When it comes to crafting with kids, there’s one magical material that always comes through: paper. Whether it’s construction paper, computer paper, or yesterday’s newspaper, your art supply drawer isn’t complete without this particular DIY ingredient. That’s why we’ve gathered up 20 crafts that spotlight paper in a big way, from cootie catchers to garlands to festive hats. Check ’em out below!
We’re obsessed with these transforming ninja stars from What Do We Do All Day?, and chances are your kids will feel the same way. You’ll first make eight parallelograms into a wheel, then push and pull on the sides to turn it into a star. Click here to get all the details, plus video instructions.
Hop to this hat craft that you can make anytime of year (not just Easter!). Directions from our friend Alpha Mom call for scissors, one pink marker, and one paper plate. The site offers other great ideas for paper plat hats like decorative crowns and heart hats so check it out. For more great simple and fun hat crafts click here.
Dragon D Craft
Educate your preschoolers with this Dragon D craft. Designed by Allison at notimeforflahshcards.com, it’s as simple as A-B-C-D to make!
Giant Paper Airplane
We love this jumbo-sized paper airplane the crafty mom behind Fireflies & Mudpies made for only $1! Have the kids decorate the wings before heading outside for an afternoon of flight lessons. See these fierce flyers in action, and learn to make your own here.
Simple Apple Tree Craft
This craft involves a little bit of twist and a little bit of curl. And remember there are many fruits out there that you can jazz the branches up with. Maybe add a bird or a squirrel or two! Check out Creative Jewish Mom for the full low down on how to twist, curl, and create this fun paper bag craft.
For more paper bag crafts click here.
Medieval Crown Craft
This craft from First Palette is fit for the pint-sized royalty in your life. With construction paper, crepe paper, and as much sequin bling as you can find, you'll have a new addition for the dress-up bin. Head here for the full instructions.
For more great paper hat crafts click here.
Paper Doll Chain Ballerinas
Paper doll chains are a pretty classic paper craft and we think this one from Mer Mag has a particularly irresistible charm. It's perfect for your aspiring prima ballerina's room decor or next birthday party. Learn more here.
Props to Handmade Charlotte, who came up with this super cute and easy idea for critter-inspired masks. All you need is repurposed paper bags, sharpies, and some imagination to get a house full of wild animals. Click here for all the inspiration you need.
For more easy masks that'll transform your day, click here.
Bright Cat Garland
This one goes out to all the itty bitty kitty lovers out there. Thanks to A Subtle Revelry, you can whip up a DIY garland that's totally cat-tastic. The shapes and gluing are pretty simple and you can customize colors and whiskers too. Find the how-to here. For more easy garland ideas, click here.
Crumpled Paper Art
Homemade Harvest Herb Paper
Okay, so this craft is less crafting-with-paper and more make-your-own-paper. It’s an educational combo of art, science, and design and a great way to teach the littles about where paper comes from. Head here to Babble Dabble Do for step-by-step instructions for all kinds of homemade paper.
For 9 more dinosaur activities for kids, click here.
Paper Mâché Hot Air Balloon
What’s a paper craft roundup without some paper mâché? This activity may need a bit more effort and time but we think the creative result is worth it. Click here to Naturally Educational for instructions.
Your budding architects will get a kick out of creating their own paper town. After some adult prep (for the x-acto knife steps), this turns into a paper coloring and gluing activity that’s sure to entertain for an afternoon. Snag the free house template at Babble Dabble Do here.
For easy animal mask ideas for kids, click here.
You know those cootie catchers you couldn’t get enough of when you were a kid? They’ve gotten a shark twist from Easy Peasy and Fun. Get the kids prepped for beginning origami and then get the template and instructions here.
Printable Shadow Puppets
Cardstock straws glue = some of the cutest shadow puppets you’ve ever seen. If the littles aren’t scissors savvy yet, you can handle that part and then pass the puppets off for coloring. Score the downloadable free printable here.
For more awesome shadow puppets click here to discover 3 easy shadow puppets you can make with just your hands.
Newspaper Sun Hats
Your teatime will be extra stylish with a DIY newspaper hat. This is a great way to use up old newspapers–and your little miss can go wild with whatever flowery, feathery toppers she wants. Find out more here.
For more fun and easy hat craft ideas for kids, click here.
Dragon Marionette Puppet
This idea from Create in the Chaos is one of those deceptively easy crafts. It only needs a few materials, there’s a free printable involved, and we’re willing to bet that your kid will be glad to color away. Get everything you need here.
Kirigami Water Blossoms
This idea from Babble Dabble Do is one part science lesson, one part paper project, and totally amazing. It involves paper flowers that expand in water–mimicking the real-life natural phenomenon. Click here for the full instructions.
Which paper craft are you excited to try? Share with us in the comment section below!