If your kids are anything like mine, they love to take part in crafts. Painting, gluing, cutting paper, they love it! But sometimes craft time can get crazy expensive. Especially when the craft isn’t kept exactly to the scope of the original project.
And let’s be honest, kids do love to go a little bit wild with the crayons and markers. Do you know how much good washable markers cost? I mean, they cost less than buying a new couch but not by much. When you’re living a frugal lifestyle, you need to save money whenever you can.
So I put together 3 different craft ideas that do not involve paint or markers. They are relatively inexpensive and the whole family can help put them together, which might actually save you some money in the long run. How many birds is that? Lots of birds, one stone. Bingo!
Fun DIY Crafts for Kids
#1 – Homemade Skee Ball
Have you ever played Skee Ball at an arcade? All you need for this craft-turned-game is a couple of laundry baskets, a large cardboard box, and a bunch of plastic balls. You could even use tennis balls if you want! You probably have most of this lying around your house already- almost no DIYing required.
The kids will love to help you set it up and they will have so much fun playing the game after its built.
- First you’ll need three laundry baskets. One to hold your supply of plastic balls, and two to be your targets. Empty your plastic/tennis balls into the first basket. Then set up the remaining two baskets approximately 5 to 10 feet away.
- The cardboard box will become your ramp to throw/roll the balls into the laundry baskets. Cut out one of the short sides of the cardboard box. Use the cardboard that was removed to make a slope within the box. Let the kids help you set up the ramp- all you’ll need is scissors and some packing tape to put it all together.
- Let the kids use their analytical thinking to decide how much each basket should be worth. Bonus math lesson for each game you play!
- Place the sloped cardboard box in front of the two empty laundry baskets.
- Now play! Kids can take turns rolling the balls up the ramp and into each basket. Assign points for each basket and see who can score the most!
#2 – Water Bottle Piggy Banks
This craft uses a plastic water bottle and some colored card-stock to complete. You probably have both lying around your house!
If you have older kids they can certainly help you cut out the ears and the nose for the pig, but you should definitely still cut out the slot for the coins yourself, as they are quite small and tricky to maneuver.
- Peel the label off of a water bottle and give it a quick wash to remove the residue. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be perfect.
- Take your card-stock and cut strips to go around the water bottle, to create the body of the piggy bank.
- Use the card-stock to cut out ears and a nose as well.
- Using kid-safe glue, adhere the card stock to the body and cap of the bottle.
- Use a knife to cut a quarter-sized slot into the top of the bottle.
- Use wine corks or wooden beads to attach the feet.
Since this DIY is so cheap, you could easily make a few of them for your little one to put on their dresser. They can put different coins in each one, or use each one to save up for a different purpose.
They get to learn about money and saving all with one super easy, inexpensive DIY!
#3 – Make Your Own Backyard Concert
For this DIY, you need a piece of wood and a trip to the thrift store.
Take your little ones with you to the thrift store and let them help you scour the kitchen section for anything that makes a super fun noise. Don’t pick up anything glass or wood, you will prefer plastic and metal for their longevity and sound.
You can also let your kids pick out their “drumsticks.” Think, wooden spoons or cool whisks, anything that will help you to make a fun sound against the DIY drums.
Mount a 1 in. x 4 in. x 8 ft. Pressure-Treated Board outdoors. If you have a wooden swingset, or fort, this would be a great place.
Using nails or screws, attach the items you purchased at the thrift store. When you’re done, you should have a row of fun sounding kitchen objects nailed to the board.
Suddenly you have your very own backyard drums set that is perfect for the kids to learn fine motor skills as well as just bang around and make super fun kid music.
Frugal Fun for the Whole Family
My little ones love to be involved in crafts, but even letting them be tangentially involved lets them feel helpful!
They will love coloring in the “50” point score placard for the skee ball game. Plus they get to be part of the money saving process in the future with the piggy bank! With the backyard concert set, you will be doing most of the heavy labor but you can give them a chunk of wood and a kid’s hammer and let them “help” by banging everything together. Trust me, they’ll love it.
So, do you think you will try any of these?
Author Bio: Mr. Beatles is the founder of Stacking Pennies, a blog that follows his families journey toward frugal living. Stacking Pennies teaches people how to save money, invest wisely and live a frugal life. The website is updated every time the family pays off a bill or gets closer to their goal of retirement!