Creative Activities for Young Kids
Updated: Apr 25
Here in Delaware, we are on Day 18 of social distancing (but who's counting, right?), and I don't know about you, but I have been wracking my brain on ways to keep my two tiny humans occupied throughout all of this. If your kids are anything like mine, they have a lot of creative energy, but don't always know how to express it without guidance. They ALWAYS want to play, create, and imagine, but sometimes, they feel like they can't do those things without being directly on top of me, with help every step of the way. Now, don't get me wrong, I am so incredibly grateful to be home safe with them during this pandemic, while my husband continues to go to work as a nurse, but I would be lying if I said I didn't yearn for a break every now and then. For our family, structured, creative activities allow my kids to express themselves, while allowing me to be a bit hands off for at least enough time to unload the dishwasher. I am starting this list off with six creative activities for you to do with your young children, but I plan to add to the list as we complete more!
1. Painting with Bubbles
All you need are bubbles, food coloring, straws, and paper (we used watercolor paper, but cardstock works well too)! We did this one almost two years ago, but I plan to break it back out during this stay-at-home time, too. You can find the tutorial we used here
2. Chalk your Walk!
Now, I know this one seems like kind of a no-brainer, but instead of just throwing the chalk at your kids and telling them to go to town, give them specific tasks or activities to do with it! We have a brick walkway leading to our front door, so I gave my kids the very important job of coloring each brick a different color to make a rainbow path. My are still only 2 and 4, so they gave up fairly quickly in the first go-round, but what is nice about this, is that if it doesn't rain, they can keep coming back to it and adding a little bit each day. You can also do projects like chalk mosaics, stencils, or playing Pictionary on your driveway!
3. Go on a Color Scavenger Hunt
All you need for this is a piece of paper to keep track of the colors you are searching for, a bag to hold your treasures, and maybe a camera if your kiddo would like to take photos of the things they find but can't bring home. We had so much fun walking around the neighborhood looking for things to fit our color choices, and I am proud to report that we were able to check each one off of our list!
4. Window Painting
This one is especially good for those rainy days that we are truly stuck indoors with nothing to do but stare at each other. I gave my kids some paint brushes and good old fashioned washable paint and told them to go to town! My son was intent on filling the entire window with paint, while my daughter quickly got distracted when she realized it was more fun to paint herself than the window. Either way, they both had a blast, and I was able to sit down and supervise from a safe distance.
5. Draw what you see
This is super easy, but a great way to get kids exploring, learning about nature, and looking for details in what they find. I took the kiddos out to the front yard, and had them look around and find an object that they wanted to draw, brought it inside, gave them paper and markers, and let them create their masterpiece! While my son was drawing, we talked about how flowers soak up water and sunlight, pollination, and all the different parts of the flower that he noticed. If you prefer to sit quietly and read while they create, that's awesome, too--no shame in cherishing some quiet!
6. Use what you got
I like to call this one, "just take it and go". We all hit that point where we just need a moment to ourselves and cannot use our brain for one more thing. That is the moment I pull out any and all craft supplies I can get my hands on (or more likely what I can actually find at that time), tape a big piece of paper to the floor, and give the kids free reign to create what their little hearts desire. Sometimes, the creating doesn't last super long, but it at least gets their minds moving (and mine resting), and allows them to use the long sought after supplies such as glue and *gasp* googl-ey eyes!
7. Nature Prints
This was such a fun and easy activity! We took a walk around the neighborhood to collect flowers, leaves, and grass. When you get home with your goods, arrange the finds on watercolor paper (card stock works well, too), cover with paper towel/wax paper/ziploc bag, and bang with a hammer! When you're finished, lift your cover and you will have a beautiful print that you can then use to make a card, or frame and hang up!
8. Nature paint brushes
This is another super easy one that takes up a good amount of time. Start again by collecting sticks, leaves, flowers, anything with different textures and sizes. Tie the soft nature materials to a stick to make your paintbrush, and use these to create your masterpiece! It is fun to see the different shapes and patterns each brush makes.
So, there you have it! These are just a few ways to keep the creative juices flowing while we are all safe at home, but I plan to keep adding to this list, so be sure to check back for more ideas. Let me know your favorite creative activities are, so we can try them out too!
Stay healthy, and stay strong, friends, we are all in this together <3