Craft activities for boys

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Boys like arts and crafts just as much as girls, in fact boys love to make and do. These art and craft ideas for boys are a great place to get started, and then let their imagination do the rest.

After years of working with children, I can honestly say that arts and crafts are not just for girls. Granted, boys tend to be more physical and are less likely to create for creations sake, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like to be creative. With the right opportunity and resources, boys will design, invent and build for hours.

Because boys generally have a different style of creating than girls, choosing the right craft activities will play a big part in their success. Generally speaking, boys like craft projects with a purpose, and they enjoy working on projects where there is a specific outcome in mind. While it’s hard to lump all boys into the same category, the following things are general observations to consider when choosing craft projects for boys.

Boys like direction.

Give them specific projects so they know the outcome they are looking for.

Boys don’t like to fail.

Provide challenges where the basic outcome can have plenty of variants, and they can make up their own rules as they go.

Boys have short concentration spans.

Break big projects into little chunks.

Boys need to know ‘the point’.

Girls like being creative just for creative’s sake, but boys need a point. Making something that they can use or play with, is more exciting than something they will simply put on display.

Boys sometimes struggle with social skills.

Sometimes boys like to work alongside their buddies, and sometimes it’s better for everyone if they work alone. Try to provide activities that can be done either way.

Boys like to problem solve.

Try not to butt in. By all means be helpful, but give them plenty of opportunity to solve the problem themselves.

Boys like having room to move.

Give them plenty of room to STRETCH OUT and make a mess.

Boys like being physical.

Provide creative activities where they can use large muscle groups.

With all those things in mind, here are some tried and tested “crafty” ideas of activities that boys simply love to do.

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Home Made Board Games

Have your child design and make a board game which they can share with their friends. Supply them with a heavy piece of card to be used as the board, some lighter weight cardboard to make cards or questions, and bits and pieces like corks and bottle tops to use as counters. Depending on their game, they may also need to make a dice or number spinner.

For the most part, kids will enjoy making up their own concepts and designing their own set of rules, but some may need a helping hand. To help provide them with inspiration, spend some time playing the board games you already own, or take a trip to the toy shop to see what’s on offer.

Massive Message Centre

Every kid loves having their very own message centre in their bedroom, and making one for themselves means it’s just perfect for them. Give your child a plain wooden board which they can use as their base, then they can design a noticeboard for their room using blackboard paint, corks, polystyrene, pegs, pockets and decorations. They can make a whiteboard by covering part of their board in white cover seal, and film canisters make great containers for holding chalk and whiteboard markers.

This project is easily broken down into small chunks, and you can complete the project over the several days. One day paint the blackboard and glue on the corks, next make the magnets, next the chalk holder, and so on.

Treasure Chest

Boys are mad on collecting. Whether it’s trading cards, marbles, rocks or bugs, they need somewhere to put them all. Simply give them a plain wooden box or tin, a range of art and craft materials and let them decorate it. They quickly get excited about this project because they know what they can use it for, before they even start.

Marvellous Machines

It’s a boy thing! You can make some great machines (that actually work!) using bits and pieces from around the house. Corks, rubber bands, cotton reels, split pins, matchboxes, cardboard tubes…..you name it. Let your child design their own machine, or take a trip to the library to find some step-by-step instructions.

Fabulous Flags

Flag making is something that combines painting with some real ‘make and do’. You can make the project as big or as small as you like, and attach it to any theme. Boys may like to make a flag for their imaginary country, sports team or club, or a pirate flag for their bedroom or tree hut. Once they have made the flag, they can then spend lots of time playing with it.

Simple paper flags can be made by stapling the paper to a ruler or heavy cardboard stick, or use fabric paint to decorate an old pillowcase and tie it to a long twig or branch.

Paper Mache

I think the messy side of paper mache appeals to boys, although they sometimes get bored with the tedious layering upon layering upon layering of paper. Choose projects that are not too big, or be prepared to do the project over several days. For some great paper mache projects, check out Paper Mache Crafts for Children.

Box Robots

Box robots are literally that – robots made out of boxes. Save up boxes and tubes of all sorts of sizes, and then let your child loose with some tape, scissors and paint. Wine casks are a good sturdy box and are useful for creating a solid base, and smaller boxes from cereal, muesli bars, and crackers make great additions. Your child could also add bottle tops and drink tabs as buttons and levers.

The Kiwi Families Team

This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

  • Amber

    Haha, this makes me laugh, the description of what boys are like is exactly what I was like as a little girl, and no I was never a tomboy, just a kid that wanted to be a scientist. Generalizations make me cringe. I like that that there is still such a big division between genders in this day and age, urg.

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