Homemade Craft Recipes

You can find tons of fun and engaging homemade craft recipes for your toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. Our activities are widely used by teachers, moms, dads, child care providers and more!


Pudding Fingerpaint
Any type of instant pudding & water Old paper bags or anything you use to fingerpaint on Mix pudding and water together until you have the a good consistence for finger paint. Then just do it.:)

Kool-Aid Finger Paint
2 cups flour
2 packs unsweented Kool-aid
1/2 cup salt
3 cups boiling water
3T. oil
Mix wet into dry. The kids love the color change. Then finger paint away.

Jello Finger Paint
any kind of flavored jello
enough boiling water to make it a good consistency for fingerpaint.
Use your normal fingerpainting material or glossy paper. Kids love the smell and the feel of it.

Oatmeal Dough
1 C. Flour
2. C. Oatmeal
1 C. Water

Gradually add water to flour and oatmeal in bowl. Kneed until mixed (this dough is sticky, but unique in texture. Model as with clay. VARIATIONS: Add cornmeal in small quantity for texture, Add coffee grounds in small quantity for texture.

Frosting Dough
1 Can Frosting Mix
1 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
1 C. Peanut Butter
Spoon & Bowl

Mix all ingredients in bowl with spoon. knead into workable dough. Model as with any dough.

Puffy Paint
Tempera Paint

Mix equal amounts of flour, salt and water. Add liquid tempera paint for color. Pour mixture into squeeze bottles and paint. Mixture will harden in a puffy shape.

Salt Paint
1/8 C. liquid Starch
1/8 C. Water
1 Tbs. Tempera Paint

Mix together and apply to paper with a brush. Keep stirring mixture. Paint will crystallize as it dries.

Sand Paint
Tempera Paint (powder)

Mix dry tempera paint with sand. Let kids spread glue on picture and sprinkle on sand.

Pudding Paint
Instant Vanilla Pudding
Food Coloring

Mix pudding according to directions. Add food coloring for desired color. Finger paint on paper plates. Edible

Snow Paint
Food Coloring

Place water and food coloring in empty spray bottle. Let children spray colors on the snow to make designs

Water Paint

Fill bucket with water and use brushes and sponges or other materials to paint water on sidewalk. “Paint” will disappear as it dries. (WARNING: this has been known to also create wet children.)

Nutty Butter Playdough
1 C. Peanut butter
1 C. Powdered Milk
1 C. Honey
1 C. Oatmeal

Mix together and play and/or eat.

2 1/2 C. Flour
1 Tbs. Alum
1/2 C. Salt
3 Tbs. Vegetable oil
2 C. Boiling Water
1 Pkg Unsweetened Kool-aid

Combine Flour, Alum, Salt, add Oil, Boiling Water. Stir or kneed to mix. Add food coloring or before liquids, add a package of unsweetened Kool-aid for color and scent.

Sidewalk Chalk

2 C. Water
2 C. Plaster of Paris
2 Tbs. Tempera Paint (Wet or Dry)
Toilet Paper Tubes with duct tape over one end

Combine and stir together. Let stand a few minutes. Place tubes on cookie sheet lined with foil or wax paper. Pour mixture into holders, let stand until semi-firm. Remove holders and let dry completely – ready to use in about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. (reminder, never pour plaster down sink)

Beluga Bubbles
1 C. Warm Water
1/4 C. Blue Dishwashing Liquid
1 Tsp. Salt

Combine all ingredients. Mix well until salt dissolves.

More Bubbles
1/2 C. Water
1/2 C. Liquid Detergent
1 Tbs. Cooking Oil

Cinnamon Applesauce Hearts
1 lb jar sweetened applesauce 8 oz cinnamon
Drain 1# jar of SWEETENED applesauce overnight (you will be amazed at how much water seeps out!!)
Add 8 ounces of cinnamon to this and mix together well.
Pat into a ball, press hard to solidify and mix. Then pat out in 1 cup units onto wax paper, push to 1/4″ thickness (although many of my girls did 1/2 ” or so) and cut with cookie cutters.

I had purchased plastic heart shapes 3 for $1…. Dry on wax paper. Oh – poke a hole in the top with toothpick (I used a chopstick!). Turn over and dry in a warm place for several days. Then hang a ribbon through the hole, use as a decoration or a kind of sachet.

I used about 5# applesauce – and 40 ounces of cinnamon – way too much for 14 girls and they each made about 3 – probably had 1/2 left over. They had a wonderful time kneading and mixing it – really gushing it with their hands!!!!

Some of the girls told of decorating them with puffy paints. They are definitely NOT edible.

