Looking for fun way to spend time with your child while your cutie taps into her inner artist? Try these ideas when school’s closed, you’re stuck indoors, or you’re looking for truly creative, no-fail projects.
1. Assemble a set of big-wheel autos
Paint an empty cardboard tube racecar red. Paint a second one neon green or sunburst yellow. Cut big black circles out of a sheet of cardboard—four per car. Glue them on and call them tires. Hold a family-room derby. Start your engines!
2. Make one-of-a-kind napkin holders
Cut tubes in half to form two rings. Go full-on glitter for a tea-party look, or use frilly ribbons to make a fancy set. If your child prefers a more modern collection, use primary-color paint and punch holes in the rings—the more the better. Use at dinner tonight. Design extras for guests.
3. Pretty-up a scarecrow
On a single empty paper-towel roll, draw or color two bright blue eyes, a pair of rosy cheeks, and a handful of freckles. Add a cupcake-liner hat, craft-stick arms, yarn or string hair, a red shirt, and blue jean bottoms. Presto—an autumn decoration!
4. Construct a DIY choo-choo
Use high-gloss craft paint to give empty towel-paper rolls a shiny silver coat, and add some windows with black markers or paint. (Switch to primary color paints if your child prefers them.) Glue on plastic bottle caps for the train’s wheels. String cars together with yarn or ribbon.
5. Build a magic palace
Stack large, medium, and small cardboard boxes to form a basic structure. Gather empty towel-paper rolls to use as tall towers. Liven up the base with your choice of colors. Add stickers to make a standout castle.
6. Create your own hungry, hungry caterpillar
Snip large or small tubes into equal-size pieces to form caterpillar segments. Paint the outside of each one green and the inside yellow. Glue, lace, or tape the segments together. Attach one more segment to create the head. Add black pompom eyes and yellow chenille stick antennas.
7. Design camouflage binoculars
Paint two tubes camo colors. Or funk-ify them: Do one orange and one purple. Decorate with cutout shapes, colored bands of paper, or stickers—whatever! Glue tubes together and attach a ribbon. Use your lenses to search the house for treasures.
8. Celebrate Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Paint one tube green. Add eyes, a nose, and a mouth, using paint, crayon, marker, or an ordinary pencil. Tack on a felt bandana in your Ninja Turtle’s color. Make three more Turtles with different color bandanas.
9. Compose wall art
Slice long and short tubes into 1-inch-wide rings, using as many rolls as possible. Piece circles together in any pattern. Use glue, paste, tape, or paper clips to fasten. Go big and bold or make a mini. Finish your project in one day or keep it going.