Arts & Crafts Activities

10 Easy Paper Crafts for Kids

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Paper isn’t just for drawing on – there are so many other creative things you can do with it. Stock up your resources cupboard with a range of different sizes, types and colours, and try out some of these easy paper crafts for kids.

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10 Easy Paper Crafts for Kids

1. Easy Origami

Origami can be a bit tricky, but it’s great for practising fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and sequential actions. There are plenty of origami projects that are simple enough for younger children to accomplish – for example aeroplanes, flowers, houses and fortune tellers – especially if you work with them in small groups. Look online for ideas and folding instructions, and don’t forget to practise making them yourself first so that you’re familiar with the sequences.

Easy Paper Crafts for Kids - OrigamiThere are many origami projects that are easy enough for small children

2. Paper Weaving

Prepare a base sheet by folding a piece of paper in half, and then making a row of cuts from the middle fold straight out towards the edge (but stopping short of it). Next cut some different coloured paper into strips. Weave these loose strips over and under the fixed strips in the base sheet, alternating the over/under with each strip. Try using a combination of plain and patterned paper (eg wrapping paper or special craft paper) for really eye-catching results.

3. Marbling

There are several different marbling techniques; for example, you can use food colouring, or liquid watercolour paints, or proper marbling paints, along with oil and water, or shaving foam. Whichever technique you use, you’ll need a large tray, some droppers, and some sheets of smooth, thick white (or pale) paper. Once the marbled paper is dry you can use it to make some lovely craft projects, such as birthday cards or book covers.

4. Tissue Paper Pictures

Get some tissue paper in different colours and tear it into smallish pieces, which the children can scrunch up into balls and glue onto a sheet of paper to create a textured, 3D picture. There are two ways of doing this; either by covering the whole sheet with a mosaic of tissue paper balls, or by painting a picture first and then creating texture on particular parts of it with the tissue paper (eg flowers, clouds).

5. Hand-printed Wrapping Paper

For this activity you’ll need a roll of plain brown paper (the kind used for wrapping parcels), some paint in different colours, and something to make prints with (eg potatoes, leaves, foam blocks, hands/fingers). Cut the brown paper into large sections, and then let the children get really creative making beautiful hand-printed wrapping paper to fold/roll up and take home with them, for wrapping birthday or Christmas presents.

Easy Paper Crafts for Kids - Hand-Printed Wrapping PaperHand-printed wrapping paper is a great craft for kids to take home with them


6. Paper Chains

Making paper chains is an activity that tends to be associated with Christmas, but they can be a lovely decoration for the nursery at any time of year, particularly if you use colours to tie in with specific events (eg orange and black for Halloween, yellow and green for Easter). Either buy pre-cut paper chains or make your own using strips of coloured paper and glue sticks.

7. Snowflakes

Again, paper snowflakes are traditionally made at Christmas, but there’s no reason why you can’t display them in your nursery throughout the winter. Using various plates/bowls/cups to draw round, make lots of circles of different sizes on sheets of thin white paper. Cut round the circles and then fold them in half three times. Use scissors to cut out shapes around the edges – taking care not to cut right through to the other side – and then unfold. Snowflakes look best in windows, or on a dark background.

Easy Paper Crafts for Kids - SnowflakesSnowflakes can be used to decorate your classroom throughout the winter


8. Paper Fans

No easy paper crafts for kids list would be complete without this classic craft, which again can be themed to tie in with particular seasons or events. There are several different ways of making paper fans, but the easiest is simply to concertina fold a sheet of paper, and then pinch and tape it at one end, while spreading the other end out. The fan can be customised and decorated with pens, paints, stickers and so on (it’s generally easiest to do this before folding).

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9. Papier-mâché

This is a perennial favourite with small children, as it involves getting pretty messy. You’ll need lots of small strips of newspaper, a glue solution (made with flour and water, or watered down PVA glue), some paint brushes, and some objects to cover (eg bowls, balloons). Using lots of glue, build up layers of newspaper to make your desired shape, then leave it to dry thoroughly before detaching and painting it.

Easy Paper Crafts for Kids - Papier MacheChildren always love getting messy with papier-mâché


10. Paper Bag Hand Puppets

For this activity you’ll need some plain paper bags (big enough for a little hand to fit into, but small enough so that they don’t fall off) and resources to decorate them with (eg paint, pens, stickers, googly eyes, ribbon, wool, pipe cleaners, pieces of fabric and other collage materials). Challenge the children to turn the paper bags into puppets of their favourite animals or story characters.

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