Tori has a master's in psychology with a concentration in child and adolescent development.
Have you ever hit panic mode when you look around your house and realize that you have practically no art items and your child wants to make a new creation? You’re not alone! Whether money is tight or you just haven’t had time to go to the store to pick up a few things, the good news is that you can easily make construction paper crafts with minimal materials.
Weaving construction paper is a simple craft that is not only fun, but it also helps children build up their fine motor skills as well. Depending on the developmental level of your child, you may need to cut the slits prior to weaving the paper. Otherwise, all you need is a few sheets of different colored construction paper and a pair of scissors!
Easy-to-Follow Directions for Construction Paper Weaving
- Younger kids – If you are doing this construction paper craft with a child who is fairly young and is working on building a good vocabulary, then have them repeat the different materials that you pick up. Aside from simply saying “scissors” or another term, identify it by color: ‘blue scissors.’ You may even want to make a whole sentence about the action you are doing: “Now we are going to put the blue scissors on the table.”
- Developing fine motor skills – Using scissors to cut the slits and strips of paper is a great way to develop fine motor skills. Remember that kids take more time than adults with this task and may need some direction, so be sure you are there to supervise. With that being said, make sure you don’t takeover the craft and do it for the child; not only with this disengage the child, but it also takes away their independence and opportunity to improve their skills.
- Older kids – This group may be a bit more difficult to engage in the craft, so you may want to turn it into a game or challenge. For example, you could set a timer and see how many weaves the child could do in a certain amount of time.
Construction Paper Crafts for a Cause: Cards
Making homemade cards is something that we can all do, whether young or old. Something as simple as writing a few nice words with some crayons works just fine. If you have more materials available (buttons, pipe cleaners, sequins, glitter, etc.) then pour them on the table and let your child’s imagination run free!
Who should you make the cards for? Aside from the typical holidays and birthdays, you could also make cards for a local charity or hospital. That brings us to our next learning opportunities:
- Empathy and Sympathy through hospital cards – Children don’t just grow up knowing what empathy and sympathy are; instead, they have to learn it. When you have a child make a card for someone in the hospital, you can explain to them why it’s important to speak encouraging words to people, especially those who are going through a tough time. Even if you don’t know someone personally in the hospital, you can have the child make a generic card saying “get well soon.” Once the card is complete, take your child to deliver it to the hospital front desk so that they can get the full experience. This is truly a construction paper craft for a good cause!
- Writing skills – Whether a child is just learning to write their name or is learning cursive, a card is a great place to practice. For older children who have already mastered those skills, provide a thesaurus and have them look up synonyms for words they typically use. This will not only expand their vocabulary, but it will also teach them how to look for information in a book.
Masks allow children to use their imagination and create an entirely new self-image. Making the mask itself can be just as fun as wearing it after! This is another construction paper craft for kids that can be used with just a few materials, or several items. At minimum, you will want to have the paper, something to draw with, and either string or a popsicle stick so that the child can put it on their face.
- Culture – It doesn’t take a child long to see that we are all made a little different from one another. When these questions arise, you have the perfect opportunity to teach your child about equality and acceptance. If you want to turn the mask craft into an education piece about culture, you may want to print some pages from the web that show people from all around the world. For example, you may find cowboy hats, berets, or feathers. Discuss with your child why these people dress that way and any history that may be behind it. Then, have your child recreate one of those looks as a mask.
- Favorite Heroes – Get your child thinking by asking them to make a mask of the person they admire most. On the inside of the mask, have them write down why they chose that individual.
Animals and Nature
If you live in the United States, odds are that you made a turkey with cut out hands at some point. This is a fun keepsake construction paper craft because you make the hands by tracing out your child’s hand onto pieces of paper. You can do the same thing with a variety of other animals, including owls and butterflies. Additionally, you can make a sun by attaching the hands to the outside of a round paper plate. If you want to do a tree, use the hands as the leaves and/or branches.
- Growth – Have your child complete this craft, put it in a box, and then have them do the same craft a few years later. Then, show them how much they have grown since the first time they did it. You can explain to your child how growing up happens and what foods and such contribute to a healthy and growing body.
- Animal Classification – For those young children who are still learning what certain things are called, have them create a specific animal so that they have a visual picture of what it looks like. This will help with their memory recognition and word recall. You may also want to spell out the name on the craft itself so that the child can become familiar with the letters as well.
