Whether you’re wanting to find some fun projects to work on with your kids or are just wanting to kill some time on a rainy day, DIY projects are a good thing to consider. The simple fact is that kids LOVE to make things! These projects below are designed to appeal to all sorts of different kids and can help kids to learn new skills and explore the world around them.

For Nature-Loving Kids

For kids who love nothing more than to be outside, there are some great projects to work on that will bring them even closer to the natural world.

DIY Bird Feeder

For this project, you will need:

  • An empty 2-liter pop bottle, washed, labels removed, with cap
  • Exact-O knife (for adult use only)
  • 3-4 dowel rods
  • Flexible metal wire
  • Bird seed of choice (black oiled sunflower seed or mixed wild birdseed is recommended)

Make three small holes on each side of the bottle with the Exact-O knife (1-2 cm in diameter). Beneath these, make slits in the bottle and insert the dowel rods so that they stick out an inch or so from each side of the bottle (these will act as perches for the birds). Fill the bottle with seeds and cap it. Use the wire to wrap around the neck of the bottle and make a hook. Hang this from a tree or off a deck in your back yard and watch the birds begin to pour in!

 DIY Kid-Sized Garden

For this project, you will need:

  • Clay pots or other containers of choice
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds of choice. The best choices for container gardens include cherry tomatoes, basil, green onions,
  • Watering can

Help your child fill the pots or other containers up with potting soil.  Plant the seeds of your choice per the directions given on the back of the seed packet (the depth of planting and distance between seeds will vary a lot from one plant to another).  Place containers on the back porch or – if porch space is not available – in a sunny windowsill. Water as needed. This is a long-term project but one which you can do year after year if it really captures your child’s interest.

For Disorganized Kids

Some kids have a little problem getting organized, there are some fun projects you can undertake to help them stay on track.

DIY Room Organizer

For this project, you will need:

  • A peg board (around 2×3 feet)
  • An assortment of decorative hooks – you can get these from a home improvement store or find a secondhand store for more vintage pieces
  • Regular interior paint in the color of choice
  • Decorations like ribbon, glitter glue, etc.

First, paint the peg board in the color of your child’s choice. When the paint is dry, add hooks at various points on the board.  Decorate it according to your child’s preferences (with ribbons, glitter, shells, coins, or whatever will match your child’s room).  Hang it in your child’s room, preferably by the door, where your child can use it to hang their book bag, coat, scarves, mittens, etc., to help stay more organized, especially during the school year.

DIY Desk Organizer

For this project, you will need:

  • Toilet paper and paper towel rolls
  • A flat length of board (a piece of scrap wood from another project is okay)
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks
  • Paint and brush

First, let your child paint the board and the toilet paper/paper towel rolls in the color or colors of their choice. When the paint is dry, help your child line up the toilet paper/paper towel rolls on the board so that they are standing up straight; they can organize these in any way they wish.  Hot-glue each roll to the board and let the glue dry.  Add any extra decorations (such as glitter glue) and when it is dry, use it to organize things like pencils, pens, paint brushes, etc.

For Crafty Kids

For kids who are into arts and crafts and like to make things with their hands, there are plenty of great DIY projects out there, too.

DIY Playdough

15685305950_3b2794cdbf_bFor this project, you will need:

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Food dye
  • Extra ingredients like dried flower petals, small shells or colored sand (optional)

Mix flour, salt, baking soda, water and food dyes (along with any optional ingredients) together in desired amount until the dough is soft but still holds its shape.  You can keep the dough in Ziploc bags in between use and it will last for months. Many kids enjoy the homemade play dough more than the store-bought since they get the chance to make it themselves and also it gives them a chance to add extra ingredients like flower petals to give the dough a very personalized feel.

DIY Candles

For this project, you will need:

  • A double boiler
  • Hard candle wax
  • Several crayons in colors of choice
  • Essential oil of choice
  • Containers of choice
  • A length of wicking

Bring water to a boil in the double boiler. Chip off chunks of the candle wax and place in boiler, letting them melt slowly.  As they are melting, add a crayon in the color of your choice and essential oils if desired.  You can also add extra ingredients like rose petals or dried flowers.  When wax is completely melted, make sure to stir it well so that the crayon wax, essential oils and other optional ingredients are completely mixed. Pour it into a container of choice, making sure that you have already laid out a length of wicking and taped it to the top of the container as a temporary hold. When the wax has dried, you make take the tape off the wicking and use when desired.

In short, these do-it-yourself projects are just the beginning: once you start out on them, you will quickly realize that the opportunities for this kind of work are limitless. Try a few of the projects listed above, see which ones your kids particularly enjoy, and go from there. You might easily find that what started out as a casual project becomes a serious hobby or a lifelong pastime for your child – as well as a great way to spend time with them!