Crafty Moms! - Long Beach,CA

Updated on January 20, 2011
O.L. asks from Long Beach, CA
19 answers

To all of you crafty moms out there, I could use some advice! I have a 5 year old son who loves different projects. I like to give him activities that he can do by himself, if possible. Do you have some suggestions of arts and crafts that we can do with things around the house? Or, do you recommend a specific site that sells small kits for arts and craft projects?


What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Rochester on

Allow him to be creative with what he finds around the daughter (who is also 5) is constantly making things out of what I would like to throw away. She loves to build things out of empty boxes, toilet paper tubes, etc... really fun thing to do, if you can find a large flat sheet of cardboard, is to let him build a city on it. You can make houses out of empty boxes (oatmeal, Jiffy muffin, small boxes like that) and he can cut out the doors and windows, and it's a great chance to teach a child how to "wrap" a package (with construction paper, e.g.) and then they can decorate the houses how they want. Toilet paper tubes makes great silos, towers, tree trunks, etc, cotton balls can be used for tops of trees, bushes, etc, popsicle sticks can be used to make fences and playground equipment, as can string, toothpicks, etc...

The ideas for making a city like this are really endless...if you have a basement and a fridge size piece of cardboard (easy enough to find...ask around at stores, etc), then you can really let him "go to town!"

My daughter also likes stickers to incorporate into her drawings....

oh gee, there are just so many things you can do!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tucson on

I don't know if a boy would like this, but my daughter did. We saved up some toiletpaper rolls. Then we used felt and markers. Made clothes with felt and drew faces. We made dolls. You could do superheros or army men maybe. You could make homemade playdohe.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Honolulu on

Make sculpture... with found objects.

In college in art school, I made a really cool sculpture... with a found car radiator, old dolls, and odds and ends. I got an A for it.

Kids... can make 'sculpture." Think sculpture.... not 'craft' project. That will widen... the scope of ideas....

Or have themes... bird feeders. Flower pots. Clips to hold things (decorating it), decorating baskets. Photo Frames. Paper plates. Puppets. Using air-dry clay. Fimo.
Musical instruments.
Painting T-shirts with textile paint.
ALL using found objects of things around the house.

ALSO buy a blank paint canvas (that is already mounted on the frame)... and have him paint it AND glue on objects onto it. Thereby, creating dimensional or 3-D 'art" and sculpture.

Walmart... has tons of art crafty items/supplies. Or any dollar store too.
Or go to an Art Supply store. It is SO much fun.

all the best,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

i dont know if its possible to view th site from the US but back home we watched MISTER MAKER on cbeebies who was perfect with his craft ideas. google it

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wichita on

Hobby Lobby and other stores have sections with crafts and they generally have an age on it for what group should be ok to use them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Ok-so NOT a crafty person but how about gluing on dry pasta shells onto some colored construction paper.
Do you have snails around the outside of your house? Once in pre-school the teachers found snails dipped then into some water colors and put them on big pieces of construction paper to se what kind of designs the snails would make as they snailed around the paper-I though it was neat. Hopefully, you don't mind handling them, Lol!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My son is the same way! We love Oriental Trading, they have great project kits for cheap. Also, the dollar store and Michaels dollar bins always have great projects for a buck =) LOL. I actually own a craft business so if I have left over beads or paper I let him have at it. We have also painted pine cones, or when we walk we pick up leaves and twigs and such and then when we get home he can glue them to paper to make a great nature collage. Even just a big roll of paper and crayons can be exciting. The Parents magazine website has some great craft ideas. Here are some others that you can make from stuff you have at home:
- Save your empty coffee can with the lid. Let him decorate the can, with paper, paint, leaves, flowers, whatever and then cut a hole in the lid for his very own piggy bank.
- Collect rocks and pine cones and let him paint them. He can make his own rock garden =)
- Have him draw a picture on paper (the size of a small puzzle). Then once he's done trace the puzzle pieces on the drawing, cut out and he has just created his own puzzle. You can laminate the pieces or if you want to take the extra time glue them cardboard and cut out too.
- Save old shoe boxes for great mobiles.
- If you have extra fabric, or an old shirt of his that doesn't fit anymore, turn it inside out, glue (with fabric glue or if you want to help him sew) the arm holes, and the bottm together. Turn it right side in again, stuff with pillow stuffing and close the neck- he just made his own pillow. (great to use his old shirts that you love so much- like his favorite Tshirt or his Holiday shirt) Great for him to use in front of the TV and a great keepsake too.
Hope this helps! Enjoy crafting with him, it's great quality time together!
Take care,



answers from Phoenix on

Print off a 50% off coupon for Michael's, the craft store, and go perusing the aisles with him. Or get a coupon from the paper.

