Here are arts and crafts activities that are easy and simple to set up for after school or whenever needed. Download your FREE printable for easy reference!
Updated March 2023
Sometimes that after school/before dinner time can be tricky. Everyone is tired and dinner needs to be made. But you still want to connect with your kids. We’ve found that having simple arts and crafts activities set up for after school can help make this time be calmer and happier.
Here are 10 simple ideas to keep in your back pocket. Sort of a cheat sheet that you can put on the fridge and refer to for quick inspiration. For each activity, we’ve listed what to set out, a brief description of the process, and a few possible variations.
And make sure to grab the printable as well as an easy reference!
Easy Arts and Crafts Activities
The process: Let kids draw with crayons, then bring out the watercolors to paint over the drawings.
- Use oil pastels.
- Draw with white crayons on white paper, then reveal the mystery drawing by painting over it.
The process: Let kids fold, cut, and decorate paper.
The process: Either cut the contact paper into squares and tape to the table sticky side up or stick to a paper plate with the center cut out. Let kids tear or cut the tissue paper into pieces then stick them to the contact paper. Cover with another sheet of contact paper and hang in the window.
- Use flowers, leaves, and other nature items instead of tissue paper.
- Try ribbons, lace, or feathers.
The process: Let kids glue collage items to the cardstock as desired.
- Draw a picture then fill in with collage items.
- Glue collage items to a cardboard box for a 3-D experience.
- Mini Marshmallows (stale works best)
The process: Let kids build using the toothpicks and marshmallows.
Variations: Try using grapes instead of marshmallows for a healthy after school snack!
The process: Let kids dip Q-tips in paint then press on paper to make a picture with dots.
- Try cotton balls for larger dots.
- Use Do-A-Dot markers or regular markers.
- Try two primary colors together to see if you can create the illusion of color mixing.
The process: Dip fruit in paint then press to paper.
- Try printing with other objects such as leaves, animal figure feet, kitchen tools.
- Get out the stamp pad and stamps.
- Try fingerprint art.
- Paper with a hole cut out of it.
- Something to draw with: pen, pencil, marker, etc.
The process: Let kids draw on the hole paper as they see fit.
- Try different size, shape, or number of holes.
- Cut the paper into different shapes.
- Try adding stickers.
- Try this with paints or collage items.
- Masking tape
The process: Let kids cut or tear masking tape into pieces and adhere to paper in any way desired.
- Offer multiple colors and widths of tape.
- Draw or paint over the masking tape art then remove the tape.
- Drawing tools or paints
The process: Let kids draw and paint! No need to get fancy.
Variations: You can vary the papers, sizes, kinds of paint, kinds of drawing tools…
We hope you try these 10 simple arts and crafts activities to help make the after-school transition smooth and creative!
Here’s a FREE printable of these simple arts and crafts activities.
Feel free to print it out and tape it inside your kitchen cupboard or hang it on your fridge for easy reference!
We love to see kids artwork! Share yours on Instagram with the hashtag #artfulparent.
More Arts and Crafts Activities
- 5 Easy After School Art Invitations
- 10 Invitations to Create to Bring Out Kids Natural Creativity
- 11 Craft Ideas for Toddlers
- 13 Easy Art and Craft Activities for Transitions
- The Best Art Ideas for Kids
- 7 Ways to Make Time for Art
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