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The ultimate five crafts for kids with household items only

I don’t know about you, but I get a little dismayed when I come across crafts for kids such as the chicken below …

Sure, it looks easy to some, but to the crafty-challenged such as myself, I am very put off by seeing something like this. I couldn’t even replicate that myself, let alone expect my child or children in my class to do so. It doesn’t mean I don’t think there is a place for crafts like this, it just means I think they belong to the Art teacher, the ultimate crafty child or parent, or perhaps, just someone with a lot of time on their hands to prepare.


But let’s face it – most of us are run off our feet. Wouldn’t it be great if you just had a bank of household items that your children could create crafts out of? Items that don’t involve going out of your way to the supermarket or art supplies shop because they are staples in your house anyway? Well I thought so!

Here is my ULTIMATE Five Crafts for Kids using Household Items Only!

And they can be done inside on a rainy day, or outside in the beautiful Summer sun. The choice is yours. Children will be engaged, they will be learning and they will reap the benefits of being proud of what they have made. Isn’t that what matters?

1. Playdough

The best recipe I have found is that on the back of the McKenzie’s Cream of Tartar: 2 cups plain flour, 4tbs McKenzie’s Cream of Tartar, 2 tbs cooking oil, 1 cup salt, food colouring & 2 cups water. Mix in a saucepan, stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until the mix congeals.This playdough been sitting in my pantry for a few weeks now and is still as pliable and moist as ever. I do believe playdough is the most classic homemade craft for a reason.

2. Paper Plate Crafts

Paper plates are fantastic. They’re faces, clocks, bodies, suns, masks and so much more. You can use glue and paint and other crafty items on them if you wish. But sometimes all you need is some colourful pencils or markers!

3. Plastic Containers

They’re easy to set aside after they’re emptied and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I love plastic containers for musical instruments. Poke some holes in the top and make a drum. Or fill with rice and make some shakers. And what can the children do? Decorate!

4. Egg Cartons

Another versatile household item that’s easy to set aside when it’s empty! I love egg cartons for caterpillars, snakes and spiders.

5. Cardboard boxes

There is something about cardboard boxes that appeal to a child’s imagination and creativity. Hand them a few boxes in different shapes and sizes and some sticky-tape and see them shine! The possibilities are endless. They are easily the bodies of cars or the shape of robots, but they can also be photo frames, pencil holders and more.


So you don’t anything fancy – just the things you might find in your cupboard on a day to day basis. The fancy bit is their imagination and creativity being brought to life.

The complete list is as follows:

  • Cream of Tartar
  • Flour
  • Oil
  • Food Colouring
  • Salt
  • Paper Plates
  • Plastic Containers
  • Egg Cartons
  • Markers – Pencils, paint, textas or anything else!
  • Cardboard Boxes

About Angela East

Angela is a writer, a former primary school teacher and a mum of two.

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1 Comment so far -
  • BaronessM says:

    What a great post! I know what you mean about intricate craft; I’m an artist, but I don’t have the patience for things such as the chicken, and so many craft ideas in magazines look like they have no soul. They are just cookie-cutter ‘follow this stencil’ type of craft.

    Cardboard box craft is just so ace. What CAN’T you do with a box? I’ve seen an amazing cubby (cone-shaped) made out of bits of cardboard boxes joined together with split-pins. They actually SELL cardboard boxes with knobs printed on them for a kid’s make-believe oven. Have people no imagination? (Don’t answer that!)

    I will never forget my first day of prep where we made autumn trees with a bunch of twisted pipe-cleaners with one end of the pipe-cleaner bunch stuck into a ball of plasticene (to weight it down), and the other ends of the pipe-cleaners splayed out into branch shapes. We then put ‘leaves’ on the branches by tearing up little bits of crepe paper and pushing them over the ‘branch’ ends. So easy to make, and every tree looked unique. I loved my little tree and was very proud of myself for making it.

    Thanks for the Playdough recipe. Cheers! If I come up with any interesting crafty ideas for kids, I’ll post them here.

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