7 Easy Ways To Keep Kids Entertained (and Get Crafty)

While we’ve all been adapting to a new normal, our current state is especially challenging for parents. Raising a family is definitely work, but keeping kids entertained all day, every day – well, that’s another story. And although we can’t give you a day off, we can give you some ideas to make things just a little easier. So we’re sharing 7 easy activities that will keep kids engaged for hours of creative fun. 

Whether you have toddlers running around, pre-teens, or any age in between, we’ve got crafty ideas they will all enjoy. From painting to dying, building to molding, these ideas are great ways to keep them occupied while also expressing their creativity. And while most of these projects can be done with items you probably already have at home, we’ve also included links to the supplies you’ll need to get you started. So clear off a workspace and get the kiddos ready for some focused fun!

Keep scrolling to see all 7 of our easy ideas and get ready to get crafty!

Tie-Dye

While this activity might bring back memories of summer camp, tie-dye is now more popular than ever and popping up everywhere. Tie-dye has made a big comeback in fashion but, why buy when you can make your own with your kids. Any cotton or linen fabric will work best, like t-shirts, shorts, socks, headbands or bandanas. Just keep in mind that dying can get messy, so be sure to have the kids wear gloves and cover any surfaces you want to keep clean.

 

Click here for a step by step guide to different dying techniques. 

 

BOBBY’S TIP
Tie-dye doesn’t have to be for just fashion. You can also tie-dye items to use as home decor, like napkins, pillowcases or tablecloths. Maybe a tie-dye pillowcase will lure the kids to bedtime a few minutes earlier?!

Photo: Jim Franco
Photo: Rit Dye

Custom Name Art

It doesn’t get much easier (or personal) than this idea from Almost Makes Perfect. To bring a one of a kind touch to your child’s drawings, use painters or washi tape to spell out their name on a piece of construction paper. Then let them paint to their heart’s content (they can use acrylic or watercolor or even crayons). Once finished, remove the tape and you have a display-worthy piece of art. You could also spell out any cute word or phrase to create a whole wall of relief paintings.

 

BOBBY’S TIP
For older kids, have them tape out their own more complex design or phrase and then paint or draw around it. You can even do this idea outside with tape on the sidewalk and use chalk for color.

Painted Rocks

For a craft idea that totally rocks (sorry, we had to), just head outside and grab a few palm-sized, smooth rocks or stones from your backyard or the neighborhood. Then let your child’s imagination run wild! A humble rock can become anything with just a little paint – an animal, a car, a silly face, a flower or even an abstract design. Or have them paint a series of rocks and use them for a game of tic tac toe.

 

Click here for plenty of other rock painting ideas.

 

BOBBY’S TIP
To make painting easier (and more precise) for little hands, try using acrylic paint markers instead of a brush.

Photo: Windy Chien

Knots & Macramé

A simple knot can be the starting point for plenty of fun and fulfilling handicrafts. And all you’ll need to get started is some cotton cord. Besides being used for macramé wall hangings and plant holders, knots can be used to make everything from bracelets to keychains to flowers or animals. Once your kids master a few basic knots, they’ll be on their way to creating endless designs.

 

Click here to learn the 8 basic macramé knots and here for an easy (kid-friendly) Macrame wall hanging guide.

 

BOBBY’S TIP
For a great resource to learn different types of knots and how to use them, check out the book  Year of Knots by Windy Chien.

Cardboard Crafts

Instead of recycling cardboard boxes and toilet paper rolls, turn them into the materials for your next craft project. You’ll be amazed at what a cardboard tube can be transformed into with just a pair of scissors, paint and a few accessories. From binoculars to animals to an airplane to a bunny organizer, there’s no shortage of cute and easy ideas for turning cardboard into clever crafts.

 

Click here for even more clever cardboard craft ideas. 

 

BOBBY’S TIP
Don’t have an extra toilet paper roll? You can use any thin pieces of cardboard to make a tube (like a cereal box). Just roll it into a tube and use hot glue to seal the ends together.

Homemade Playdough

We’ve always been nostalgic for the store-bought playdough of our youth. But now, you can introduce a new generation to the pliable material – and make your own right at home. Besides being super simple (your kids can help with that part too!) it’s also natural, affordable, and will last for months. And you can customize the colors to all your child’s favorites.

 

Click here for the full homemade playdough recipe.

 

BOBBY’S TIP
After playtime is done, be sure to store different colors of dough in separate plastic containers with sealable lids so that it doesn’t dry out and get hard.

Bobby Bingo

For an activity that won’t cost a thing, play a few rounds of Bobby Bingo. We’ve created a custom bingo game that’s perfect for an afternoon of escape. Click here to download the instructions, game board and number sheet and get started!

 

What you need to play!

  • Instructions, Bingo Template and Sheet of Numbers (Print from link above)
  • Bowl or Basket
  • Pen
  • 10+ items that can be used as a marker: – Beads, coins, stickers, etc.

 

We hope you enjoy all our ideas! Let us know what you think, and any tips you may have, in the comments below.

  1. Love these. So sweet to think of us parents!
    -mother of a 3 year old

    1. Hope you found our ideas helpful! Stay safe and healthy xx -B

  2. Thank you for thinking of us, stay home parents with toddlers. Love!