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Crafts for children: A few easy, but fun and entertaining craft projects that are suitable for preschoolers and older children, too.

Make Pet Rocks. Have the children collect a variety of small to medium shaped rocks. Using non-toxic paint, paint the rocks to resemble animals: ladybugs, snakes, cats, etc.

Grow a garden. Buy inexpensive packets of seeds and plant a garden! If you have a small space outdoors, plant the seeds there. If not, use paper cups. Fill with potting soil and let the children plant the seeds. Place in a sunny window. Teach them to water the plants. You can also use empty egg shells placed in an empty egg carton to plant the seeds. When plants are about 3 inches tall and have two sets of leaves, they can be transplanted to an outdoor garden. The children will love watching their seeds turn into seedlings and eventually blossom into flower and vegetables!

Make your own birdfeeder! Gather together different size pinecones. Let the children spread peanut butter on them and sprinkle (or roll) in birdseed. Attach ribbons to hang from the branches of a tree. Children will love to watch the birds come eat from their very own handmade birdfeeder.

Purchase inexpensive sunglasses (sometimes these can be found at the dollar stores.) Let children decorate them with sequins, seashells, confetti made by hand-punching colored construction paper.

Make silk flower garlands - all you need is craft glue and inexpensive colorful silk flowers. Remove the blooms from the stem one by one. Apply a dab of glue to the tip of the flower petal and attach to another petal and another, until you have the desired length for a necklace.

Another great idea for silk for fabric flowers: turn simple summer flip-flops into pretty works of art for your feet! Have children cut the stems off the flowers and arrange on the flip flops. They will stay on better if glued in place with a hot-glue gun, which will take supervision from an adult.

Make pretty bracelets. Use empty paper towel tubes and slice into rings. Let children decorate them with buttons, feathers, ribbon and glitter. When done, snip the rings open to wear as a bangle bracelet.

Another jewelry idea is to make colorful brooches. Cut a triangle from cardboard, or on a precut card stock. Have children layer and glue buttons, feathers, crepe paper, stars and ribbon, etc. to the cardboard. Attach a self-adhesive pin backing (available at crafts stores) to the back of the brooch. This would also make a great Mother’s Day present for Mom!

Potato stamps: *This craft will take a little assistance from adults because it involves cutting a potato in half and carving design.* Children can assist in washing the potatoes to remove any dirt. The adults can cut potato in half and then draw the design you want onto the potato. Remember you are going to cut the outline of the design, so keep it simple! Cut around the shape you just drew on the potato. Try to make it about a quarter inch deep. Pour non-toxic paint into a shallow dish. Let the children dip the potato “stamp” into the paint and press against paper, creating their own design or picture.

Colorful salt artwork: Place card stock on a cookie sheet and let children use glue to “draw” a design on the paper. Sprinkle the wet glue with salt until it’s completely covered. Tap off excess. Have the child use an eyedropper to drip colored water, one drop at a time, onto the salt. As the salt absorbs the liquid, the water will move along the glue lines. It creates a beautiful web of color! Tip: Use 5 drops of food color per tablespoon of water (neon food coloring makes especially vibrant hues.)


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