Crafts to Do Indoors on a Hot Day!

Updated on July 12, 2012
J.C. asks from Blacksburg, VA
14 answers

We have been playing inside for weeks because of the heat. I have a 1 YO and a 4 YO. They are tired of their toys and have watched too much tv, so I told them I would take them to Michaels tomorrow to find some crafts to do. But now, what if I walk in without any ideas and we still don't have anything to do? Help! I know the 1 YO won't be able to do too much, but what craft ideas do you have that I can find at Michaels for a 1 YO and 4 YO? Thanks!!

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answers from Miami on

hi. YOu have received great ideas already. to add:

indoor small plastic pool. fill with oatmeal and pretend it is sand.
water play using tupperware in the bath tub and old funnels from breast pumps.

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answers from San Francisco on

You don't even have to go to Michaels -

play dough

Also, don't know if you have a yard, but a water hose on a hot day can provide hours of entertainment! And filling up an ice chest for them to play with boats and things while playing with the hose adds more fun!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

1 year olds are pretty good at smearing paint. Buy a bunch of non toxic paint. They can also place foam sticky things down.

Bet the folks at michaels will be very helpful.

we make a point of playing outdoors, despite the weather. a shady playground, the beach, a kiddie pool, is all good fun. couldn't imagine being cooped up with 2 little ones.

good luck to you and yours,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

We are in AZ (it was 114 yesterday!) so we are inside pretty much all day and only swim after dinner when the pool is fully shaded.

My kids are older, but we stopped at the Dollar Store yesterday and my daughter found some things to do in their craft section. I think they were wooden trucks or planes that you glue together then paint. And then there was a couple Oragami packs that you can make. There were other things too. I know your kids are younger, but for a buck, maybe you can check it out and see if there is anything they could do. Good luck!

ETA: Oh, I just remembered something a friend posted on Facebook that she did with her kids. A bunch of people with little kids posted that they tried it and their kids spent HOURS playing. Here it is: Its called Cloud Dough in case the link doesn't work. Its basically 4 cups all purpose flour and 1/2 cup oil, mix and put on cookie sheet for kid to play with. =)

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answers from New York on

Get some play dough and play dough toys it will keep them busy for a lot longer then craft kits, and it helps them to use their imagination. These are also a great idea, a bit expensive but I soooo worth it. They are called magnetic tiles for building for every classroom in my preschool and it is the best investment I ever made. You can get them on or The children will built for hours, they LOVE them. Each age group has a different level of ability but by 4 you have to see the things they create. Discount school supply also has great craft ideas and at a great price. Good luck!!

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answers from New York on

THey have kits to make headbands which my 4 yr old and her friends loved. They also have assemble and paint projects, and some sticker decorating projects with glitter glue.

For the little one they have cute little coloring sets.

Or they have foam sticker projects, they can make door know hangers of pircture frames etc. With the stickers they can each do one to thier own tastes. At most you might need to helo the little one peeling of the sticker backs.

Good luck and have fun!


answers from Minneapolis on

Do some fun sensory stuff ith both of them. The one year old is the challenge here. My daycare toddlers love playing with shaving cream. If you have an old or cheap vinyl table cloth..or old shower curtain, use duct tape under the table to secure it to itself. Put it a small blob of shaving cream. See what they do. Extend the play by adding a teeny dot of food color. Add more for some color mixing lesson fun. Then give them some small toys to play in it. Maybe washable cars like matchbox or little people ones. Little people are great too. Anything small and washable that can hide in the shaving cream or dive into the "snow piles".

Print out or draw if you are handy a bear picture on thick card stock paper so it's sturdy. Give each child a blob of chocolate and or butterscotch pudding from pudding cups. Let them finger paint with that. No big deal if the toddler eats it. It cool and squishy and fun! Paint the bear! Or just do it like the shaving cream!

A another person said too...get hooked up on Pinterest. Loads of easy ideas, theme stuff, dollar store finds..all sorts of stuff. A little planning and you can have stuff on hand. I do home child are and it's a great thing for people like me!



answers from Kansas City on

We went camping at the beginning of June and I wanted to take some crafts with us so I raided Michael's too! The big hits were picture frames and visors and the best part is that you can combine it with outdoor time and indoor craft time!