Quick and Easy Modeling Dough
3/4 c Flour (not self-rising)
1/2 c Salt
1 1/2 t Powdered alum
1 1/2 t Vegetable Oil
1/2 c Boiling Water Food Coloring

1. Mix flour, salt, and alum in a mixing bowl.
2. Add vegetable oil and boiling water. Stir vigorously with a spoon until well blended. Dough should not stick to the sides of the bowl and should be cool enough to handle.
3. Add food coloring and knead into dough until color is well blended
and the dough is the desired tint.
QUANTITY: Makes about 1 cup. Double the recipe for large projects. For groups, mix several double recipes rather than one large amount.
USES: The is an excellent play dough. It has a smooth texture, takes about 15 minutes to make, and dries to a hard finish overnight. You can you can make lovely dough flowers as well as animals and other figures with it.
STORAGE: Store in a jar with a tight lid. Dough will keep several months without refrigeration.

Rainbow Stew
1/3 c. sugar
1 c. cornstarch
4 c. cold water

Cook until thick. put in bowls, add food coloring. Put in ziplock baggies. Let the kids play with it while it is in the bags for a neat sensory experience or use it to mix colors.

Papier-mâché, Extra Soft Pulp
Paper Napkins, Cleansing Tissues or Toilet Tissue
Thin Paste or white glue
1. Crumple napkins or tissue and cover with paste.
2. Model to desired shape.
Use to add details such as noses, ears, eyebrows, and so forth to larger pieces.
NOTE: This mixture does NOT keep and must be used immediately.

Dryer Lint Modeling Material
3 c Lint (from laundry dryers)
2 c Cold or warm water
2/3 c Non-self-rising wheat flour
3 drops oil of wintergreen
Old newspaper

Put lint and water in a large saucepan. Stir to dampen all parts of the lint. Add flour and stir thoroughly to prevent lumps. Add oil of wintergreen. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture holds together and forms peaks. Pour out onto several thicknesses of newspaper to cool. Use as you would papier-mâché pulp or shaped over armatures (boxes, bottles, balloons, and so forth) or press into a mold. This material will dry in 3 to 5 days to a very hard, durable surface. When wet it has a feltlike consistency. It dries to smooth or rough, depending on how it is used. When pressed into a mold, a hard, smooth finish is obtained. Stored in an airtight container, it will keep for several days.

Powdered Milk Paint Medium
1/2 c Powdered nonfat milk
1/2 c Water
Powdered Paint Pigments

1. Mix milk and water. Stir until milk is dissolved.
2. Combine only as much solution with powdered pigments as you intend to use in one sitting.
Makes about 3/4 cup. For a large group, combine any amount of powdered milk with an equal amount of water. This paint dries quickly to a glossy, opaque finish. It does not dust, chip, or come off on your hands the way poster paint does. Mix a small amount of the solution with powdered pigment in a palette pan. Work smooth with a brush. Use water to thin paint and to clean your brushes. Store this medium in a tightly capped jar in the refrigerator.

Coffee Dough
4 c Unsifted all-purpose four
1 c Salt
1/4 c Instant coffee
1 1/2 c Warm water

1. Dissolve the coffee in the warm water.
2. In another bowl, mix the flour and the salt.
3. Make a hole in this and add 1 cup of the coffee water into it.
4. Mix with a fork or hands until smooth.
5. Add more coffee water if needed: dough should be smooth and satiny, not sticky or crumbly. Store in a plastic bag to prevent drying of the dough. Bake finished designs in a 300 degree oven for 1 hour or more (until hard). Add 2 coats of shellac to preserve.

Flower Preservative with Cornmeal
1 pt Powdered Borax
2 pt Cornmeal
Covered cardboard box (shoe or stationery box)
Fresh flowers

1. Thoroughly mix borax and cornmeal.
2. Cover the bottom of the box with 3/4 of an inch of this mixture.
3. Cut flower stems about 1 inch long. Lay the flowers face down in this mixture. Spread the petals and leaves so that they lie as flat as possible. Do not place flowers too close together.
4. Cover the flowers with 3/4 of an inch of the mixture.
5. Place the lid on the box and keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 weeks. This is an excellent way to preserve corsages or flowers from someone special. Try daisies, pansies, apple blossoms, asters, violets, and other flowers with this method. They will stay summer fresh indefinitely.

Sawdust Modeling Compound
1 c Fine sawdust
Food coloring
Old newspaper Shellac or Varnish
1 c Thin Paste or Paper Paste

1. If desired, dye sawdust with food coloring. Drain and spread on newspaper to dry before using.
2. Mix sawdust and paste to a thick dough like consistency. Knead until thoroughly mixed. The amounts of paste may vary according to the kind of sawdust used. If the sawdust is coarse, more paste may be needed to obtain the proper consistency.
QUANTITY: Makes about 1 cup.

