How do your kids fill the afternoon hours? Once school is over, it can be fun to engage kids in an interactive activity rather than burn an hour or two watching Netflix. My kids are always excited about doing something creative. They would much rather play with mommy or daddy than watch a show. We try to spend quality time with our kids every day if possible and encourage them to learn new things through play! Here are some fun kid-friendly projects and activities for creative crafting and independent play.
Make Tissue Paper Butterfly Sun Catchers
“Stained glass” tissue paper butterflies are a fun and easy project for kids! You can make these beautiful butterflies any color you want and even add glitter and rhinestones. See our full how-to and download the printable at the bottom of this post.
Mix Colors with Water
Mixing glasses of water is a super fun way to learn about colors! You can teach your kids about the primary colors and show them how they can make other colors by mixing the primary colors. We had a lot of fun making all sorts of colors during our preschool craft time!
Pamper with Scented Manicures & Pedicures
My girls love painting their nails and they were even more amazed by Piggy Paint’s scented nail polish colors. Piggy Paint’s scented hues are so much fun because this nail polish is natural and non-toxic for kids but it’s also scented, colorful, and some of the colors are shimmery and glittery!
These pretty colors have fun fragrances; banana, watermelon, chocolate, blueberry, grape, and melon! Not only do they smell good while you are painting your nails but they actually give your fingernails a fragrance too! Piggy Paint scented nail polish adds the exciting element of fun fragrances to fun nail painting parties!
Encourage Independent Play
After you’ve spent some time with your kids, it’s beneficial to teach them the skill of independent play. My kids often have a hard time playing by themselves. I love doing crafts and activities with them but it’s also important for kids to learn how to entertain themselves without using a screen (phone, tablet, etc.) These whimsical Lottie Dolls are a fun collection designed to empower little girls to go on adventures, imagine, explore and have fun. Lottie Dolls aim to help keep childhood simple and carefree, with beautiful doll designs and accessories that are age-appropriate for little girls.
The first Lottie Doll was created through 18 months of research and feedback received from parents, educators, and kids themselves. These cute dolls look like kids and are dressed comfortably in clothes that are made from colorful and textured fabrics. The doll bodies are based on the proportions of a 9-year-old child, with slightly bigger heads because hair styling is fun!
Lottie Doll play sets introduce kids to outdoor activities such as fishing and body-boarding as well as hobbies like fossil-hunting and horseback riding. We love the dolls’ adorable dresses and outfits, accessories, and even horses and playhouses! Lottie Dolls are very detailed; from their faces and hairstyles to their darling outfits and accessories. Every girl will easily find a Lottie Doll style that she can identify with and take on adventures!
Butterfly Sun Catchers How-To + Printable!
Childhood can be such a fun time of learning and creating. I loved doing sewing projects and paper crafts as a child, which helped me becoming a resourceful adult and gave me a love for color! As promised, here’s the full tutorial for these cute Tissue Paper Butterfly Sun Catchers and free printable butterfly outline template. This project teaches kids cutting and gluing skills as well as critical thinking as kids decide which colors to use. Every butterfly design can be completely different!
Easily make your own customized tissue paper butterfly sun catchers by following these simple instructions.
- Print off our simple butterfly outline template .
- Lay the template on top of a piece of cardstock and clip the layers together so they don’t shift when you cut.
- Cut out the butterfly shape, and poke holes in the inner cutout areas using something pointy such as a meat thermometer.
- Use small crafting scissors to cut out the inner butterfly details; you can be as intricate as you’d like!
Download our Butterfly Sun Catcher Printable »
Once you’ve cut out the butterfly sun catcher outline, next comes the fun part! Glue small pieces of colored tissue paper to the back of the butterfly outline using craft glue. Once you’ve covered all the cutouts, let the butterfly fully dry before you flip it over to reveal the beautiful butterfly sun catcher design!
Tip: We used a piece of parchment paper as a work space to glue the tissue paper onto the butterfly outline. Once dried, the glue peels right off the parchment paper without tearing the intricate butterfly design.
These butterflies are so easy and so pretty once you put them up in a window!
I hope you enjoyed our creative kids’ afternoon ideas and feel a little inspired to plan some fun activities for your kids! It can be tempting to just “survive” watching your kids during the day, but even one creative project can transform a boring afternoon into a time of creative exploration, allowing you and your kids to create memories together!
Katie has been married for 9 years, has 3 young children, and loves creative projects, photography, decorating, and encouraging others to pursue their ideas. She loves the Lord and feels blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with opportunities to enjoy creative outlets from home.