Children need to learn, play, and stay active for well-rounded growth. These free websites for activities, crafts, and arts for kids will ensure they stay occupied while growing their skills and knowledge.
This article focuses more on non-screen activities, although some of the websites include those. But there’s always a happy go-between. these free interactive art games for kids will develop color and art skills, and are child-appropriate. It’s no substitute for paints and palettes, but it is a launching point for digital design.
1. Origami Way and Proud Paper (YouTube): Learn Origami and Paper Crafts
Oh, the creations you can make out of a simple piece of paper! Origami Way and Proud Paper teach both adults and children basic papercrafts with a focus on origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. From cranes to planes to Wolverine claws, you’ll learn it all.
Origami Way is a website with step-by-step instructions for each project. Each step has images, so you can take your time and do it at your own pace. It also specifies the kind of paper you need for any creation, with instructions on how to make a square paper sheet which several origami projects need.
YouTube channel Proud Paper hosts origami and papercraft projects for all skill levels. The videos have no instructions or voice notes, it captures the process of any creation. Kids should start with the basics like paper boats and butterflies, before moving on to more complex creations.
Given that origami has no tools involved, it’s a great activity to keep kids occupied with a large sheet of paper. Just ensure you gently encourage them to keep trying even if they aren’t getting it right the first time.
2. DIY Slime (Web): The Ultimate Guide to Make Slime at Home
Which kid doesn’t love playing with Slime? The good news is that you and your child can make slime at home with regular store-bought safe ingredients. And once it’s ready, your child can go wild with it.
The Craft Patch made the best guide on how to make DIY slime at home. You’ll find all the ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and different recipes for different types of slime. Yup, you can make slime without borax, make slime without glue, make fluffy slime, clear slime, or butter slime.
The website also includes a few suggestions of things to add to the slime to make it your own, like glitter, foam balls, confetti, etc. All the recipes are free to download and print, and there’s a helpful video of everything too.
And don’t throw away the slime just yet when they are done playing with it. You can use DIY slime to clean gadgets and other hard-to-clean things.
3. Kids Activities (Web): Stuck-at-Home Survival Guide
The Kids Activities Blog hosts a variety of projects across age groups. You can quickly filter the site by activities for baby, toddler, preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. As a parent, you can browse and choose the things you want for your children. It’s not meant for your child to browse it.
Mother-of-three Holly Holmer has all types of activities, wisely combining both screen-time activities and non-screen-time activities. There is a paid printables library. But browse the website and you’ll find more than your fair share of free printables and activities.
It also has a quarantine special “Stuck At Home Survival Guide” for things to do while your kids are stuck at home. It suggests a full day’s schedule that mixes play, rest, learning, exercise, eating, and cleaning. The guide has kid-friendly things to watch for free, and a special pack of Quarantine Printables for non-screen fun too.
4. Happy Hooligans (Web): Arts, Crafts, and Good Old Fashioned Play
Jackie Currie has run a daycare for 25 years, and she’s sharing her secrets on the internet for free. Happy Hooligans has a mission to help children grow through easy and inexpensive arts and crafts, and good old fashioned play.
The website features sections for arts, crafts, activities, recipes, and parenting. Currie offers a mix of items that cater to kids of different ages, including both supervised and unsupervised projects. Among the recipes and parenting, you’ll find simple, fuss-free ways to keep your child happy and nourished.
5. The Best Ideas for Kids (Web): Repository for Activities and Free Printables
The Best Ideas for Kids is as simple as it gets to quickly find activities and printables for children. The three main sections are crafts, activities, and slime, with plenty of free articles in each. No signups, no payments, it’s all right there.
There’s an entire section for free printables worth checking out. The “holidays” section gives you activities for different American holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. Keep checking for new items on the website.
6. DIY Projects for Teens (Web): Lists of Activities for Older Kids
If your children are bored teenagers and you want to reduce their screen time, DIY Projects for Teens suggests several different activities. Even though it’s not actively updated now, the website has projects for food, fashion, arts, gadgets, crafts, and other DIY things.
The four main self-explanatory categories are DIY & How-to, Creative Crafts, Style & Fashion, and Cool Videos. The website is a mix of original projects and collections of activities suggested by the internet. You’ll find long curated lists of topics like the best room decor ideas for teens, drawing tutorials to refine your skills, and so on.
The Butlers (the makers behind the site) try out the best ideas and post their own detailed instructions and experiences. These are the best posts to look for, as they actually try out something from a popular DIY video and explain what went right and wrong in recreating it.
Lockdown Entertainment for Families
Self-isolation or lockdowns are tough on families with children. Hopefully, the above resources will help keep your kid entertained and learning at the same time, making it a tad easier to manage things.
For more ideas, please listen to the MakeUseOf podcast episode on lockdown entertainment for families . From free resources to innovative ideas, you’ll have an easier time handling your kids after this.
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