The kids are well and truly back to school, with the summer holidays seeming like a distant memory, but you’ve now got a whole new challenge – How to keep them busy on a rainy Saturday afternoon!

Arts and crafts are a fun activity that will keep your kids amused on the wettest of days, but they also have long term benefits. They have been proven to accelerate the development of muscles in the hands and fingers, improving fine motor skills that are essential for school success in the earliest formal years.

Here are some great craft ideas to do with your kids:

Tube Town


  1. Transform cardboard tubes into cute cottages in just a few simple steps.
  2. Paint the tube and let it dry.
  3. Make two angled cuts into one end of the tube to form a point. Fold a 3- by 3 1/2-inch piece of scrapbook paper in half, then set it on the pointed end as a roof. Use tacky glue to secure it.
  4. Make two cuts to create a rectangular door, as shown. Glue on a bead for a doorknob.
  5. Draw windows onto coloured paper, cut them out, and attach them to the cottage using a glue stick.
  6. For a chimney, fold a strip of paper into a four-sided, open-ended box, and glue it to the roof.

Chinese Dragon

  1. Trace the shape of a dragon’s head onto the white cardboard and cut it out. Draw on eye, nostrils and a mouth. Use the coloured pencils to add other features, colour and texture to the dragon’s face. Glue the shredded paper on as hair.
  2. Cut 3cm strips from the coloured paper and glue end to end to create two long strips. Now glue the strips together at right angles to each other. Fold one strip over the other, pressing down to create a crease. Repeat with the other strip. Continue until you have a long folded concertina-like, glue the second end closed.
  3. Using sticky tape, attach one end of the folded strip to the dragon’s head. Stick curly ribbon to the other end for the tail.
  4. Attach one chopstick to the back of the head with tape and the other to the end of the tail. Your dragon is now ready to swirl and dance.

Cardboard pirate finger puppets


  1. Cut the cardboard into a rectangle, slightly wider at the bottom than the top.
  2. Round the corners. Cover the lower half with duck tape—which will become the pirate’s clothes.
  3. Punch two holes in the base large enough for fingers to poke through comfortably. Punch two smaller holes at the sides for the arms.
  4. Thread a pipe cleaner through the holes for the pirate’s arms. Curl the ends of the pipe cleaner to make safe the pointy ends.
  5. Cut a beard out of brighter duck tape and draw on the moustache. If you don’t have duck tape, just use paint.
  6. Draw on the eye and eye patch with a black marker.

These easy craft ideas can lead to hours of fun on a rainy day, and can also bring long term benefits to their future cognitive development, as they engage multiple brain areas simultaneously and improve bilateral coordination between the left and right sides of the brain.

So there you have it, crafts aren’t just an easy way to keep your children engaged, they are filled with long term benefits too!