USES: Model as with clay. Articles molded with this compound have a lovely wood-grain appearance.
TO USE: Pieces of dough may be added to the basic piece by moistening and sticking them down. Within two to three days, the finished article will harden. To speed up drying bake in a 200-degree-F. oven for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the article. To give the article a permanent finish, spray with shellac or varnish. They can also be sanded to give a smoother finish.

Goop (Make your own Slime)
1 Part Liquid starch
2 Part Elmer’s Glue
Food Coloring (opt.)
Mix and enjoy. It’s supposed to be like slime.

Solution A:
1 1/2 C. Warm Water
2 c. Elmers Glue
Food Coloring

Solution B:
4 tsp. Borax1
1/3 C. Warm water

Mix solution A in one bowl, mix solution B in another bowl. Dissolve both well. Then just pour solution A into solution B, DO NOT MIX OR STIR! Just lift out flubber. I made this with my daughters class, and the teacher & children loved it! It’s neater than “Gak” or “slime”. And it also a safe chemical reaction for the kids to see. I used a glass bowl for solution B so the kids could see the flubber form in the bowl. It just becomes a big “cloud” of rubbery stuff. Store in baggies. If you half the recipe, you only need to half the solution A and it will work the same.

Best Bubble Solution
1 c Water
2 tb Light Karo syrup OR 2 Tablespoons Glycerin
4 tb Dishwashing liquid
Mix together and have fun!

Thin Paste
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup non-self-rising flour;
1/2 teaspoon powdered alum
1-3/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon oil of cinnamon

1. In a medium-sized pan, mix together sugar, flour and alum.
2. Gradually add 1 cup water, stirring vigorously to break up lumps.
3. Boil until clear and smooth stirring constantly.
4. Add remaining water and oil of cinnamon. Stir until thoroughly mixed.

Makes one pint. How to use it: Spread paste with a brush or tongue depressor. Thin Paste is an excellent adhesive for scrapbooks, collages, and Strip Papier-mâché’. This paste can be stored in a jar for several months without refrigeration.

Paper Paste
1/3 cup non-self-rising wheat flour;
2 Tbs. sugar;
1 cup water;
1/4 tsp oil of cinnamon
1. Mix flour and sugar in a saucepan. Gradually add water, stirring vigorously to break up lumps.
2. Cook over low heat until clear, stirring constantly.
3. Remove from stove and add oil of cinnamon. Stir until well blended. Makes about 1 cup.

Spread paste with a brush or tongue depressor. Soft, smooth, thick and white, Paper Paste has a good spreading consistency and is especially appropriate for use with small children or for any paste-up work. This paste can be stored in a covered jar for several weeks without refrigeration.

Silly Putty
1/2 Cup Elmer’s glue
1/2 Cup Starch — liquid
Food coloring

Do NOT substitute any other glue for Elmer’s glue! Slowly add starch to glue and knead with fingers. The more you work with it the better it jells. Add food coloring if you want.

Eggshell Chalk
4-5 eggshells
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon very hot tap water
food coloring (optional)

Wash & dry eggshells. Put into bowl and grind into a powder. A mortar and pestle works fine for this. Discard any large pieces. Place flour and hot water in another bowl and add 1 tablespoon eggshell powder & mix until a paste forms. Add food coloring if desired. Shape & press mixture firmly into the shape of a chalk stick, and roll up tightly in a strip of paper towel. Allow to dry approximately 3 days until hard.
Remove paper towel & you’ve got chalk! Eggshell chalk is for sidewalks only.

Clown Paint
1/8 C. Baby Lotion
1/4 Tsp. Powdered Tempera paint
1 Squirt liquid Dishwashing Soap
Easily removed by soap and water

Silly Putty
Mix well
2 parts White Glue (Elmer’s)
1 part Sta-Flo Liquid Starch
If you use Elmer’s School Gule instead of regular white it doesn’t bounce or pick up pictures.

Another Silly Putty
Equal parts cornstarch and Elmer’s Glue

1 Part Cornstarch
1 Part Water
Mix and color with food color or Tempera Paint

Peanut Butter Play-dough
Recipe One
Materials: 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup liquid honey, 1 cup powdered milk, 1 cup rolled oats. Mix together and use.

Recipe Two
Materials: 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup white corn syrup, 1 cup powdered sugar, 3 cups powdered milk In a large bowl, mix peanut butter, corn syrup, and powdered sugar together. Add powdered milk and knead until smooth. (Add more powdered milk if you need to.) The children can mold dough into any shape they wish.

Additions: provide children with various decorating materials, (raisins, chocolate chips, raspberry chips, butterscotch chips, shredded coconut, dried fruit, pretzels, smarties etc.)

This is FOOD and children must wash their hands before touching the dough and only touch the dough on their plates.

(Recipe #1 is a little bit more grainy than #2 because of the oats but I like it better because I don’t care for the taste of powdered milk.)




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