Quick & Easy Classroom Crafts

If you work with children, you know it’s a good idea to have a supply of fun, easy crafts at your disposal. Crafts can be used as learning tools and as mini breaks from lessons and studying. If you keep some basic supplies on hand, you’ll always be able to come up with a clever craft idea. Some essential craft supplies to consider:

 

 

With those basic supplies, along with a few  extra embellishments here and there, you’ll have unlimited crafting possibilities.  Here are a few to get you started:

Leaf Wreaths

What you’ll need: 

  • Paper plates
  • Wax paper
  • Leaves
  • Glue

This project can take some time, but you can break it down and work on it a little each week. Begin by taking a walk around the school grounds so students can collect a few leaves. Once the leaves are collected, place them in a single layer between pieces of wax paper and then press them under (or inside of) a heavy book. You may need to let the leaves dry for a few days or up to a week.

Use paper plates to make a wreath base. (You may need to glue 2 plates together to make it sturdier) The simplest way is to cut out the middle of the plates and use the outer ring as the wreath base. Once the leaves are dried, have students glue their leaves onto the wreath bases, overlapping them so that none of the paper plate is showing. Remember to let the wreaths dry overnight.

Puffy Paint

What you’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Food coloring
  • Cotton balls
  • Water
  • Card stock or cardboard

Mix equal parts flour, salt and water. Divide into separate containers and then add food coloring to make desired colors. Use cotton balls to spread “paint” onto card stock or cardboard. Don’t spread it too thin, or you’ll loose the “puffy” effect!

Paper Plate Fish

What you’ll need:

  • Paper plates
  • Tissue paper
  • Wiggle eyes
  • Tacky glue
  • Scissors

Cut a wedge shape out of the paper plate. This cutout area will be the mouth. Glue the wedge to the other side of the paper plate with the point side of the wedge on the paper plate to create the tail.

Next, cut squares of tissue paper. Crumple them slightly to create some texture and then glue them to the fish. Finish by gluing on a wiggle eye. 

Paper Lanterns

What you’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Glue or stapler
  • Scissors

Fold a rectangular piece of paper in half, making a long, narrow rectangle. Next, make about a dozen cuts along the folded side, and be sure not to cut all the way to the other edge of the paper. 

Unfold the paper and then glue or staple the short edges of the paper together. To make a handle, cut a strip of paper 6 inches long and 1/2 inch wide and then glue or staple it across one end of the lantern.

Kazoos

What you’ll need:

  • Paper towel tube
  • Waxed paper
  • Rubber band
  • Paints, markers (optional)

Punch a hole near one end of a paper towel tube. Cover that end of the tube with a piece of waxed paper and secure it with a rubber band. The rest of the paper towel tube can be decorated or left plain. To make the kazoo vibrate, hum into the open end. 

Paper Plate Spider Web

What you’ll need:

  • Paper plates
  • White yarn or string
  • Black crayon or marker
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Plastic spiders (optional)

Cut ½ - 1inch slits along the edge of a paper plate. There’s no need to make sure they’re evenly spaced. In fact, the more random, the better!  Next, draw a few spiders on the paper plate (or you can add plastic ones at the end). 

Begin making the “web” by taping one end of a long piece of yarn or string on the back of the paper plate. Wrap it around to the front of the p late so that it slides into one of the slits on the side of the plate. Wrap it around the front of the plate to a slit on the opposite side of the plate, then around back. Repeat until you have a fun spider web pattern. Tape the lose end to the back of the plate when your web is finished. At this point you can add plastic spiders if you so choose. 

Pom-Pom Caterpillar

What you’ll need:

 

Glue pom-poms onto the clothespin to make the caterpillar’s body. Bend a small piece of chenille stem into a “V” to make the antennae and glue it onto the caterpillar’s head. Finish by gluing the wiggle eyes to the caterpillar’s head. 

Pencil Toppers

What you’ll need:

  • Craft foam sheets or shapes
  • Craft glue
  • Wiggle eyes
  • Pom-poms
  • Scissors
  • Embellishments such as glitter, yarn or beads

Start with two shapes of the same size, like two hearts, two stars or two squares. Put glue around the edge of one of the shapes, leaving a space in the middle where a pencil will be inserted. Press the remaining shape onto the first one, pressing the edges firmly together. The shapes will need to dry for several hours.

Once the glue is dry, decorate the outside of the foam shapes using wiggle eyes, pom-poms, other foam shapes or any other embellishments you have available.  After all glue has dried completely, insert the eraser end of a pencil into the opening of the topper. 

Other Quick Craft Ideas

Other craft ideas you may want to play with are pasta crafts (kids can make jewelry, statues, pictures), brown lunch sack crafts (puppets, anyone?) and craft stick crafts (there’s no shortage of crafts you can make with these!). 

 

With a little imagination and some common supplies, you can make classroom craft time an occasion your students will love.

 

Looking for more paper crafts? Read Fun & Easy Paper Craft Projects for Kids