticks when you want to use them again. You also may want to consider making these at night to be able to see the effects of the light diffusion right away.
- Step One Assemble your materials & heat your hot glue gun
- Step Two Start activating the glow sticks by cracking and shaking them so you get a nice glow. The glow sticks we used came with connecters to make them into bracelets. We connected the loose ends of each stick and then placed several glow bracelets in each bottle.
- Step Three Pour in the light diffusing materials!
- Step Four To make these baby safe add a ring of hot glue around the inside edge of the cap and screw it on tight. Add another layer of hot glue around the bottom of the cap to seal it in place.
12. Ball Drop Game
A mini DIY version of the classic Kerplunk!
Well this list of projects for kids ought to keep you busy for, oh I don’t know…a YEAR! It certainly has kept our family creating for along time!