3 Weekend DIYs for Kids 3 Weekend DIYs for Kids

So it’s summer, it’s a weekend, and it’s raining. There's nothing good on TV, the video games have all been played, and the kids are circling you like a maypole driving you crazy. Why not channel their energy into something more productive, like some fun DIY projects? This article will offer some zany ideas to engage and delight even the toughest of kid critics. From DIY slime to a chalkboard t-shirt, these activities are sure to keep the kids in your life engaged and, who knows, may inspire a new generation of DIYers.

1. DIY Slime

A child's hands playing with blue slime.

Growing up, I watched a cable show that loved to throw slime at people. Kids loved it and the studio audience screamed in delight when a green goop surprise was bestowed on command. This fun project is one that can be easily made at home with just a few ingredients, and has a secret use we can talk about in a bit.

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup of washable glue
  • ½ cup of liquid starch (used for washing clothes)
  • Food coloring


Step 1

In a mixing bowl, combine the washable glue and the liquid starch. Though many recommend using a spoon, I (and kids alike) simply use my hands.

Step 2

After choosing the color you want the slime to be (I chose green because in my mind slime has to be green), add the drops of food coloring into your mixture a few at a time. As this project creates a solution with an unusual texture, I suggest mixing by using a folding motion.

Step 3

That's all there is to it! Kids (and adults like myself, apparently) will joyfully play with this stuff for hours. Remember the added benefit we mentioned earlier? This combination of products creates a wonderful cleaner! I know it sounds unusual, but because it's fold-able and sticky, it can be squashed into hard-to-reach places like the cracks of a computer keyboard and adhere to dirt and crumbs like no other!

2. Chalkboard T-shirts

This idea is a bit out of the box, but I hear it's a hit on rainy afternoons. It's as it sounds: a combination of a chalkboard used to write messages, and a piece of clothing. Here's how to make it at home.

What you’ll need:

  • A blank t-shirt
  • Cardboard
  • Black chalkboard paint
  • Paintbrush

Step 1

Lay your shirt on a flat surface with a piece of cardboard inside as a barrier between the fabric layers.

Step 2

Use your black chalkboard paint and brush to create a shape on the back of your shirt that will become the “chalkboard.” A rectangle works perfectly if done freehand, but I have seen some use a stencil to create a more complex shape. The cardboard barrier is handy here to prevent the paint from bleeding onto the other side of the shirt.

Step 3

Once dry, the paint will become flexible, and it's this stage when the true fun begins. Your kids can begin doodling and writing on their shirts! The paint is water-safe so everything can be wiped off with a wet towel, and the shirt itself can be washed without damage to the chalkboard part.

3. Rainbow Fan

A rainbow colored fan.

I was that child who would run up to a rotating fan and scream into it just to hear the distortion it made to the sound of my voice. But I honestly thought that was the end of the fun one could have with a fan. Apparently, I was wrong. This activity takes an everyday rotating electric fan and creates a rainbow of color that appears when the blades turn. This DIY takes some parental involvement with tools, but once finished it makes the perfect addition to any kid’s living space.

What you’ll need:

  • An electric fan
  • Paint in a variety of colors
  • Paintbrush
  • Handheld screwdriver

Step 1

Using a screwdriver, carefully remove the front grill of your electric fan, gaining access to the bare blades. Clean them if necessary, as the often collect dust.

Step 2

To make the illusion of a rainbow when the fan is turned on, paint a rainbow pattern on the blades so that each piece has a pattern of color that matches. For example, starting at the rotating center, paint on a layer of red paint about an inch wide. Follow that band with an orange layer, then a yellow one, and so forth until the whole fan blade is colored in a rainbow of paint. Paint the rest of the blades following this pattern.

Step 3

Allow the blades to fully dry before reattaching the cage of the fan. When turning the fan on, you will now see a swirl of rainbow colors!

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