Ask A Cleveland Expert: Easy Crafts To Do With Your Kids

September 26, 2014 8:00 AM

Doing crafts with kids is one of the best ways to spend some quality time with the ones you love. It’s fun to get creative while working together to make something special. Jacquie Zepeda is a Cleveland mother of two who recently took some time out of her busy schedule to share five easy crafts to do with your kids. She selected these five crafts because they are simple and are something that kids can do mostly on their own with a finished product they can be proud to call their own. Zepeda thinks it’s really important that when you are doing crafts with kids to resist the urge to micromanage and do it for them so that it turns out “right.” Remember to encourage them, praise them and take a lot of pictures.

Jacquie Zepeda
Creator of the blogs Cleveland Kiddos and Hey Cleveland 
www.clevelandkiddos.com
www.heycle.wordpress.com

In November of 2012, Jacquie Zepeda created Cleveland Kiddos, a blog designed for anyone looking for fun things to do with their kids in and around the Cleveland area. Zepeda, a Cleveland native, said she really enjoys getting out and about with her two kids, ages 10 and 13. She is always researching new places to check out that they could enjoy together as a family. Zepeda thought it would be nice to have a spot on the web that listed a comprehensive list of kid-friendly venues and events in Cleveland. At the time, she couldn’t really find a website like that so she decided to start her own, ClevelandKiddos.com. Some of Zepeda’s favorite things to do with her kids include going to Indians games, shows at Playhouse Square and visits to the West Side Market. She also has a blog that she started in January of 2013 called Hey Cleveland. The goal for that blog is to write about all of her favorite things to do in Cleveland and to help promote local businesses.

Here are five easy crafts that you can do with your kids.

Painted Rocks

For this craft, you will need rocks, acrylic paint, a cup of water and a variety of paint brushes. A styrofoam egg carton is perfect for pouring different colors of paint in. Visit the beach and get a bunch of rocks, lay them on newspaper on the driveway or on the kitchen floor and let the kids’ imaginations take over. The fun part about painting rocks, versus paper, is that the different sizes and shapes of rocks inspire creativity and imagination. Picking out the rocks is almost as fun as painting them. You can make rock faces or transform rocks into painted words, scenery, hot air balloons and angry birds.

Slime

To make slime, you’ll need a drop or two of food coloring, a cup of Elmer’s glue (clear or white) and a cup of liquid starch (you can find it in the laundry soap aisle for only a few dollars). This craft is so easy that you have to do it at least once. And what kid doesn’t love slime? Just mix the ingredients in a bowl with a spoon and then start mashing it with your hands until it’s slime consistency. Store it in a sealed plastic container or a baggie.

Zentangle

You will need drawing paper and a pen or pencil. Zentangle is great way to draw with your kids no matter what your skill level is. Even if you can’t draw a stick figure, you can create some really cool looking art with Zentangle. The easiest way to start doing Zentangle art with kids is to first draw a box on a piece of drawing paper. Draw some lines inside of the box to make different sections. Fill in each section with a different design. Some easy designs include circles, zigzags and curly cues. There are a lot of Zentangle books and websites out there where you can get more design ideas and inspiration. Because you are basically just doodling, this is a really relaxing craft to do with your kids.

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Decorating Cupcakes

To decorate cupcakes, all you need are cupcakes and whatever types of cake decorating toppings and tools you can think of. Some of the basics are white frosting, which you can separate into bowls and dye different colors with the food coloring. Other toppings and tools are gel writers, sprinkles, Wilton candy eyeballs and gummy worms. Kids love to work in the kitchen and depending on your patience level that day, you can either make the cupcakes yourself ahead of time or let the kids help. Box cupcakes are pretty easy to let kids of any age help make in some way. After all of the cupcakes have cooled, put them and all of the decorating tools in the middle of the table and let the kids create their own culinary masterpieces.

Paper Bead Jewelry

For this craft, you will need several pieces of scrapbook paper, a ruler, scissors, toothpicks, Elmer’s glue, ModgePodge, a Styrofoam block to dry the beads on and an elastic cord. This craft takes a little more dexterity, but if you aren’t worried about perfection, it’s still a pretty simple craft that turns out looking really cool. Here’s a helpful tutorial for making these: www.papervinenz.com. After the beads are made, you just string them onto the elastic cord to the desired length, tie it in a good tight knot and voila, you have handmade jewelry.

Related: Five Fun Activities To Get The Family Outdoors

Amanda Keeler is a freelance writer and Social Media Director, living in the Cleveland, Ohio area. She has a B.A. from The Ohio State University in Public Relations. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.