Easy Kids' Paper Crafts

easy kids arts and crafts

Easy paper crafts for kids provide an inexpensive and creative way to learn and be productive. They can help keep your children busy on a rainy afternoon, and reinforce small motor skills with tasks such as folding and cutting. Paper crafts are also amongst the easiest and least expensive craft projects a child can do. With just a few simple materials and supplies such as card stock, safety scissors, glue, crayons and markers, a child can create many different types of projects.

Handmade Greeting Cards

A handmade greeting card is not only an easy project, but it is usually greatly appreciated by the recipient.

List of Supplies:

  • Cardstock
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Stickers
  • Magazines
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Fold a piece of card stock in half to create a card
  2. Allow children to use crayons, markers, stickers and magazine cut-outs to create an attractive front
  3. Write a message on the inside and consider adding a quote or verse
  4. Find an envelope to fit the card or hand-deliver the masterpiece

If you want to make an envelope for your card, try your hand at origami. Create an envelope that matches the card, or have your child decorate the envelope in co-ordinating colors and patterns.

Collages

Kids love glue, and they especially love projects where they can glue items onto paper. Don't discard old odds and ends without asking yourself if they can be used for a collage craft project. Items such as buttons, beads, macaroni, bits of yarn and ribbon can be used to make a collage. Many of these projects will require the use of a glue stick or simple white school glue. You can make a collage around a theme such as "Favorite Things" or "Springtime" or you can let children come up with their own ideas.

List of Supplies:

  • Cardstock
  • Paper scraps
  • Fabric scraps
  • Magazines
  • Glue

Instructions:

  1. Provide small craft bits, scraps of fabric, magazines, paper and glue
  2. Let children choose the items they want to include
  3. Glue the items to a piece of card stock, layering and adding more items as needed
  4. Allow glue to dry completely
  5. Frame the masterpiece and hang it on a wall

A collage project provides a good way to teach a lesson on sorting and classifying, as you can ask kids to sort items by color, size or theme.

Make a Scrapbook

A scrapbook can teach children the importance of family and friends and help to record precious memories. Provide children with some photographs and simple scrapbook materials. Scrapbooks for children don't have to be complicated. If you don't want to purchase a small album from your local scrapbook store, use a binder or a folder with prongs to make the book. Print copies of special photos on your computer so you don't have to worry about your child accidentally cutting a special image in half.

List of Supplies:

  • Photos
  • Scrapbook pages or cardstock
  • Stickers and embellishments

Instructions:

  1. Give children two or three related photographs
  2. Allow them to arrange them on scrapbook paper or in an album
  3. Give them stickers and embellishments to decorate the page
  4. Repeat for other pages

The Internet is a great resource for free scrapbook supplies for people of all ages, including young crafters. Activity Village has patterned paper printables that can be used to decorate a child's scrapbook layout.

Place Mats

paper placemat

Children love to celebrate special occasions, whether it's a Halloween party for their friends or Christmas dinner for the entire family. Making handmade decorations, such as paper place mats, is a quick and easy way to put everyone in a festive mood.

Place mats can be made with card stock, wrapping paper, brown paper grocery bags, or thin cardboard. Have your children decorate their place mats with holiday scenes using stickers, crayons, or rubber stamps. To make the place mats more durable, have them laminated at a local copy shop or cover them with clear contact paper.

List of Supplies:

  • Cardstock
  • Wrapping paper
  • Paint
  • Stickers
  • Rubber stamps and ink
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Contact paper

Instructions:

  1. Give each child a piece of card stock
  2. Allow them to decorate it with paint, wrapping paper, stamps, or other flat objects
  3. Encourage them to personalize it with a name or date
  4. Laminate the mats or use clear contact paper to cover them

Paper Dolls

It is easy to make your own paper dolls. You can draw your own, purchase a paper doll stencil kit or download a printable paper doll to get you started. Simply cut out a full body for the doll and attach it to a card stock backing to make it sturdier. Design and cut out clothing items and accessories for the doll, adding tabs that you can use to fold the clothes around the edges of the doll. For something a little different, download this free teddy bear paper doll template.

