The 20 Best Hands On Activities for Kids They Will Play for Hours

There are some hands on kids activities that are a ton of fun. Your kids will beg to play them, to do them over and over, and OVER again! These are the ones that would be on my kids short list. They love open-ended play ideas.

…And I love how these activities reach a wide range of ages.  My tots and elementary aged kids have an activity they can do – together!

20 hands on brain boosting ideas that involves straws, paper buildings, blogs, making silly faces, and sand.
These hands on activities will keep your kids busy for hours!

Hands On STEM Play Ideas

These hands on play ideas are not only fun, but many times educational in their own right. Many of them are actually STEM activities and ignites your child’s inquisitive side, as well as their creative side.

Whether you have young children or older kids these learning activities are a fun way to encourage sensory play and explore the natural world. Looking for a fun activity to practice fine motor skills? We have them!

These fun ideas are a perfect time to encourage messy play, enjoy craft supplies, and enjoy learning fun with these easy science experiments. These kids activities are the best ideas for little learners and even younger children.

Fun Hands On Educational Activities For Kids

1. Straw and Stick Construction

Who knew that straws and sticks could entertain your kids so long! This is a great STEM activity as you are building engineering different things.

2. Kinetic Sand

I’m telling you, if your kids haven’t tried playing with kinetic sand yet they need to! The stuff is addicting. Promise! It is soft, damp, and sticks together like crazy!

3. Building Paper Blocks

Paper blocks are so much fun to make AND build with.  All you need is scraps of paper and tape. This is another great STEM activity as it focuses on both science and engineering.

4. Silly Faces

Make silly faces!  It’s fun in the mirror, fun to mimic each other and even fun to recreate on paper!

5. Paper Boxes

These Paper Boxes are harder to make than they look.  Perfect for a puzzling kiddo.  Preschoolers can just glue bits of paper together.  Next:  Build with our blocks!

stem activities for kids that involves a child have an upside down spoon to his fingers with masking tape.
This gives a literal meaning to hands on activities.

Hands On Science Kids Activities

6. Brain Building Activity

Who knew building brain neurons could be so fun!  My son LOVED this “activity.” This really explains the brain to children and how it works. It’s a cool experiment.

7. Marshmallow Sculptures

Add some marshmallows and toothpicks to your kiddos play and not only will they have a blast building, they will also love the sugar rush… it’ll wear off.

8. Make The Best Paper Airplane

Paper Airplanes is a classic activity that’s been a favorite for years. The cost for an afternoon of play is just a ream of paper.  Make paper airplanes – try this design, BEST ever!

Fun hands on activities that involve tinkering kits, building, making mazes, and obstacle courses.
These hands on activities are great for kids of all ages including toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarten kids.

STEM Activities for Kids

9. Portable Tinkering Kit

Tinker away!  Create a kit of random bits for your kids to build and create with! Plus, it is portable, take it anywhere!

10. Reasons To Build A Court

Build a fort!  It doesn’t matter if you make it out of PVC piping, old bed sheets or chairs.  Your kids will have a blast!

11. Pool Noodle Structures

Old pool noodles are not trash!!  Your kids can build massive structures with them, all you need are toothpicks.

12. Pom Pom Maze

Make a maze for your kids to navigate a pom-pom through.  All you need is a stack of post-it notes!

STEM play ideas that involve building, obstacle courses, and mazes.
That string obstacle course looks like so much fun. That could easily be turned into a ‘Mission Impossible’ type pretend play.

What To Do When Kids Are Bored

12. Super Mario Dollhouse

Make a Mario World, or whatever your kids favorite screen game is, bring it to the real world.

13. Upcycled Cardboard Mazes

Mazes are mesmerizing.  Make one with supplies you have on hand.

13. Giant Web

Never ending fun!  That is what a skien of yarn will give you.  Give your kids the task to make a giant web – and then they can crawl through it.

14. Engineering Challenges

Plastic disposable cups and craft sticks!  Just sit back and watch your kiddos will build and create.

Hands on activities for when your kids are bored. Build dancing science projects with wires, batteries and skirts, mazes, tents, and a cardboard theater.

Fun Hands On Activities

Half the fun in this activity is the creation, plus this is yet another amazing STEM activity. Make a maze!!

15. Tiny Dancers

This dancing battery gal is  easy to make, try giving the instructions to your elementary aged kiddos along with the supplies.

16. Air Fort

All you need is a box fan, a big sheet and an empty room.  Hours.  Your kids will be shrieking and crawling as a snake for hours.

17. Cardboard Castle

Got a big box?  If not, check with your local appliance store!  You can make an accordian castle!

Hands on activities using cardboard boxes to build unique shapes and cd's on a string.
Look at all the beautiful colors on the cd’s.

18. DIY Cardboard Construction

You don’t need to spend money to make toys that will help build your kids brains.  Raid the rubbish bin for some cardboard!

19. Button Spinner

Spin away!  Decorate CDs to become colorful orbs of color. This is one of our many fun hands on activities.

20. Basic Toothbrush Robotics

Who knew that a toothbrush could be and do so much more than just brush teeth.  Transform it into a robot.

21. DIY Guess Who

Learn about historical figures – create a game of Guess Who. This is a great game for elementary kids.

More Science and Educational Activities From Kids Activities Blog:

Which hands on activities for kids did you try? Which ones are your favorite? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you.