Do you ever find yourself browsing the web for fun things to do with students and then realize that most of the crafts require a drill, jackhammer, or ten pounds of kitty litter?
With teachers and parents in mind, I’ve rounded up a few art projects that students can make and do using things we’ve got lying around the house.
When I was a kid, my mom would keep me entertained for hours with papier-mâché. I’d use old crepe paper streamers and make “piñatas” to hang in my room.
- Use a mixture of about 2 cups of water and 1 cup of flour (if you have a little borax, you can add it, but the flour and water do just as well).
- Blow up balloons and cover with water/flour mixture and strips of old newspapers or scrap paper; then hang to dry.
- Once dry, kids can paint and decorate the outside however they like. Don’t forget to pop the balloon before hanging!
Teacher Tip: Skip the paints and use old magazine paper for colorful “eggs” as an Easter activity!
Paper Tube Everything
I love paper roll crafts because if there isn’t one in my recycle bin, there’s a roll somewhere not far from being done.
Paper Roll Bracelets & Cuffs
- Cut the rolls into 1- to 2-inch” rings and decorate as bracelets or make them thicker and make superhero cuffs.
Teacher Tip: If the cuffs are too big or small for anyone, cut them at the back and adjust with tape.
Paper Roll Animals
Make a classroom zoo with our Paper Tube Animal activity.
For more paper tube animal crafts, see Paper Tube Zoo e-book or www.teacherfilebox.com.
Plastic bottles can be upcycled in so many cool crafts; don’t let them go to waste!
Plastic Bottle Birdhouses
- Using scissors, cut out the center section of a used water bottle or soda bottle (about 3 inches).
- Make two holes in the sides of the bottom section. You can use a hole punch or just cut slits in either sides.
- Tie a string through the holes and run it through the top section of the bottle.
Teacher Tip: Students can decorate the houses before or after assembling and hang them indoors or fill with birdseed and hang outdoors!
I especially love these activities because you don’t need special supplies to decorate them. They’re small enough that students can use leftover glitter, paint, pom-poms, stickers, and anything else you don’t want to waste!
Karina Ruiz has four years of experience working with children for non-profit after-school programming for K–12 and four years of nanny work. She is currently a volunteer intern and attends California State University, Monterey Bay.