There are soooo many popsicle sticks, and themed sticky foam pieces and depending upon his dexterity, those little round beads that are ironed together. As his interests continue to develop you can graduate to building the model boats or airplanes. There are many tool kits he'll eventually find interesting.

With a collection of shells, or pasta shapes, or beads and sequins and small colored fish rocks you can create all kinds of great masterworks. At that age my son made me this giant roller coaster on a large stiff piece of cardboard. We used the side of a box from Costco for all his art pieces.

I would like to recommend Lego, but their sets have become ridiculously expensive for the average income. But if you do buy them over the years, keep those to turn into digital looking art.

Happy Creating!



answers from Minneapolis on

If you have some yarn and toilet paper tubes you can make mobiles, binoculars. Or if you have some beads or pasta, make some necklaces. Cut out things from magazines and do collages. Cut out snowflakes. Check out this blog: She has a lot of great ideas for crafts. Also sometimes it's just great to get some paper, coloring books and just have the kids be creative on their own.



answers from Honolulu on

bath time body paint is always fun too. 2 drops of food coloring into about a 1/4 cup od shampoo and let the kid paint all over himself, at least you know all the soap is off of him when he is done washing,



answers from Johnstown on

Empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls are a kids best friend. Give him some of those, a few egg cartons, some dried pasta--maybe died w/ food coloring, some tin foil and let him go to town :)



answers from Pittsburgh on has some cute (cheap) craft kits.
What about O. of those little weaving loom kits?
My son used to like when I would just get all of his craft stuff out: colored paper, markers, crayons, glitter glue, scissors, etc. and just let him take over the kitchen table!
Paperoni kits? Play Doh? Spin Art? Glue small beads/seashells to a plain picture frame? Fingerpaints? Pudding/shaving cream on the table for drawing/writing letters (kids love this!)



answers from Los Angeles on

When my kids were that age we'd go to Lakeshore Learning Store every Saturday to browse. They always have a craft table set up and a free craft for every kid that comes in. Here's a link to the site-
If it was a hit, we'd buy the materials to make more, if not just had fun shopping. Michael"s has lots of little craft kits that aren't terribly expensive too.



answers from Philadelphia on

Crayola has air dry clay. My little ones love it. They make their little sculptures and then paint them. I am hoping that we can start real pottery eventually. For now this is really fun for them :)

Something else that is really fun is cooking. They love making their own pizzas, baked goods... or helping me make dinner. Making sugar cookies and decorating with icing is a lot of fun. I have started making homemade applesauce with my kids. I was debating putting it in pretty jars with the kids and giving it to family. Cooking is a different kind of craft that is so much fun for them:)



answers from Portland on

You know what a lot of kids love? The recycling and odd bits that we'd throw out: cereal boxes, containers, orange juice concentrate cylinders, corks--- give a child those things and some masking tape, scissors--- watch them create! They can choose to paint them when they're done, and if you have more materials around, they can decide how detailed they want their work to become. I have a drawer full of these things and my son loves to just get in there and explore. Yarn. The spindled bottom of the case for recordable cds. Tea tins. Craft sticks. The mesh bags from cherry tomatoes or onions.

I believe Target might have a little craft kit, too, that has the googly eyes and feathers, sequins-- all the extras for making his creations more to his imagination. Kids don't need much!

There's a great book, too, called "Preschool Art" by MaryAnn Kohl. I highly recommend any of her books. You might reserve them at your library, but Preschool Art is worth the purchase price!



answers from Los Angeles on

We love Michael's! My DD is almost 3 and we got there once a week and stock up. Right now she is into painting so I got a bag of different sized brushes and tubes of washable water paints. We got a big roll of plain paper that I tape to the back of the door and I let her create. Also Michael's has the cutest little bobble head plaster animals for $.50 to $1.49 (depending on size) that you can paint and then I seal with a clear coat of varnish. She loves them, they make great "bribes" for trying days.



answers from Chicago on

My son likes perler beads (available at Michael's). They are plastic beads that you put on a frame to creat different pictures (sort of like a mosiac). Then you (the parent) iron them so that the plastic melts and holds all of the beads together. You son could do it all by himself, except for the ironing which only takes a minute or so. It is good for fine motor skill development, you can make a variety of things, you can make things for others . . .


answers from Santa Fe on

When my son was 5 he really got interested in sewing! I got him a tiny sewing kit and he picked out some fun patterned fleece and first made a tiny pillow and then made a sleeping bag with my help. He LOVED doing this and he still loves his sleeping bag.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions