Inside: Here are fun and exciting arts and crafts for kids and grandkids centered around “home!” Activities that will stir their imaginations and help them realize the importance of their homes and families! Be sure and check out “Get to Know Your Ancestors” tip at the end.
Arts and Crafts for Kids & Grandkids—Home is Where the Heart Is!
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and everyone bunkered down in their homes, something interesting happened…our homes became important sanctuaries.
For many, it meant a safe place, a harbor in the midst of the storm, a place of refuge and peace from the upheaval of the world.
Parents and grandparents spent more time with their children/grandchildren. Cooking family meals together and spending time with one another became a priority. Sadly, the opposite happened too—families lost homes, domestic abuse, depression, and suicide increased.
At the height of COVID-19, my 5 little grandkids (who live close by) began to come to grandma’s and grandpa’s house for a weekly excursion for fun arts and crafts activities and bonding time.
Each week had a theme.
Appropriately, the theme this week is “our home.” We talked about why we love our home; our family; our siblings; our pets. We talked about the favorite parts of our home and what “home” means to us.
Together, we baked, read books, and drew and glued and created expressions of our homes.
Here are some of the arts and crafts activities for kids themed around home and neighborhood. We also baked cookies symbolizing, “creating memories of home.”
Arts and Crafts for Kids: Homes Made from Paint Swatches
Some arts and crafts activities for kids can be simple, others a little challenging. This activity can be more challenging. I used paint swatches, colored paper, and buttons to create the homes. Then, I made them into puzzles. Each piece, like a puzzle, fits with other pieces to create different sizes and shapes of homes.
Show your kids/grandkids how the homes fit together, and then mix up the pieces and have them put them back together—creating a colorful neighborhood in the process.
If this seems too challenging, just supply paint swatches, colored paper, and buttons and let your kids/grandkids create whatever homes they want—either way, there are spatial lessons to be learned.
- Different colored paint swatches. You can pick these up for free wherever paint is sold. I also purchased a binder of paint swatches that we use for different projects
- Colored paper—to complement and contrast the paint swatches
- Patterned paper—plaids, florals, geometric patterns—adds interest to your neighborhood doors and roofs.
- Buttons for door handles, etc.
- Cut out different shapes of homes from the paint swatches—squares, rectangles
- Make roofs from colored or patterned paper—dome shapes or triangles
- Make a tree to add nature to your neighborhood
- Make doors for your houses in different shapes using different colors of paper—be creative!
- Top it off with buttons for door handles and a topper for the tree!
Arts and crafts for kids are meant to foster wildly creative activities!
Homes Made of Cardboard, Colored Pasta & Pompoms
Homes come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors—which makes them special and interesting to the people who live there.
These homes were cut from cardboard and decorated with colored pasta, pompoms, squares of paper, and pipe cleaners.
Making arts and crafts activities for kids and grandkids is the best!
- Cardboard (preferably white)
- Colored pasta
- Squares of colored or printed paper
- Pipe cleaners
- Large pieces of colored paper to glue the finished house on
- Wood “Family” craft (Walmart)
- Create different shapes of homes on white cardboard. Outline with a black marker. Cut out—one per child
- Make or purchase colored pasta to use as decorations. To make: take 2 cups of dry pasta, 1/3 cup rubbing alcohol, and 5-7 drops of food coloring. Mix together and put in a plastic bag; let sit for 30 minutes (turning frequently) and pour out on a sheet of parchment to dry overnight.
- Supply pompoms, squares of paper, pipe cleaners, drinking straws (cut), and let your kids/grandkids decorate their houses
- Paint the wooden “Family” in watercolors
- When completed, glue the house onto a large piece of colored cardstock paper
To teach powers of observation, take your kids/grandkids on a little walk in your neighborhood. Point out all the different shapes, colors, and sizes of houses. Most homes in neighborhoods are made from conservative colors—but explain to your kids/grandkids that they have the opportunity to create very colorful and interesting homes!
Clothespin Yarn People for Your Cardboard Homes
Next, your cardboard homes need people to live in them! These little people are simple to make and require a few clothespins, fabric, and yarn—easy-peasy! Plus, they are a great activity to foster bilateral coordination as your kids/grandkids wrap the yarn around the clothespins.
- Wood Doll Clothespins
- Yarn—different colors
- Fabric swatches in different colors and sizes
- Sharpie marker
- Choose a yarn and wind around the clothespin creating “clothes” for your person.
- For girls, add a fabric swatch for a dress
- Cut pieces of yarn about ½ inch long for the hair; glue on
- Using a sharpie marker, draw a face on each of your clothespin people
- If you want, create a whole family to put with your cardboard house.
