‘Kid-friendly’ and ‘fun’ can sometimes be hard to merge when it comes to engaging your kids in activity (one that doesn’t involve an electronic device, that is.) If you’re thinking in terms of safety, there are always sharp, hot, or immensely messing things to consider, and more likely than not, you’ll turn away from any idea that involves any of that all together. Don’t replace your well-intended idea with an iPad just yet–here are 6 fun and simple t-shirt crafts that you can do with your kid to get their eyes off the screen for a bit (tips for keeping it clean included!)
Fun and Simple T-Shirt Crafts for Kids
Puffy Paint T-Shirt
Puffy paint is a great activity for kids of any age, but is especially good for the younger ones. It allows them to add their own flavor to a t-shirt with a cool, exciting 3D effect that markers and other paints wouldn’t have. Allow them to use it on a plain t-shirt, or add it to a special t-shirt that they already have. Perhaps you’ll want to make one of your own? Luckily, these are pretty easy to keep from getting messy, and easy to clean up if they happen to get on anything!
Marker Stencils T-Shirt
What’s your kid’s favorite character, animal, or toy? Let them express it on their very own t-shirt! Marker stencils are one of the simplest t-shirt crafts to coordinate. You can browse for stencils online with your kid, or make your own. Then, all you need is some permanent markers that won’t come off in the wash. Lay some newspaper down and you’re ready to go! Your kids will love the result, and will want to wear their creation all the time.
Batik Print T-Shirt
If you haven’t heard of batik before, it’s a process that’s very similar to tie-dye, but it’s a little bit more complicated. This might be a good one for kids 9 and up, as after you dye the clothing in the spots you want the dye it in, you use an iron to complete the process. The outcome of batik is pretty awesome, and it’s probably something you’ll want to join in on yourself. You can learn more about how to do it yourself here.
Tie Dyed T-Shirt
This is an obvious one, but something we couldn’t exclude! Tie-dye is an American staple, and doing it yourself is always exciting. You can have your kid use some of their old t-shirts, or go out and buy some plain white t-shirts. This is one where you might need to be careful about the messiness, as the dyes will stain anything! If weather permits, this is a good activity to take outside.
This craft is another that is probably best for kids ages 9 and up, because it’s a little more complicated of a process. For older kids, appliques are definitely exciting. Both iron-on and sew-on appliques can be found in many stores, as well as online. You may need to take the wheel a bit when it comes to applying the appliques, which you can learn more about here.
Free-hand Acrylic Painting T-Shirt
If your kid requires an extra amount of creative freedom when it comes to an art project, free-hand acrylic painting may be just what they need. All you’ll need for this is a few paint brushes, some plain t-shirts, and the acrylic paint. The rest is up to your kid’s imagination to run wild with. This will require you to take some precautions for cleanliness-sake, but they’ll love the fact that it lets their creativity soar. If they’re unsure what to paint, consider cutting them out a stencil, and have them paint around it.
With that, we’ve hopefully helped spark an idea for a fun craft that you and your kid can do together, that’ll keep their creative minds at work and their focus on the task at hand. Which one are you going to do first? Let us know, and share photos of your child’s t-shirt crafts masterpiece when it’s complete!
Ashley Bauer is a content marketer and writer who lives in Philadelphia. She works for Rush Order Tees, a national screen printing company that provides custom promotional merchandise to small and large organizations.