Brought to you by our mothering expert, Nicole.

Having the kids home from school might give you the opportunity to spend some much-needed quality time together, but it might also have you running out of ways to keep them entertained. For that reason, we’ve rounded up some easy (and cheap!) crafts for your kids to enjoy that will kill a few hours and hopefully get them off their screens for a little bit.

While some Pinterest crafts can often *ahem* leave much to be desired, these crafts are actually super practical and approachable for even the least artistically-inclined kiddos. The best part? They’re made with items you’ll likely already have on hand, so you don’t need to make the trek out to the grocery store.

Bubble Snake Maker

The first comes from, and Nicole’s feedback says it all: “You won’t understand until you see how great this works! My kids loved these.”

To make one, cut off the bottom of a plastic water bottle using scissors or a knife. Grab a small square of fabric—whether it's a washcloth, a cotton sock, or even part of an old shirt—and secure it over the cut side of the water bottle using either a rubber band, a hair tie, or some tape.

Now for the liquid bubble mixture. Mix 3 Tbsp dish soap with about a cup of water and 1 Tbsp glycerin. Let this sit in a shallow plate overnight for the best results. When ready to use, dip the clothed end of the water bottle into the liquid solution. Blow air from the water bottle spout and watch your bubble snakes come to life. The slower you blow, the longer the snakes, and also feel free to add a few drops of food coloring to give your snakes some personality.

See the finished product: Bubble Snake Maker

WATCH: How to Make Edible Unicorn Slime

Paper Mache

This next one might seem a little old-school, but it could be totally new to your kids. And hey, just because it’s retro doesn’t mean it isn’t still fun. Paper mache is an easy way to decorate almost anything, create DIY pinatas, or as Nicole demonstrates, make some adorable Easter decor.

To start, make a paste by boiling 5 parts water with 1 part flour for 3 minutes, then let cool. Cut 2-inch strips of paper from a newspaper or magazine, dip them in the mixture, remove the excess, and fold it over the item. Cover your item with no more than 4 layers, then let dry completely.

See the finished product: Paper Mache.

No-Cook Kool-Aid Playdough

Not only is this DIY Playdough fun to play with, but the Kool-Aid powder used for coloring also makes it smell amazing. Just mix water, oil, and an unsweetened Kool-Aid packet before stirring in flour and salt. It’ll take a few minutes of kneading to reach the right consistency, but this craft promises a whole lot of easy and low-cost entertainment.

No-Cook Kool-Aid Playdough image
Credit: Time Inc. Video Studio

Time Inc. Video Studio

Ornament Dough

Ornaments aren’t just for the holidays. They can be whatever shape or design your kids want, and end up being fun bedroom wall or window art. Pull out your cutest cookie cutters (or try freehand) and make ornaments for every season of the year. If you’re set on a Christmas theme, hold onto them after your craft day is over—they’ll make great gifts come December!

To make the dough, combine and knead flour, salt, and water for about 10 minutes. Roll this stiff dough out on a floured surface using a rolling pin (you and your kids can take turns) and cut out whatever shapes you’d like. Don’t forget a hole for hanging!

Bake for 30 minutes on a cookie sheet and allow to cool completely. Then decorate with paint and spray both sides with clear polyurethane to preserve your masterpieces. After completely dry, finish them off with a string or ribbon to hang.

Get the recipe: Ornament Dough

Buddy the Elf’s Breakfast Spaghetti

Speaking of Christmas, nothing keeps kids quite entertained like a craft they can eat, and the candy-coated spaghetti from Elf is a dish that would satisfy (or exceed) and kids’ sweet tooth. This super fun novelty activity can be thrown together with items that are already in your pantry: spaghetti noodles, maple syrup, and any sweet toppings from cereal to candy corn. In fact, this might be a great opportunity to clear out that old Halloween candy.

Buddy the Elf’s Breakfast Spaghetti image
Credit: Meredith Food Studios

Meredith Food Studios