February 3, 2017

Entertaining kids – especially when it’s raining or during the school holidays – doesn’t need to be expensive.  Whilst  the cost of craft materials can easily mount up if you need lots of bits, we have come up with some great ideas that cost little or nothing to make, but will still get the creative juices flowing. Hopefully these ideas will give the little ones something they enjoy doing, and you at least 5 minutes peace (ha)!

Here at Togademus we are always keeping bits and bobs in case they ‘come in useful’ but most of the crafts below involve items many will already have in the home or are free to obtain.

Here’s our 5 favourite low budget craft ideas.

  1. Salt Paintings

All you need is some PVA, table salt, food colouring and paper. Squeeze the pva into patterns or shapes on the paper then sprinkle salt on top. Leave for a few minutes to start drying then you can add your colours on top. This can be done with a paintbrush, a pipette or even by pouring colours directly on. Leave to fully dry and you have lovely salt artwork. This craft is great for using fine motor skills. Extra Tip – We usually put our paper in a tray to help contain the mess of spilt salt.

  1. Washi Tape 

We love washi tape! It’s so versatile and even better- you can get a pack of 3 rolls from Poundland. One of our favourite crafts to make with Washi Tape are these fun snakes. You just need a toilet roll tube, some string/wool/ribbon and washi tape. Googly eyes are also fun but eyes can always be drawn on with a pen instead. Cut the toilet roll tube into sections. Let the little ones decide which colours and patterns they would like and then wrap the tape round the toilet roll tube. *Washi tape can usually be torn or pulled apart, so no need for scissors. String the sections of tube together to make the body and a bit of string for the tongue.

  1. Make Your Own Playdough

Some parents will have tried certain recipes before that involve cooking/boiling ingredients which is a hassle. This is a fun, no cook recipe that children can make themselves and then play with afterwards.


  • 2 cup plain flour

  • 1 cup salt

  • 1 tbs oil (any oil will work, we like coconut oil in ours)

  • 3/4 cup cold water (start with ½ cup and add more if necessary)

  • 2 drops food colouring


  • STEP 1 Combine flour and salt in a bowl.

  • STEP 2 Add water, food colouring and oil. Mix until ingredients are combined.

  • STEP 3 Knead well.

  • STEP 4 If consistency is too wet add a little plain flour.

Use cookie cutters, cutlery, stamps or just your hands to mark, mould and shape your dough.

Extra Tips – For added sensory fun you can add other things to this mixture: glitter or sequins for a bit of sparkle, different food colourings for a rainbow effect, vanilla or orange essence and even cocoa powder all work well if you want to use the sense of smell. Once you are done playing, wrap in cling-film and pop in the fridge so the dough will stay moist and pliable for another day. We usually keep ours for about a week or so.

  1. Paint Sample Swatch Cards 

This craft activity is completely free. I often use these swatch cards at home and on outings. They are versatile and have many uses, and again they are free. Pop down to Homebase in Kings Heath and pick up a few. My favourite way to use these cards is to organise a Treasure Hunt. It works no matter if you are out and about, on holiday or just at home. Each child is given a card and they have to find an object that matches each colour on their card. The options are endless. For example in  spring when  the trees and plants come to life you could specify the child has to find petals/flowers to match each colour, or, autumn you could specify finding leaves to match the colours on the cards. You could suggest finding toys, foods or any object at all to match each colour. This exercise is great for recognising not just colour but also the varying shades of colour too.

  1. Pasta Pictures 

This is a classic craft that never gets old. Any dried pasta will do – spaghetti, penne, anything. If you are feeling adventurous you can also use dried lentils, split peas or rice too. There is always the option to paint the pasta shapes to add colour and don’t forget the old favourite – making pasta necklaces. You just need some paper – or even better paper plates, pasta and glue. Our paper plate pasta pictures are usually animals such as these pictured, pasta twirls make a great mane for a lion, so does spaghetti.