The picture frames were only $1 apiece and we went outside and found sticks, leaves, etc. to glue to them. I just used Elmer's gel glue and they have stayed on great! The kids really got into looking for stuff and using it. You could of course do this with buttons, sequins, feathers, glitter, or even pictures from a magazine, but it might be fun to do a nature hunt first then come inside and craft!

The visors I just got foam stickers and they decorated them and then wore them around that day. You could also do coozies and just have them put water bottles in them!

Next week I'm having an Olympics party and I've been cutting out pictures from the sports page and other magazines to make place mats that the kids can use during the games. I'm cutting rings out of construction paper and then the kids can make a collage of sorts with different pictures of people doing sports/physical activities. The 1 y/o would probably be happy just tearing up paper or glueing things onto a paper.

Painting is always a big hit around here too. You could find some unfinished wooden animals or letters of their name or something and you could pain them. Just get a few colors and maybe some glitter and they'll have fun with that and they can put them up in their room.

Pain your own piggy banks is also something that my older child loved! She made one about a year or so ago and still uses it.

**Wanted to add that my 4 y/o LOVES play doh and will play for an hour or two by herself with it, but ugh...the 2 y/o is a nightmare with it! Your 1 y/o might just be young enough that they don't care and will leave it alone, so if you don't have any play doh stuff definitely invest in something like the pizza maker or ice cream shop or something super cool!



answers from Richmond on

Check out It's a blog mainly about saving money but she has a lot of cute, easy, inexpensive craft / home projects that she does with her 3 young kiddos!


answers from Tucson on

Today i made finger paints for my kids. Totally edible. My 1 yr old liked eating it more than he did putting it on the paper.
2tbs. sugar
1/3 c. flour
1 tbs. salt
2c. water
Put it all in a saucepan and wisk it up till it has a kind of thick consistancy.
Then let it cool and use food coloring to make different colors. My kids had fun with it. 1,3, and 8 yrs old.


answers from San Francisco on

On hot days we did lots of water play, pool, sprinkler, etc.
As far as crafts, I'm not sure about your one year old (still putting things in the mouth? how's the coordination and attention span?) but my kids were always pretty happy with play doh and watercolors (less messy than paint.)
The four year old would probably like beading and lacing, AND those things are great for improving fine motor (pre writing) skills :)
Of course you can always get busy in the kitchen, making no cook goodies like jello, ice cream sundaes, homemade popsicles, fresh fruit smoothies, stuff like that.



answers from Memphis on

I have a 1.5 and a 3.5 year old. both boys. 1.5 year old is just getting into sitting at one place for more than 10 minutes is happy doing crayons and paint.
For 3.5 year old, I print lot of craft ideas for websites like or any other website that comes on on search. There are so many things you can make by cutting and pasting the printed papers together and my 3.5 year old loves to color them and help me create it.
I have spent money on kits but realized he is too small to make anything that well just yet. Walmart/target sometimes has some kits of sale for 2$ and that is the most I am willing to spend now on these projects.
Try stamping kit, Sand craft kit type of stuff where even if they go freestyle with imagination it looks cute and you dont spent much on these things.
My boys love play dough, making shapes with different cutters, monn dough and making animals out of moon dough makers, paint, crafty activities i print from the web, stamps, giant floor puzzles type of stuff.



answers from Orlando on

You can also try the Dollar Tree, they have craft stuff too, we get the glitter glue (and other things), way cheaper there. It's only a little section, so we also go to Michaels too. My daughter is 4, and she seems happiest when cutting and pasting...ANYTHING! Magazine pictures, pieces of fabric, yarn, ribbon, pom-poms, beads, rhinestones, etc...she will incorporate it into a picture with markers, crayons and paint! Remember it doesn't have to be organized, just a few things for them to get creative (and make a mess!) with. Have fun!!



answers from Cleveland on

you should try pinterst. Lots of great ideas for things in your cupboard.

At VBS last week our kids made Window Clings, using Puffy paint squeezed onto the outside of a ziploc, and let dry. you can put a pattern/picture into the bag as a template

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