These construction paper crafts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the awesome things you can make with just a few supplies. You may find that your child is completely content with just coloring, or maybe they want to cut and paste. To prepare yourself for any messes beforehand, make sure you do the following:
- Lay down newspaper or butcher paper on the table, or work surface, and tape it in place to protect it
- Have a trash can nearby where you can throw away scraps easily
- Remove all fragile items from the vicinity
- If you are using glitter, sequins, or other small items, put a small amount in a bowl so that you don’t have a massive mess to deal with later
- Have a wet washcloth on hand – you never know when you’re going to need it
Brooklyn fewer on August 24, 2017:
This is perfect for a six and older !! Great for when the kids are bored
Ashley Ferguson from Indiana/Chicagoland on February 15, 2016:
I love paper crafting, I'll definitely be trying these with my son. :)
Shasta Matova from USA on July 22, 2014:
These are great ideas, and I love that you included ways to incorporate the Learning Ideas. Sometimes, we forget that there are other lessons we can teach besides coloring when we hand kids some art supplies.
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on July 15, 2014:
Fun ideas with just a pair of scissors and some construction paper. And the kids are all getting bored right about now, too.
Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on July 15, 2014:
FictionFish - I'm glad you found it useful! I think kids spend way too much time on electronics these days. Times have definitely changed!
FictionFish on July 15, 2014:
I like all of the ideas that you present here. I have two young grandsons that believe the only thing to do involves electronic games. I want to show them that there is life without electronics. This would be a great help. Thanks for the input.
Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on June 30, 2014:
That is so awesome Jean!
Jean Bakula from New Jersey on June 29, 2014:
My adult son is a kindergarten teacher and the Asst. Instructor of a karate academy. He is in love with Asian culture. Once he and his friends made hundreds of origami cranes to celebrate a big night where many people at the school were getting promoted. He found that he was able to use origami with his little ones in school too, both as an art and "keep quiet" kind of thing, and even used origami ladybugs to count the dots for easy math lessons. It's a great art to learn.
Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on June 28, 2014:
Peggy- great point about the nonverbal cues! You can learn so much if you just pay attention and listen. Thanks for all the positive feedback!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 28, 2014:
It is wonderful to engage children in art for so many good reasons. It it a time to teach but it is also a time to observe and listen as they may express non verbal cues as to what is happening in their lives. Up votes and pinning to my crafts board. Excellent hub! Will also share.
Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on June 24, 2014:
pstraubie48- Construction paper is truly an amazing thing! I feel like you could have hours of fun with it if you let your imagination run wild :-)
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on June 24, 2014:
Don't you just love how versatile construction paper is?? Kids love to make things out of it and Momma's and Grandma's love to hang them around their homes
thanks for sharing
Angels are on the way ps
torrilynn on June 23, 2014:
well written and very well put together hub. I think crafts are great little projects that one can do with their kids. voted up, shared, and pinned.
Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on June 23, 2014:
Terrific ideas. I like that you also included the benefits. Definitely a thumbs up, interesting, and useful hub.
Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on June 23, 2014:
Thanks for all the comments everyone! I would love to hear which craft you enjoyed doing most. Also, if any of you tackle choose to take on origami, let me know how it goes! I've never been able to get the hang of it.
Maggie.L from UK on June 23, 2014:
I really like the weaving craft for kids. Like you say, it's great for their fine motor skills and they get the satisfaction of producing a lovely piece of artwork. A very useful hub. I'll be trying out some of these ideas with my 7 year old.
FlourishAnyway from USA on June 21, 2014:
I like that you provide the learning opportunities associated with each. Some of my favorite memories involve the art project my child has given me.
deni holland on June 21, 2014:
travmaj from australia on June 20, 2014:
Lovely, nice to see some creativity for the kids and how much they enjoy them. Great pictures and video and easy to see people with younger children will benefit greatly from your work.
Tori Canonge (author) from North Carolina on June 20, 2014:
Suzanne Day - Great ideas with the paper weaving! So much you can do with it.
AliciaC - Thank you for stopping by!
Seafarer Mama - Thanks the compliments!
Karen A Szklany from New England on June 20, 2014:
Beautifully written and laid-out hub! Love the pictures and videos. Congratulations on a job well done. I know that I will return to this hub more than once this year.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 19, 2014:
You have some fun and useful ideas in this hub, Torrs13! I like the fact that you describe each activity and also state its benefits.
Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on June 18, 2014:
Some great ideas for paper craft here! My kids love to make personalised cards for people's birthdays etc. It's really quite funny as they draw enlarged high heels on all the women and the men get teeny tiny arms. My family love it as the kids seem to highlight the most obvious features, even if they can be a little embarrassing.
I think the paper weaving could be an interesting way for kids to make placemats, coasters and wall hangings.
Voted awesome and up. Enjoyed your hub very much!