Arts and Crafts for Kids and Grandkids: Winter Neighborhoods in Black & White Newsprint
Make a neighborhood of homes based on a season of the year. We chose a winter scene of homes—with snowflakes falling and little white buttons for snow. The houses were “dressed” in newsprint to add interest to the stark black & white background.
Here’s what you need to create this fun cacophony of newsprint homes:
- Black cardstock
- White newsprint. I downloaded a free template of newsprint and copied it off on white cardstock paper
- White cardstock paper
- Small white buttons for snow
- Snowflake stickers (Michaels)
- Black sharpie pen
- Cut out different shapes of houses from the newsprint. We made our “homes” tall and skinny
- Make the roofs from white cardstock paper—domed or triangle roofs.
- Glue your houses into a neighborhood
- Add windows—using a black sharpie marker
- Add a tree
- Stick on snowflake stickers
- Glue on little white buttons for falling snow
Black & White Pencil Neighborhood Homes
Neighborhoods are made up of a wide variety of homes, buildings, shops, and restaurants. All these places create memories of people and places we love.
For this project, I purchased a Winter Village Drawing Guide with Mrs. E on Teachers Pay Teachers. It was only $3.40! I highly recommend it!
I downloaded the village and had each of my grandkids choose 5 different buildings—homes, bookstores, pizza places, stores, and more to each create their own special and meaningful neighborhood.
We used Prismacolor white pencils for the houses, etc., to offset the black paper background. This is a fun arts and crafts activity for kids—but older kids have an easier time following the guided drawings.
These arts and crafts for kids and grandkids help with spatial awareness, creating different shapes, and determining dimensions (so that everything fits on the page).
- Black poster board cut 6” H x 14” L
- White Prismacolor pencils
- Download Winter Village Drawing Guide by Art with Mrs. E
- Let your kids/grandkids pick out 5 different houses/buildings from the drawing guide.
- Show your children/grandchildren how the guide shows the step-by-step directions on creating each home/building.
- Using the guide, create your own little neighborhood. I have different ages of grandkids that did this project—8,7,4,3-year old’s so they turned out differently based on their abilities, but they all had fun doing it!
- If you want, you can also add snow using acrylic white paints and Q-tips to dot the paint on.
Baking Snickerdoodles—Creating Memories of Home!
I love to bake with my sons and now my grandkids! Baking is part of creating a home, family, and lifelong memories! Cooking and baking become its own special “arts and crafts for kids and grandkids” activity!
To complement our theme of “homes” we made our grandkids’ favorite cookie—snickerdoodles! There are a million recipes online for this cookie, but here is mine. I created this recipe for high elevation–2500 feet above sea level.
Let your kids/grandkids be a part of the whole baking process—sifting, measuring, cracking eggs, rolling the dough into balls, and dipping in sugar and cinnamon. Each task brings with it new skills and memories of happy times at grandma’s house!
- 1 cup butter
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 ¾ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Cream butter with 1 ½ cups sugar
- Add eggs; beat until combined
- Sift the dry ingredients together
- Add to butter and sugar; beat until combined
- Form balls the size of walnuts; put in a plastic bag
- Freeze overnight
- Combine the 2 T sugar and 2 t cinnamon
- Remove cookies from the freezer
- Roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture
- Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
- Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes
- Cool on rack
Filler Activity: Fruit & Marshmallow Rainbows
In between activities—here is an easy craft you can make with your kids/grandkids:
You just need fruit loops, marshmallows, and pipe cleaners. String the fruit loops on the pipe cleaners and stick either side into 2 marshmallows (clouds).
Books About Homes & Family
Here are some heartwarming books to read as you do your arts and crafts for kids and grandkids about homes!
- John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads: A Singalong Book for Toddlers and Kids by John Denver
- The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster
- A Place Called Home: A Look Inside Houses Around the World by Kate Baker
- Family Means...by Matthew Ralph
- The Family Book by Todd Parr
- A Sweet Spot Called Home by Carl Honaker
“Get to Know Your Ancestors” Tip
When doing these projects about “home” think about different ancestors in your family tree that created a loving home for their children. And how that tradition of home and family has become a legacy in your home. This ancestor couple had 13 children and are my grandchildren’s great-great-great-grandparents. They loved their 13 children and left an amazing legacy of the importance of home and family to all generations after them. Once your find ancestors who cherished “home and family” share their lives and pictures with your children/grandchildren and continue the legacy!
What fun arts and crafts activities for kids and grandkids did you do during the pandemic to create a warm, happy environment in your home? Please comment in the section below.
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