15 Fun and Simple Paper Crafts for Kids to Stop the Whining and Start the Playing

Sometimes you need to be able to make something out of the simplest materials possible.  When the kids are bored and whiny and yet you have a million things to do, you need an easy solution.

Paper is something we pretty much all have on hand in some form or another so it’s a great choice.  But don’t just shove some paper and crayons at the kids.

Check out some of these paper craft ideas for kids that will:

  1. Keep them engaged in the making process a little longer
  2. (hopefully) Inspire some additional play after the making process has ended

It’s a win for everyone, right?  They get to make something AND then play with it and you get to get back to the thrilling chore of the day like disinfecting sink drains or scouring grout.

Or maybe you’re binge watching Pretty Little Liars.  Whatever, you deserve your Me Time.

Fun and Simple Paper Crafts for Kids

Tissue Paper Painting

Easy Art - Tissue Paper Collage

If you’re anything like me, you buy tissue paper pretty much every time you have to buy a present for someone.

Why?

Because you’re never entirely sure if you’ve got any at the house.  You’ve walked into Target and the enormous pile of tissue paper that is in your craft room just vanishes from your memory banks.

So you buy some, cause it’s a couple bucks.  And now the pile of tissue of paper is even bigger.

Let’s put some of that to good use, shall we?  You can make art with.  I made these tissue paper collages a while back and they are incredibly simple to do.

I used a paper cutter tool to get little octagon shapes but you could do any shape or no shape at all.  You could even just rip the paper.

The magic happens in the layering of the tissue.

DIY Paper Spinner from Make and Takes

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I love the throw back feel of this DIY Paper Spinner from Make and Takes.

It reminds me of something you would make at camp or at the playground recreation program in the summer.

Get the kids to make bunches of these and see what patterns they like best.  Tell them to google why the colors all seem to blur when the Spinner spins.

Because I don’t really know why that happens.  So maybe let me know in the comments?  After they google.

Paper Dog Corner Bookmark From Red Ted Art

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Do your kids need a little incentive to get some reading done?

Trick them into it by giving them the instructions for this adorable bookmark paper craft idea from Red Ted Art.  It’s easier to make than it looks.

Then when they are done they will be so in love with the little bookmark they made, they’ll want to go grab a book and put it to good use!

Then you can pretend they thought of the reading part all by themselves!  What WONDERFUL children!

Easy Octopus Craft from Fiskars Craft

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If you’ve been hoarding colorful construction paper like a lunatic, then that crazy habit has just paid off!

Ok, just kidding you’re not a lunatic for having a larger than life stack of colorful paper.  You just know that there are a million things you can do with every sheet of paper in that stack.

This Octopus from Fiskars Craft just happens to be one of the cuter ones.  I’d cover the roll with some green construction paper rather than paint just for the sake of the mess, though.

Paper Monster Craft from Whispered Intentions

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Paper Quilling is an art form and I love that this cute little paper monster craft from Whispered Intentions is starting to teach kids about it.

I hope you always have a few sets of google eyes on hand for something like this, but if you don’t, you can always make the eyes out of other materials.  Dried beans?  Construction paper?  Buttons would work great here, too!

Unlike with cooking you can usually get creative if you’re missing an ingredient with a craft like this.

Ok, some people can get creative with cooking, too.  For me, that doesn’t end well.

Origami Jumping Frogs from It’s Always Autumn

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Origami has always fascinated me.

I like to think about, who was the first person that figured out that you can actually fold paper into a shape that is just like a frog?  A frog that hops, no less.

This little origami Hopping Frog from It’s Always Autumn is great.  It’s reminding me of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.  Maybe this can be a reading project AND a craft project?

Folded Paper Bracelets from Pickled Bums

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These Folded Paper Bracelets from Pickled Bums aren’t just really, really pretty.

They are extra special because the whole process starts with first painting the paper to be used to make the bracelets.

I love that.  It really is like wearing a little bit of art with you.

Paper Hat from East Coast Mommy

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This cute Paper Hat from East Coast Mommy is going to work for the younger crowd, so you may need to put down the bon bons for a minute and help with the actual making of the hat.

But once the hat is constructed, the little one can go wild decorating it.  Stickers, crayons, markers… Whatever you have on hand for the decorating will be fun.

Then, this hat becomes a catalyst for pretend play.  It’s kind of pirate-y, right?  Pirate play!

Watercolor Paper Tents from Oriental Trading Company

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Remember Little People?  The little plastic dolls from when you were a kid?  Actually, they are still around now.

I can totally picture scores of these watercolor paper tents from Oriental Trading Company and the little people as campers.

Little moments of play like this, especially after your child has made the tent, are so important for kids. There’s nothing like watching or listening to their imaginations run wild.

Japanese Flying Carp from Cut Out and Keep

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There is a world of things you can make with toilet paper rolls.  I’m on the fence still as far as whether or not I really want to make something with a toilet paper roll.

These Japanese Flying Carp from Cut Out and Keep are pretty awesome, though, even for former toilet paper rolls!

They are easy and I love how non-toilet paper roll-ish they end up looking by the time you are done.

I’d still know though. In my head.  I’d look at those carp and go, you used to be right next to the toilet.

Paper Weaving Fish from Crafty Morning

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If you can do a little prep ahead of time, this paper weaving fish from Crafty Morning is a really great craft for small kiddos.

It’s super cute, of course and that might be enough of a reason to try this one.

But the weaving part is excellent for kids to practice their fine motor skills.  And think about patterns.

There’s a reason we all made these in Kindergarten, you know.

Paper Plate Jellyfish from Arty Crafty Kids

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There are a million and one ways to use paper plates in kids crafts.  It’s great to have a giant stack of these things in the house at all times.  For crafts.  And maybe also for eating off of.

These Jellyfish from Arty Craft Kids are great.  I love those GIANT eyes!

There’s glitter in these.  I love glitter.  I also hate glitter.  It’s a very complicated relationship.

Paper Fortune Teller from Easy Peasy and Fun

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Some people call these Cootie Catchers, some people call them Fortune Tellers and some people call them Joke Tellers.

I hate the word Cootie, so let’s go with Fortune Tellers.

I LOVED these as a kid and I bet you did, too, because everyone does.  We did not have fortune tellers like this Shark Fortune Teller from Easy Peasy and Fun when I was a kid.

I have one question, though.  How did we figure out how to make these without the internet back in 1983?  Books, I guess?  It’s like there was one kid who figured it out and he taught one kid and she taught another kid and so on and so on.

Easy and Large Paper Popsicles from Craft Whack

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Ok, you can’t tell how giant these awesomely colorful paper Popsicles from Craft Whack are by looking at that picture.

They are the size of your head.

NO, BIGGER!

I love the crazy simple instructions from Craft Whack.  1. Cut.  2.  Paste.

Seriously, it doesn’t get any easier than that.

Tissue Paper Art from Fireflies and Mudpies

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These gorgeous paintings from Fireflies and Mudpies are made with a particular kind of tissue paper, bleeding tissue paper, so you will have to have that on hand, but, the results are quite stunning.

I love that the tutorial is also based around the weather (snow!), but if you don’t have snow available, you can just spray the tissue with water.

These beauties are frame worthy, aren’t they?

Now What?

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to try some of these with my kids.  Particularly that last one, the Tissue Paper Art.

What I love about these projects is that they use simple materials.  Many of them are things you already have in the house.  When creativity strikes your kids, you want to be able to capture that moment.

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15 Fun and Easy Paper Crafts for Kids

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