Great for building your children’s motor skills and their imagination, paper crafts are also a wonderful activity to engage overexcited children when it’s wet and windy outside.
You don’t need any expensive supplies to make these impressive creations, just your usual craft kit and things that can be found around the house. But you may want to stock up on the basics to make sure you have enough to go around – it won’t be long before the whole family joins in!
Paper crafting is great for building your children’s motor skills and imagination
1. Draw Your Own Wrapping PaperJust as simple as it sounds, all you need is a stack of large sheet paper and some coloured pencils or pens. Your kids can draw their own patterns, landscapes or portraits to add that special touch to gifts.
2. Design Newspaper OutfitsRecycle the daily paper in a different way. Let your fashionistas cut, tape and tailor dresses, shirts, hats and more. You might have a future fashion designer on your hands. Fingers crossed for free clothes!
3. Host A Paper Plane CompetitionMark the finish line with a long piece of ribbon or some twine and start folding those planes. Show even younger children how to experiment with paper creases to improve aerodynamic performance. Be careful, unleashing anyone’s competitive side can be dangerous!
4. Decorate Your Room with Paper RosettesNot just for kids, these paper rosettes are also a lovely decoration for your next dinner party. Use coloured pencils to draw on three sheets of A4 paper, then pleat each lengthwise before folding each piece in half. Then, connect each of the pieces with tape and let the pleats fan out. Punch a small hole near the edge and thread through a piece of string or ribbon. Easy! Now simply display your creation where it can be admired by everyone.
5. Create Paper Plate LadybirdsThe simplest design only requires a paper plate, black and red colouring pencils and sticky tape. Take it up a notch with red paint, black coloured paper for the spots and face, a set of goggly eyes and black pipe cleaners for antennas. Once you’ve mastered the ladybird, ask the kids what animal they’d like to make next.
6. Mould Your Papier Mâché BowlsThis super cheap activity will provide hours of fun. Shred newspaper and brightly coloured tissue paper into small strips. Mix water into a bowl of PVA glue and stick down three layers around a blown up balloon in the order of tissue paper, newspaper and tissue paper. Leave to dry and when the paper has hardened pop the balloon with a pin and cut the shell in half to reveal your multicoloured paper bowls. Pretty!
7. Build a Marble Run MachineThis is a great one for the boys so save any cardboard rolls you might have (roll your own card if you don’t have any about) and start taping the pieces together on a base or against the wall. Put a cardboard box at the end of the tube to collect your marbles. Voilà! Grab your marbles and let the fun begin.
8. Fold Your Way to Become a Origami MasterThe Japanese art of paper folding is a craft for all ages. Use a square sheet of paper to create your own sailboats, talking dogs and fortune-tellers before moving on to harder designs such as crowns, cats and more. See here for instructions and more origami ideas.
9. Construct Paper Bag Lion PuppetsTurn your brown paper bag upside down so the base sits face up. Sketch and cut out your lion’s eyes, nose, mane (cut out a small rectangle in the middle) and arms from coloured paper and paste on its features to the base of the bag and thread through the mane. Ta da, little ones, you’ve got yourself a king of the jungle, so start practising your roar!
10. Style a Shoebox SettingGreat for both boys and girls, let your brood create their favourite setting out of an old shoebox and any coloured materials you have available. Ideas to get started include recreating the home, rainforest, sea and jungle. Don’t let them forget the animals and plants that live there – hours of fun!
11. Piece Together a Family Photo CollageThis one requires you to print off a selection of family snaps in advance. Give your child safety scissors and let them cut out, arrange and paste the gang’s favourite memories on a large sheet of paper before hanging it somewhere for all to see.
12. Stuff Paper Bag Piñatas
For a special occasion, decorate your paper bags in any way you wish, showing the kids how to attach paper fringing or pasta shapes. Stuff each bag with sweeties and chocolate, seal them with string and to minimise blows to the head, hang them up at perfect whacking height for kiddies.
For supplies and more great craft ideas see the latest in our Art & Crafts department