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Paper Craft Ideas for Kids

16 fun things to do with pen and paper

As families continue to lockdown around the world, more and more of us are looking for ways to stay occupied in the house, especially those homes with little hands to entertain. If you’re anything like the Papier team, you’re probably running out of series to watch, board games to play and recipes to bake. So we’ve rustled up 16 ideas to get creative with pen and paper – our favourite way to pass the time.

Make a treasure map

Ah hands ahoy! Hide some treats in your living room or garden then set about creating your very own treasure map together. Simply grab an A4 sheet of paper, rip the edges to create a jagged effect and use some tea bags to stain the paper. Once you’ve left it to dry, take a black marker and start plotting out your map (sofa island, footstool mountain – you get the gist) and add a compass and legend for authenticity. Extra points for making paper pirate hats too.

Finger painting

This one’s simple and so sweet. Get the whole family’s fingers mucky with an afternoon of finger painting. Set out some different coloured acrylic paints on a tray or large plate and let the glorious, messiness begin. Press everyone’s finger on the page to create a family print which you can frame, or encourage tots to create a bigger picture for their own wall – animal, floral and rainbow scenes are just a dozen of tiny fingerprints away.

Origami animals

Set their imaginations wild with an afternoon of origami animal making. This can be quite fiddly so younger children will need help from an adult. Gather some coloured paper and check out Google for some fun, easy animal templates, then get folding! A pet paper dog, fox or dolphin is sure to brighten everyone’s day.

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Paper dolls

This lovely, relaxing paper activity never gets old. Fold a piece of paper vertically into an accordion, pleating it to create equally sized strips. Draw a silhouette of a person on the top layer, ensuring the arms and legs reach to the very edge of the paper. Cut out the figure, unfold, then colour the characters in. Add fun facial expressions and outfits – it’s all about the details.

Games to play with pen and paper

Naughts and crosses, hangman, pictionary – there are plenty of games to play with pen and paper. So many, in fact, we’ve written a whole story about it to get you inspired and refresh your memory in case you’d forgotten any of the rules. Consequences, the monster game – come and play, it’s all here.

Short stories & poems

This is a unique time for us all, particularly for young children who can’t fully comprehend what’s going on. Inspire kids to write down their feelings during these strange times with a short story, poem, scribbles or thoughts. It’ll give you and them an insight into what lockdown life felt like as a child and, no doubt, something precious you can treasure forever.

Paper rainbows

The rainbow has become the symbol of hope and sign of gratitude for frontline workers. Take the time to make a colourful rainbow picture to place in your window for all the street to see – you just need some paper and pencils or paints in R.O.Y.G.B.I.V. It presents a calm opportunity to explain the current situation to children and teaches them the importance of giving thanks to those who are bravely risking their lives to protect us all.

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Notecards to friends

Kids are missing their friends, just like we are. How about suggesting a mindful morning of writing notecards to their school mates or family members they aren’t able to see right now? It’ll help them feel emotionally connected, even when physically distant, and is perfect for handwriting practice.

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Paper fans for summer

Summer is coming so now’s the time to prep some pretty paper fans to keep you cool as the days start to heat up. Take a piece of A4 paper, fold it accordion-style and then fold the bottom of the fan up around an inch or two to create a little handle to hold onto. Dig out your best colours, sequins and glitter to decorate.

Paper chains

This idea is super fun and versatile. Cut several long, thin strips of paper to begin. Take your first strip and curl it into a loop, glueing or taping to fix in place. Take your next strip and create a loop, threading it through your first loop. Repeat this action until you have a paper chain of your desired length. Colour it in and use as bunting, or make your loops tiny to create paper bracelets and necklaces.

Paper menus for meals at home

Dining in is the new dining out, and many of us are finding more time to plan and prepare home-cooked meals in lockdown. Why not take the opportunity to create some beautiful, personalised menus for your household’s dinner parties? A handwritten menu from the kids will make an evening meal or long Sunday lunch feel all the more special.

Paper lanterns

Take a piece of A4 paper and fold it in half lengthwise. Cut the paper along the folded edge up towards the top, but not all the way to the end. (The longer the slits, the more light will shine through.) Roll your entire page up to create your lantern shape, sealing the two ends with tape or a stapler to hold in place. Cut a thin strip of paper for the handle and secure it to the inside of the top of your lantern. Ta-da!

Stained glass window kite

Draw a kite shape on A4 card, then cut out the centre of the kite. (It’s easier for adults to do this with a scalpel.) Tape clear sticky back plastic onto your table (sticky side up) and place your kite frame down. Add thin strips of card to create the cross-shape bones of the kite, then start covering your kite with small pieces of coloured tissue paper. When your kite is completely covered, seal with another piece of sticky back plastic. Cut out your kite, add a ribbon for a tail and finish with a simple paper bow-tie shape stapled to the tail.

Paper marble run

Paint some old toilet rolls and kitchen rolls in bright colours. Next, create three towers of varying heights by stacking your tubes and taping them together. Cut three rolls in half longways to create the ‘shoots’ for your marbles to run down. Create holes in the towers for your ‘shoots’ to rest in, then connect the towers by taping the shoots in place. (Angle shoots downwards to encourage the marbles to roll). Pop a marble or little, round sweet in the tallest tower and let the race begin!

Paper bookmarks

Many of us are finding more time to read in quarantine and that includes kids too. Experiment with creating paper bookmarks for their story books to pass some time. Scraps of old wrapping paper or wall paper works nicely, or use some plain card and have fun decorating it yourself. Add your child’s name for a personal touch.

Woven paper pictures/tablemats

Cut a piece of A4 into a 12-inch square, snip evenly spaced, 1-inch slits starting from the folded edge and stopping about 1 inch from the opposite edge. (Draw vertical lines as a guide for younger kids.) Unfold the paper. Next, cut some coloured paper strips (1 inch wide, 14 inches long). Take a strip and start weaving across the slits, going over and under. Repeat this until your design is full, folding the edge of the strips so everything’s nice and neat. Glue the back of your woven creation and stick it to another piece of paper. Add a frame to the front and decorate for extra paper pizzazz.

Need some fresh notebooks for your paper crafting days? Shop our personalised notebooks for kids here.