October 08, 2020

Andrea Doumar

Simple Craft Ideas Using Household Items (Part I)

Topics: Kids And Creativity, Learning at Home, Learning Through Play

Coffee Filter Suncatcher

Teaching and doing therapy from my kitchen table has been a huge adjustment for both myself and the families I work with. With the lack of materials and resources, I have been finding different ways to incorporate items/materials from my house into sessions.

Doing crafts with your child is a great way to work on many skills all at once, such as fine motor and visual motor skills. These skills include coloring, painting, cutting, gluing, which are all important as they start to get older and their skills develop. Below are some of my favorite items that I have around my house and how I turned them into fun crafts.

Paper Plates

A plain white paper plate can be turned into so many different crafts. Some of my favorite crafts utilizing the paper plate are creating an ice-cream bowl or a watermelon.

Paper Plate Ice Cream

For the ice-cream, the only materials you would need is a paper plate, construction paper, scissors, glue and some crayons. First, you can have your child cut the plate right in half. This is a great time to focus on cutting and trying to have them cut on a line. It is also great because paper plates are a thicker material than paper, which will help strengthen your child’s hands without even realizing! 

Paper Plate - Ice Cream Bowl

Once the plate is cut in half, you can have your child color the paper plate any color they want. My favorite part is coloring over the “bumpies” or the sides of the plate because it makes a cool nice sound, as well as provides your child with tactile input to their hands. Next, have them draw or trace circles on construction paper and cut those out. Once the circles are cut out, you can glue them onto your paper plate. The last step is to decorate your ice cream! Who doesn’t love a good ice-cream sundae!

Paper Plate Watermelon

Similar to the ice-cream, you will still need the same materials for the watermelon. This craft can be done in two different ways once the paper plate is cut in half. If using scissors is difficult with your child, have them rip pieces of red construction paper instead. This is still a great way to work on strengthening their hands and grip strength, along with using both hands together. If your child is learning to use scissors, make long strips of paper and have them try to make small snips into the paper for small pieces. Glue those pieces of paper into the middle of the plate. You can either use the same method for the green pieces of paper, or color the outside with a green crayon. For some adding fun, I added beads to my picture for some seeds!

Paper Plate Watermelon

Other ideas for a paper plate include a jellyfish or a fish for some ocean theme fun. The possibilities are endless!

Coffee Filters

Once the Keurig came out, I thought coffee filters were a thing in the past. But because of the Keurig, I have so many leftover coffee filters that really only get used on large family parties when the old coffee pot gets brought out of storage. Instead we can turn those coffee filters into some crafts and decorations!

Coffee Filter Suncatcher

Coffee filters also make great sun catcher! Sun catchers can be made by using water color paint or using markers then spraying them with a water bottle. Color all over the coffee filter with markers. You can create different designs or just color all over.

Coffee Filter Suncatcher

Coffee Filter Rainbow

For the rainbow, I started on the outside with red and worked my way in to purple. Using a spray bottle, spray the coffee filter with water and watch the colors run together. Set aside and let it dry! Once dry, you can add some white clouds to do the bottom or turn it into a butterfly.

Coffee Filter Rainbows

Coffee Filter Butterfly

To turn the coffee filter in a butterfly, start by folding the butterfly in small strips both forward and backwards alternating. Wrap a pipe cleaner or string around the middle. Then fan out the wings. Now you have a great decoration for the front door or window!

Coffee Filter butterflies project

Cereal Boxes

Stop throwing away your cereal boxes! Now you can start using them and creating puzzles with them! Cut off the front lid and take your child’s favorite cereal or crackers and create a puzzle out of it. All you need is a ruler, a sharpie, and some scissors. Make even lines going in different directions to create a puzzle piece. Cut out the pieces and have your child keep busy trying to put it back together!

Carboard Box Puzzle

Stay tuned for part II where I will be using more household items for crafts!

For more occupational therapy crafts and activities check out my Instagram page @OT_Room.

I received a game in exchange for this blog post. All opinions expressed belong to me.

Author’s Bio

Andrea DoumarHi! My name is Andrea. I am a pediatric occupational therapist from New Jersey. I currently work in a public school working with children of all ages. I have also worked in special needs preschool and outpatient pediatrics. I attended Seton Hall University for both my undergraduate and graduate degree. Let’s Go Pirates! I love working with children and sharing my ideas with others. I recently got engaged to my college sweetheart who is a Physical Therapist. When I am not working, I enjoy going to the beach, taking pictures, and creating projects with my Cricut!

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