Fun Crafts to Do With Grandchildren
I remember too well the first time my grandson was over and we couldn’t go anywhere. Within the first hour, we had read three books and colored in his coloring book and I was pretty much out of ideas. But, I never thought of crafts to do with grandchildren.
I was totally unprepared and he was bored out of his mind. So I did what every red-blooded grandparent who’s unprepared does: I let him sit in front of the TV for hours, then use my iPad to play games for several more hours!
I decided then and there that I needed to be more prepared for those times for both of us. I always want him to want to come to my house for a date, and I always want it to be fun, different, challenging and creative.
So I started researching what types of activities and crafts we could do together that would challenge his creativity.
What I found allowed us to not only create neat stuff, but create memories and keepsakes, too!
There are literally thousands of crafts to do with grandchildren, no matter what their age or gender. Here are a few of the craft projects my grandsons and I have made over the years. They’re easy, fun and inexpensive.
Hand Print/Footprint Art
This was the first one we did on the next rainy day that Cash was with me. As I recall, he was 3 when we made the first one, and that started our tradition of making one each year! He loves this project. I think it totally appeals to the “messy” in him.
It provides us, literally, with hours of fun, and he’s so proud when he’s finished. He loves taking the finished product home to Mom and Dad.
You will need:
- Craft paper or washable canvas (or if you’re doing handprints, you might want to use a coffee mug or vase you can paint on)
- Water based acrylic paint
- Washable markers
- Stencils (if you want to be fancy)
First put a wide variety of colors onto a plate (each should be about the size of a thick silver dollar). Then have the kids (or if they’re too young, you can help them) paint the bottoms of their feet one at a time with whatever they’ve chosen to be the main color. Then they can pick other colors to add, for example, on the pads of their toes, down the sides on their soles, etc.
Once the painting is done, press the paper or canvas against their foot, or they can stand up on it. What you want to do is make sure you get a good footprint or hand print whichever way you do it.
The neat thing about using washable paint and canvas is that you can do it over again if you don’t like the first results.
Once you’ve gotten the foot (or hand) print you like, and their feet are washed, the kids can add all kinds of decorations, using glitter, washable markers, etc.
They can turn their footprint into a butterfly, or their hands can be holding a cup or vase.
Over the years Cash, and now Ethan, and I have made everything from canvas art with their footprint and name or initial (theirs now hang in their bedrooms) to vases, mugs, ornaments, etc.
DIY Picture Books
The next craft (and probably my favorite of all time) I love to do with my grandkids is the following: I keep plenty of notebooks with blank pages for when they come over. You don’t even need a rainy day for this one! When the mood strikes, we head to the books.
They each have a notebook with their name on the outside. I give them crayons or washable markers and lay the book open in front of them on a table so it’s flat. Then they draw whatever they want on one of the two pages. After they’re finished drawing, they tell me the story about what they drew, and I write it down on the opposite page.
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I first did this with Cash when he was almost four and totally obsessed with super heroes! He drew his version of Batman, Superman and Spiderman, and then added another figure. I couldn’t figure out who the other figure was, but after he had finished drawing he told me the story, which I wrote on the opposite page, about how the superheroes were saving me. I just adore this child!
Don’t forget to date each drawing! The book(s) really become a chronicle of how your grandkids progress over the years. I can’t wait to give them to the boys when they have children of their own.
One of the most fun and useful crafts I’ve made with the kids are pencil and pen holders made out of empty milk cartons. Ethan, one of my grandsons, and I made one last year that I keep in my home office. They’re really easy to make, and every time I look at it I think of him.
You will need:
- Safety scissors
- School glue and dull knife to spread it with
- Magazines and of course
- The milk carton.
First, mark a line around the top of the milk carton. Cut around the line you’ve made so the top of the milk carton comes off. Then have the kids go through the magazines and pick the pictures they want to use. If they’re old enough, they can cut out the pictures, or you can do it for them. (Or, if you want to get even more creative, the kids can make original art to use.) Then glue the pictures to the milk carton.
Voila! You now have an original pen or pencil holder work of art!
Whatever craft project you’re doing, always try to put your artist’s name and date on it somewhere. It becomes not only a wonderful chronicle of your grandchild’s childhood, but also a chronicle of the many wonderful times you had together.