Free Craft Projects For Kids: Popsicle Stick Ideas

Some easy craft projects for kids, with free ideas to turn popsicle sticks into useful items or art.

Children have wonderful imaginations and often express themselves through a variety of arts and crafts projects. Parents should encourage their youngsters to tap into those creative energies for a number of reasons. In addition to bringing enjoyment, these types of activities also offer children the opportunity to hone their decision-making skills, call their cognitive thought processes into play, instill confidence through personal achievements and even assist in the area of fine motor skill development. For the cost of a few Popsicle sticks - and, maybe, an idea or two to start them off - your kids can turn a humdrum day into one of fun and excitement. Here are a few suggestions for projects of that nature.

PLANT BUDDY

Materials:

6 Popsicle Sticks

1 Paper Plate (white - dessert size)

Black Felt (6" square)

2 Medium Buttons (light in color)

1 Pipe Cleaner (pink)

Glitter (yellow or gold)

Glue

Drinking Glass

Pencil

White Sewing Chalk

Heavy-Duty Scissors

Newspaper

Prepare the work area by covering it with old newspaper. Place a drinking glass on the center of the paper plate and, using a pencil, trace the outer rim of the glass. Cut out the circle and dispose of the remaining plate piece(s). Repeat the process, using the black felt and white sewing chalk rather than the paper plate and pencil. Set both circles aside.

Using heavy-duty scissors, cut 5 of the 6 Popsicle sticks in half and put aside - be sure to leave one of the sticks intact.

Glue the circle of black felt to the surface of the paper plate circle and allow adequate drying time. Glue the two buttons on the upper portion of the black felt side - these will be the "eyes" of the plant buddy and will work best using a light colored button, such as white, light blue or light green. Cut the pink pipe cleaner in half and glue one of the halves onto the lower portion of the black circle - in the shape of a smiling mouth - allowing adequate drying time. When complete, glue the full-length Popsicle stick to the bottom of the circle (on the reverse - or white - side), so that most of it is visible.

Attach the 10 halves of Popsicle sticks - spaced evenly - around the outer rim of the main circle, using glue, so that most of the stick surfaces are visible. Be sure to glue them onto the reverse - or white - side, as was done with the longer Popsicle stick. Allow adequate drying time. After the sticks have dried securely in place, apply glue to the length of each of them (with the exception of the longer stick at the bottom) and add a generous amount of glitter to each. Place down flat on the surface of the table - glitter side up - and allow time to thoroughly dry before shaking off excess glitter.

When completed, your child will have a fun sunflower that can be inserted into the soil of a potted houseplant (using the longest Popsicle stick) as a decoration or "buddy" for the greenery.

BIRDIE TREAT

Materials:

1 Popsicle Stick

1 Large Apple

1 Jar of Honey

1 Box of Mixed Bird Seed

Small Bowl

Medium Bowl

Basting Brush

Wax Paper

Place a piece of wax paper on the work surface - large enough to cover the full work area - and pour approximately an inch of honey into the small bowl. Next, pour enough bird seed into the medium bowl so that it's approximately half full.

Pull the stem from the apple and push the Popsicle stick into the area where the stem had been attached. The stick should be inserted approximately 1 ½" into the meat of the apple.

Using a basting brush, apply a thick coat of honey to the surface of the apple. When finished, roll the honey-covered apple around in the bowl of bird seed until the entire surface is thickly covered. Place on a clear area of the wax paper, stick side up and allow adequate drying time.

When finished, there will be a nice treat for the birds. Simply place the apple in an area that's not too close to the house, and the birds will make quick work of it. This also makes a nice treat for some indoor birds, such as parrots.

PERSONALIZED DOOR HANGER

Materials:

7 Popsicle Sticks

Small Piece of White Felt

1 Package of Small Wooden Craft Shapes (animals, stars, etc.)

12" Twine

Paint

Black Laundry Marker

Glue

Scissors

Newspaper

Prepare the work area by placing old newspaper on the table surface.

Paint each of the 7 Popsicle sticks in the color of choice; it's best to use one color of paint for all of them. Put aside and allow adequate drying time.

While the sticks are drying, use the scissors to cut out a rectangular shape from the felt. The width should be approximately 2 ½", with a height of approximately 1 ½". Using black laundry marker, the child should write his or her name (with an apostrophe "s" after it) near the top center of the felt, and the word "Room" just under it. The result should say "Alex's Room," "Meg's Room," or "Domenic's Room," for example.



When the painted Popsicle sticks have dried, place one - horizontally - on the table and glue 5 of the others in a tight-fitting vertical pattern to the top of it, making certain that there's an equal amount of space left at each end. These should be glued in such a way that the very tops of the vertical sticks are flush with the upper edge of the horizontal stick. Allow adequate drying time.

Next, glue the last Popsicle stick to the bottom - horizontally - under the 5 vertical sticks in the same fashion, so that the top and the bottom look identical. Allow adequate drying time.

Glue the piece of felt - name outward - to the upper portion of the vertical Popsicle stick construction, so that a bit of the upper edge of the sticks are showing.

Choose a variety of small wooden shapes (if these don't already have color, the youngster will need to paint them in the colors of his or her choice) and glue them onto the lower portion of the vertical stick construction, in a random pattern.

Tie one end of the 12" length of twine to each side of the upper horizontal stick, immediately next to the outer edge of the vertical stick and reinforce with a bit of glue.

When the piece is thoroughly dried, your child will have a beautiful, personalized door hanger that will fit over the bedroom doorknob.

PENCIL HOLDER

Materials:

1 Tin Can (empty; lid removed, with no sharp edges)

Popsicle Sticks

Paint

Glitter

Decorations (beads, sequins, buttons, etc.)

Glue

Elastics (optional)

Wax Paper

Prepare the work area by spreading out wax paper on the surface of the table. Newspaper shouldn't be used for this, since the project may stick to the paper.

Paint some or all of the Popsicle sticks, as desired. If the child wishes to simply decorate them with glitter and decorations after the sticks have been adhered to the tin can, this step can be eliminated.

Begin by gluing the Popsicle sticks around the outside perimeter of the tin can and allow adequate drying time. If the sticks appear to separate from the can, hold in place with elastics until thoroughly dried.

Apply glue to various areas of the sticks and add glitter and/or a variety of decorations, as desired. Allow adequate drying time.

Upon completion, the child will have created a unique pencil holder for a desk, table or kitchen counter.

There are lots of great craft ideas utilizing Popsicle sticks. All it takes is a bit of time, imagination and a few basic supplies that most folks will have around the house. These projects are ideal for rainy days and those times when you're looking for a bit of family fun.

© High Speed Ventures 2011