Bath bombs, maracas, fidget spinners, laptop cases… it’s amazing what you can make yourself with just a few everyday materials. This guide rounds up the many DIY projects for kids from across Kidadl’s pages. It’s a companion article to our guide to more general craft projects for the family to get stuck into.
Projects For The Under 5s
Our youngest crafters particularly enjoy sensory play, where they can learn about the world through touch, sight, sound, taste and smell. Get a feel for it with these homemade sensory bottles and sensory touch book. Keep the sounds coming by building your own musical instruments, including maracas, kazoos and tambourines. We’ve also got a separate guide on how to construct a drum. Alternatively, help them develop their cognitive skills with these DIY card matching games. Finally, try making these fun toys and games for the bathtub
Clothes And Costumes
Ever wanted to make your own personalised T-shirts? Find out how with our DIY guide, which includes tips on tie-dyeing. The little dancer in your family might enjoy wearing this homemade tutu. Meanwhile, embiggen the fancy dress box with these unicorn horns, Roman helmet and paper crowns.
DIY Birthday Projects
Birthday coming up? Make everything you need at home. This guide gives an overview of different ways to make birthday cards, or you might want to try the ultimate pop-up birthday card. Decorate the home with these DIY birthday banners, and make it a proper birthday bash with this homemade Piñata. Meanwhile, if you’re after a birthday cake, we’ve got the ultimate list of novelty bakes.
Toys And Play
Bored of the same old board games? Read our guide to creating your own, and let your imaginations run riot. You could even have a go at making playing cards, either a traditional deck or your own variant. Homemade slime (and crunchy slime) is also easier than you might think to put together, and not so different from homemade paint. Meanwhile, if somebody needs calming down, try assembling these fidget spinners and stress balls.
If you’ve got plenty of time to fill, then have a go at piecing together this homemade farmyard set. On a larger scale, try rigging up this cardboard pirate ship. Artistic kids might alternatively enjoy drawing their own comic books.
Making your own gifts not only saves money, but also adds a special personalised touch. One idea is to make these easy bath bombs, or else try crafting one of these cupcake-styled bath bombs. Along the same lines, you could also mix together your own soap. A floral gift is always welcome, and we’ve written several guides to making artificial flowers. Try these paper marigolds, 3D flowers, wreaths and garlands, pipe-cleaner flowers or ribbon flowers. Finally, create a spa face mask, perhaps as part of a DIY home spa day.
Let’s Get Practical
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful,” advised William Morris. We’ve covered the beautiful, so how about the useful? Here’s how to make your own chore charts, reward charts, gratitude journal and calendar, for starters. Or perhaps you need a new photobook in which to store all your precious memories. Those of us with summer travel plans might like to fashion these unique luggage tags. And don’t forget these novelty laptop cases. We’ve also put together guides on making your own book ends, keyrings and the all-important face masks.
Younger children might enjoy this homemade mud kitchen. Or more energetically, try these homemade water balloon launchers (see also marshmallow launcher and ping-pong ball launcher). Finally, if you’re reading this in the spring, then take a look at our guide to creating your own Maypole.
You might also enjoy looking through our guide to woodworking for children, which include many further projects.
Although originally from the Midlands, and trained as a biochemist, Matt has somehow found himself writing about London for a living. He's a former editor and long-time contributor to Londonist.com and has written several books about the capital. He's also the father of two preschoolers.