We love IKEA, not just because of the meatballs, but the many things we can do after going for a visit. Coming home means there would be DIY projects to do with the kids for the day or days to come. IKEA is one of those places where we can not get out without buying a thing or two.
Cute stuff, useful klumpert at home, sometimes big items too that needs to be delivered. My daughter’s very first IKEA buy was a black piggy bank we still use today. We would put in loose coins and would end up with 80€ minimum when it’s full.
Whichever we buy, the kids and I see to it that summer is spent buying stuff in IKEA to do some pretty things later. Here are some of the DIY projects to do with kids at home, with the help of IKEA and other craft stores. These are also things you can do while we don’t have a lot of freedom to be moving outside, things you can do with the kids in autumn, summer, or fall. ^_^
We like to paint stones, even glass, so ceramic planters aren’t alien to the kids. IKEA planters come plain so we would paint them, at times with gold, sometimes just another plain color apart from white.
Plant Herbs and other Plants
So what to do with all the planters, well we plant herbs in them. Our favorites are mint, basil, and chives. I’ve also been bitten by the plantmania. Although I’ve had a few plants at home, the lockdown lifting saw me buying air cleaner plants. The kids helped me buy and replant aloe vera, succulents, ZZ plant, and clusia rosea. They also bought a carnivore plant and been tending to it. Planting help kids cultivate green habits, and make them appreciate nature more.
We love to paint, and canvasses are not rare to see at home. Dad is an artist by profession, so it follows that the kids somehow took some interest to it. I had done some paintings too and would dab paint when time allows. You can use acrylic even oil, don’t worry if it gets messy, and not perfect, they’re learning after all.
Notice in the photo the paintings behind? Those were hubby’s copies of two famous works. Could you identify?
Indoor Swing or Hammock
Installing an indoor swing or a hammock is not really hard. IKEA Ekorre was one that was easy to hang back in the days. If you opt for a hammock, there are ones that come with stands. If you own a balcony, either of the two would be a good accessory to a relaxing afternoon as the sun sets.
Cardboard Adventure Box
A cardboard adventure box can be everything a kid could think of. While cardboard adventure boxes works best for kids 4 and below, it’s one of the enjoyable DIY projects to do with the kids regardless of age. Younger kids could play pretend – use the box as a boat, a car, a castle tower, and more of what a child could imagine. While the bigger kids can design wheels, paddles, forts and flags, and steering wheels for them.
Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. While I can easily make a boat or an airplane, the kids know how to make cranes, crabs, and other complicated animals. They certainly have watched some youtube videos to be able to do this, I know the first two by heart. Origami paper can pretty much be bought from school supply stores, but IKEA also has some adorable ones. You can even make origami into bookmarkers.
Assemble a bookshelf or mini-cabinet
IKEA’s Billy bookcases are pretty easy to assemble. We have had two of them before, and we added some more which I assembled with the help of the kids. We just need to add doors now, the shelves are looking pretty busy nowadays too ( >photo), which leads us to the next DIY.
Clean Up and Repair Stuff
After assembling what needs to, give kids a task each to sweep, vacuum, and sort trash away. Put the tools and other stuff back in their places too. Place the bookshelf where it should be and arrange books and klumpert with the kids.
While doing this, I noticed part of the skirting board near the bookshelves a bit loose. I asked son 1 to get the hammer and we aligned it back in place. Kids can also help with little things like this, they had even secured loose cabinet doors from time to time. Don’t be afraid to make them do little repairs, it’s always a pleasure to have a handyman at home.
Maracas, xylophone, singing straws, water glass music, and mini drums are probably some that we have done through the years. Not the best music produced when played together, but it sure was fun making them.
Popsicle Stick Crafts
There’s just a lot you can do with popsicle sticks. Mini-benches for your mini-garden, a fort or fence along and Manner Schnitte for your castle, a tiny house for the Playmobil figures. Just use good old glue to stick them together and see the kids smile.
Paint With Numbers
When using watercolor as media for painting, I let the kids use painting with numbers pre-made art. This is easy to follow, and for kids who are beginning to paint, they would learn both numbers and colors while having fun.
We normally just paint plain glass candle holders with window paint. It’s fun and the kids get to be creative with the colors and shapes.
Another one would be assembling a paper lantern kit that can be bought in school supplies stores. Like this one, although this was made by son no.2 at the Kindergarten.
Paint / Design Shirts
While this would be a little messy at some point, the kids do enjoy designing their own shirts using t-shirt paints and their palms… We have tried using SVG files on more serious design t-shirts, but the handpaints are more fun!
There are a lot more parent as DIY projects to do with the kids can add to this list, I’m sure. For example, we also love to bake cheesecakes, brownies, cupcakes, and make macarons, but those stories can be found in our food blog.
What other DIY projects to do with the kids can you add? Let us know in the comments.