When the weather outside is cold and dreary, and the fun holiday events are over, kids may begin feeling a bit bored. Why not create a masterpiece or build something out of supplies you likely already have? Winter is a great time to try a new hobby or to expand on your skills. We have a wide variety of children’s books full of ideas and how-tos that are sure to pique the interest of kids fighting the inevitable boredom that comes from being cooped up inside on these cold days. I recommend the following books to keep kids busy and entertained.
Super Squishies Slime and Putty: 36 Easy Projects to Make by Tessa Sillars-Powell
This book has step-by-step instructions for 36 different squishy, slime, and putty creations. Not only are they fun to make, but playing with them helps to relieve excess energy and stress. You will likely already have most of the supplies needed for making these. Colorful photos and illustrations add to the appeal of creating projects such as: burger and fries squishies, narwhal squishies, fluffy unicorn milkshake slime, fried egg slime, farting putty, snowman putty, and so many more! These projects are recommended for ages 7+.
Disney Ideas Book by Elizabeth Dowsett
There is bound to be something appealing for any Disney fan in this book that includes more than 100 Disney crafts, activities, and games from classic and modern characters. Create an Aladdin shoebox theater, Inside Out memory spheres, Baymax origami, Ursula bath bombs, princess selfie props, Miguel’s guitar…and the list goes on. There are also several Disney games with detailed instructions on how to play. There are lots of options to keep you busy! The difficulty levels of these projects vary, but there are projects suitable for all ages.
Make This!: Building, Thinking, and Tinkering Projects for the Amazing Maker in You by Ella Schwartz
You get to be a maker with the projects in this book. Most of the materials required are commonly found at home. Scientific facts and prompts are also included to get you thinking about what is happening in each project. You can rescue a dinosaur from ice, create a rainforest in a bottle, prepare a skee-ball challenge, design a Rube Goldberg machine, build a truss bridge, and do so many more fun activities that will keep you thinking. This book is recommended for ages 8+.
Art Lab for Kids – Express Yourself!: 52 Creative Adventures to Find Your Voice Through Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media & Sculpture by Susan Schwake
There are 52 projects for kids ages 4+ in this book. Projects include drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed-media, and paper creations. Most of the projects require easy to find supplies. Each project begins with a list of required materials and follows with step-by-step instructions paired with a photo clearly showing each step of the process. The creative process and self-expression are encouraged with projects that can be worked on multiple times, resulting in different outcomes.
Artrageous! by Jennifer McCully
There are 25 mixed-media art projects to use as inspiration in this book suited for ages 10+. The projects require various art supplies such as acrylic paint, oil pastels, Gesso, and Mod Podge. Art techniques are described in the beginning of the book, and each project has detailed instructions on how to create your own. Kids will learn how to create a craft caddy, wall art, greeting cards, pennant banner, and more.
Now I Can Sew: 20 Hand-Sewn Projects to Make by Sian Hamilton
The beginning of this book goes into great detail about the sewing supplies needed and how they’re used, and also includes step-by-step instructions with illustrations on the techniques that are used for the sewing projects. Each project includes a list of needed supplies, followed by step-by-step instructions paired with clear photos. Kids will learn how to sew a tic-tac-toe game, apron, book cover, finger puppets, and more. The projects in this book are recommended for ages 8+.
Awesome LEGO Creations with Bricks You Already Have by Sarah Dees
You can use this book as a source of inspiration for LEGO building projects. Whether you have a mixed box of the popular plastic building bricks, or you want to re-purpose the bricks that came with a model building set, you will likely have what is needed to recreate the examples in this book. Creative modifications can be made to the projects that you don’t have all of the bricks for. Instructions for building different types of robots, vehicles, animals, buildings, and games are included. This book is recommended for ages 7+.