For an extra twist, make personalized paper dolls. Use a digital camera to take pictures of your child in different outfits. Cut out the full body photo and attach it to the card stock, then cut out the different outfits. Then, design your own extras like hats, wigs, boots and other clothing and accessories to supplement the "real" wardrobe. You can make paper dolls of your whole family--even your pets--this way.

List of Supplies:

  • Printout or hand-drawn body outline
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers

Instructions

  1. Draw a simple outline of a person or animal, or print out a paper doll template
  2. Allow children to trace it on card stock
  3. Cut out the image, helping younger children with this task
  4. Allow children to add facial features and details
  5. Cut out clothes for the doll and allow kids to color them, using this free paper doll clothes template, other downloadable designs, or clothing you design yourself.

For a personalized look, print pictures of the kids and paste them on the dolls head. Kids will enjoy making dolls that look just like themselves.

Paper Doll Chain

A paper doll chain makes a good garland for a party or just a fun craft.

Practicing scissors skills is an important part of a child's development, so paper crafts for kids which encourage cutting are both fun and educational. Making a paper doll chain is an easy craft your children are sure to enjoy.

List of Supplies:

  • Copy paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Crayons, markers or pencils

Instructions:

  1. Cut a sheet of copy paper in half
  2. Accordion fold the paper to the width you want the finished doll to be
  3. Sketch out the shape of a doll, making sure the arms and the feet touch the edges of the paper
  4. Carefully cut out the shape. Do not cut the ends of the arms or feet, as this will make the chain fall apart.
  5. After cutting, unfold the chain
  6. Decorate as desired. Use colored pencils, crayons, markers, or stickers to add facial features and clothing to your paper doll chain. Make the dolls look like your friends and family, or decorate them to resemble favorite characters from a book or television show

Learning to cut properly will help children learn dexterity and help to improve their hand-eye coordination.

Hand-print Wreath Craft for Kids

Hand Wreath

Make a simple decorative wreath out of cut-outs of your child's hand. Even preschoolers can complete this craft with a little help.

List of Supplies:

  • Paper (cardstock or construction paper)
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Crayons

Instructions:

  1. Trace around your child's hand on construction paper or card stock
  2. Cut out the hand shape and trace around it to make several more hands; cut out all of them. To make a full wreath you will probably need 10 to 12 hands
  3. On a washable work surface (or a table covered with butcher paper), lay out the hands in a circle so that they each overlap slightly
  4. Once they are arranged in a way you like, pick up one at a time and use the glue stick to attach it to the one next to it
  5. You can use markers and crayons to decorate your wreath.

Try making your wreath with several colors of paper you can customize these wreaths for individual holidays. For example, to make this a Christmas craft use green and red construction paper for the hands and add other holiday ornaments. Use pastel hands at Easter and add eggs and flowers.

Stand-up Animal Craft for Kids

Print out a paper Stand-up Animal Template

Make paper stand-ups of animals to create a zoo or farm play set, or to give as cards.

List of Supplies:

  • Paper or cardstock
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Decorative elements, markers, paint, and other embellishments, as desired

Instructions:

  1. Fold a piece of paper in half and draw an animal shape using the fold of the paper as the top of the animal
  2. Make a flat edge at the bottom so that the animal will stand upright on its two bottom edges once you cut it out
  3. For an animal with small feet you will need to allow extra paper at the bottom so that the animal will stand
  4. Use markers, crayons, stickers or other paper cutouts to decorate your animals any way you like
  5. For long-lasting animals, make sure to use heavyweight paper.

This style of stand-up animal also makes a great table decoration for parties or holiday events.

Paper Crafts as Gifts

Many of these paper crafts can be used as gifts for parents, grandparents and friends. Kids will love the sense of accomplishment they feel when they receive praise for the gifts that they made. Kids can even create their own wrapping paper to wrap their gifts in by decorating a large sheet of butcher paper prior to wrapping the gift.

Easy Kids' Paper Crafts