40 Fun Games and Craft Activities to Do With Your Kids

Boredom, you're officially BUSTED.

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Picklebums/Philip Friedman/Endlessly Inspired

There's only so many times you can visit the children's museum. Change things up (and avoid schlepping the stroller to and from the house!) with these DIY craft ideas and engaging activities that are as fun as they are educational. And if you want some super seasonal ideas, check out our 50+ fall craft ideas.

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Philip Friedman/Studio D
DIY Thumbprint Family Tree

Get in touch with your roots via a hands-on genealogical project. Dot the print-out template with thumbprint leaves, then start mapping extended relatives galore.


Get the tutorial »

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Picklebums
DIY Paper Bracelets

We love a two-for-one activity: First, paint poppy abstract shapes with watercolors, and then have older kids cut the paper into strips and fold them into wearable art.


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Mike Garten
DIY Fairy Garden

To you, it's just glitter; to them it's magical pixie dust. Sprinkle some over your pint-sized garden and wait for the fairies to come out and play!


Get the tutorial »

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Philip Friedman/Studio D
DIY Flight School

These paper planes are perfect for kids — just fold, and let your imagination fly. Increase the challenge by making some cardboard targets for the planes to fly through.


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Endlessly Inspired
DIY Spiky Sponges

When skipping through the sprinkler loses its charm, pull out these homemade spiky sponges for a riff on water balloons (that won't cause bruising).


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Merrilee Liddiard
DIY Owl Puppet

Handprint turkey, step aside: A new paper craft can rule the roost. Add string to the cup's sides, and you've got yourself a feathered cap, too.


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Handmade Mood
DIY Story Stones

This mom takes rock painting a step further: After the paint's dry, the images on the stones become characters in a story everyone can tell together.


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Itsy Bitsy Fun
DIY Origami Frogs

When the fun of folding origami frogs is over, extend playtime with sidewalk games to see which hopper can jump the furthest.


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DIY Shamrock Shirts

Sure you could use potatoes, but halved bell peppers make their own intricate designs when dipped in paint. Try shades of green for shamrocks, or a pastel palette for a wearable flower garden.

Get the tutorial »

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Sowdering About in Seattle
DIY Paper Bead Necklaces

Strips of scrapbooking paper look super cute when rolled into beads, but you can also have your kids experiment with wrapping paper, magazine clippings, or newsprint for a craft you can do without going to the store.


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Mike Garten
DIY Tie-Dye Spin Art

Transform your salad spinner into a carnival-style spin art machine. Just make sure you fill squeeze bottles with washable paint, in case splatters land outside of the coffee filter canvas.


Get the tutorial »

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Juliette's Garden
DIY Race Track

Take your washi tape stash to the floor to create a colorful, customizable race track for tiny cars — and a place to park them when playtime is over.


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Fun at Home With Kids
DIY Polka Dot Slime

Because the only thing better than making a mom-approved mess is doing so with the extra fun of polka dots. (Can you guess what they're made from?)


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I Heart Naptime
DIY Soap Boat

File this under genius parenting hacks: A piece of rain gutter picked up at the hardware store becomes a slick race track when you add water and an adorable soap boat.


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iCandy Handmade
DIY Water Balloon Batting Station

Because nothing says "summer" quite like a bucket of water balloons and America's pastime.



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Buzzmills
DIY Fairy Bells

Decorate twigs with embroidery floss, beads and jingle bells to add a bit of whimsy to your yard.


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Hello, Wonderful
DIY Temporary Tattoos

Celebrate your kid's love of doodling by making temporary tattoos out of her own art. It's a project that bends (but doesn't break!) your mess-minimizing rules.


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Six Sisters' Stuff
DIY "I Spy" Bag

Transform a windowed pencil case into an armchair treasure hunt with this no-sew project.


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Bubble Snake
Housing a Forest
DIY Rainbow Bubble Snakes

In a bit of bubble magic, a dish soap solution morphs into a crazy-cool growing snake.


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Playdough to Plato
DIY Crystal Names

It's a twist on the classic science fair exhibit: Bend pipe cleaners into letters or shapes, and watch them grow sparkles overnight in a borax solution.


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And Next Comes L
DIY Window Art

Don't worry — we're not suggesting you surrender your patio doors to your kids' artistic ambitions. This activity uses a clever dollar-store find and just water, so it's totally removable.


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Dabbles & Babbles
DIY Foam Paint

This three-ingredient recipe is a little bit art, a little bit science. The paintable foam (which kids can pipe out of plastic bags) hardens overnight into super-cool, puffed-up masterpieces.


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Fun at Home With Kids
DIY Outdoor Concert

Thrift store finds become a backyard music station (and save your everyday cookware from your little maestro's enthusiastic playing).


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Minieco
DIY "Space" Crayons

There's just something about sparkly crayons in celestial shapes that makes coloring time extra exciting.


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Babble Dabble Do
DIY Magic Wands

Fashion straws into 3D shapes for an activity that's one part science, one part silly fun with bubbles.


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MollyMooCrafts.com
DIY Artsy Collages

It's amazing how a piece of paper loaded up with watercolor doodles, stickers and pictures from thrifted design books becomes instant art when framed.


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Design Mom
DIY Berry-Picking Baskets

Fold painted paper plates into the perfect size for little hands before you spend the day berry picking.


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PinkStripeySocks.com
DIY Nail Polish Marble Art

Let your kids dip into your stash of never-going-to-wear-again nail polish for an artsy afternoon.


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Momdot
DIY Mini Volcanoes

This explosive science experiment (disguised as permission to make a mess) is a lot more palatable when contained in a glass dish.


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No Time for Flashcards
DIY Shell Memory Game

Collect shells on the beach and make them into a fun game that jogs her mathematical memory.


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