It is easy to quickly become bored during the winter months. The snow can begin to fall as early as October and continue to blanket the ground through March. It is a long and cold season and when there are days when we can’t get outside its time to get crafty but be thrifty. Heading to an indoor play land full of germs can be expensive, indoor water parks cost money and just about anything indoors and away from home, besides the library, costs. On a budget with the economy the way it is, entertaining children from home makes more sense.

Entertaining a kid is easier than you may think. If you know the types of things they like, you are one step ahead of the game. Younger kids enjoy ripping things to pieces. Their little hands find joy in destruction. When the wrecking ball is over, they are still delighted laughing about what they have accomplished. For them, something durable is in order.

One frugal craft that can stand up to the beating (at least for a little while) is to create a town or village for their dolls, action figures, or stuffed animals. It keeps the children busy and they can play with this indoor masterpiece for days to come and in a variety of way.

Play Village

You will need:

  • Cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes
  • Crayons
  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors

The play village is easy to construct. Before cutting into the cardboard boxes, decide what each will be used for. A little girl may want a palace for her dolls. Kids with stuffed animals might enjoy creating a zoo or a farm from their boxes.

Each box can then be decorated with construction paper signs and decorated to their liking. If the kids are small or the boxes are big, they can crawl into the buildings with their dolls or action figures. A play set like this can be used over and over again. If one box rips or tears, throw it out and use another one. Those expensive play sets in the store wish they could last as long.

Other Indoor Eco-Crafts

Kids can use their imaginations to aid in the craft construction. In school art teachers are the greatest people on earth. They teach us to make pinwheels out of construction paper, pencils and stick pins. Kids can create flowers using tissue paper and pipe cleaners.

Around the holidays, the frugal crafting gets a bit easier. Water, flour, and baking soda can be used to make Christmas tree ornaments and table decorations. Start thinking Valentines and begin making table decorations and Valentine gifts now.  Green and Clean Mom has some great earth friendly Valentines Day ideas and recently,  I wrote about some Eco-friendly craft ideas that can be adapted for anytime of the year.

Kids love to role play. With a few cotton balls, construction paper, and crayons, they can create costumes. Pilgrims and Indians, Santa and his elves, a princess, a dinosaur, and other creations are all fair game when the imaginations get going. These crafts are easy to make and take little time so the playtime can begin immediately after.

Who said that crafts couldn’t be edible? Freezer lollipops, Jell-O eggs, chocolate ornaments, and candy necklaces will keep them still at the table and satisfy their sweet tooth when playtime is over. Decorate cookies, bake chocolate chip cookies and dig for the chocolate chips as though you were an explorer looking for dinosaur fossils or a treasure. All that is needed, a toothpick and then you eat what you discover!

Use your own imagination and come up with some ideas to entertain kids with frugal crafts of your own. Think back to your own childhood for some inspiration. Don’t forget to ask the kids for their own ideas as well. Using items from home and recycling toilet paper rolls, used cards,buttons, yarn and other items helps to make the crafts even more thrifty and Eco-friendly!

Excellent Resources for the Book Shelf:

The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections

The First Anti-Coloring Book: Creative Activities for Ages 6 and Up

FamilyFun Boredom Busters: 365 Games, Crafts & Activities For Every Day of the Year

Photo Credit

Why not? Great tips for free!

Subscribers receive a weekly digest and monthly newsletter, no spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Love the ideas and when the children get restless here we always bake something like cookies or brownies.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

3 × 5 =