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. Parents will love how these activities reach a wide range of ages. My tots and elementary aged kids have an activity they can do – together!
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.
Related: More hands on science activities
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!
Fun Hands On Educational Activities For Kids
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.
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.
Related: Build a straw tower
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!
Related: Sand activities for kids
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.
Related: Toilet paper roll building
4. Silly Faces
Make silly faces! It’s fun in the mirror, fun to mimic each other and even fun to recreate on paper!
Related: Make Picasso faces
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!
Related: Popsicle sticks bridges kids can build
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.
Related: Try team building for kids
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.
Related: Make a marshmallow tower
8. Make The Best Paper Airplane
This paper airplane design from Crafting Chicks 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!
STEM Activities for Kids That are Open Ended
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!
Related: What to do with an empty box
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!
Related: PVC pipe DIY toys
11. Pool Noodle Structures
Old pool noodles are not trash!! Your kids can build massive structures with them, all you need are toothpicks.
Related: Ideas for pool noodles
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!
Related: Make a balloon rocket
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.
Related: Make a toy car track with masking tape
13. Upcycled Cardboard Mazes
Mazes are mesmerizing. Make one with supplies you have on hand.
Related: Make a following directions activities grid
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.
Related: Learn how to draw a spider web
14. Engineering Challenges
Plastic disposable cups and craft sticks! Just sit back and watch your kiddos will build and create.
Related: Cup stacking game
Fun Hands On Activities
15. Make a Cardboard Box Labyrinth Maze
Half the fun in this activity is the creation, plus this is yet another amazing STEM activity. Make this large maze from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls.
15. Tiny Dancers
This dancing battery gal is easy to make, try giving the instructions to your elementary aged kiddos along with the supplies.
Related: Make a simple battery train
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.
Related: Try making a DIY catapult
17. Cardboard Castle
Got a big box? If not, check with your local appliance store! You can make an accordion castle!
Related: Art with toothpicks
Easy Toys & Games to Make from Simple Things
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!
Related: Rubber band toys you can make
19. Button Spinner
Spin away! Decorate CDs to become colorful orbs of color. This is one of our many fun hands on activities.
Related: DIY fidget toys
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.
Related: DIY robots
21. DIY Guess Who
Learn about historical figures – create a game of Guess Who. This is a great game for elementary kids.
Related: Favorite family board games
More Science & Educational Activities From Kids Activities Blog
- If you are looking for science projects for 4 year olds, we got ya covered!
- Science Activity: Pillow Stacking <–it is fun!
- Create your own LEGO instruction books with this fun STEM idea for kids.
- Build this solar system model for kids
- Easy origami projects for kids
- Make shooter bubbles with this easy bubble wand
- Quick! Choose a 5 minute craft!
- Got a lot of building bricks at home? This LEGO STEM activity can put those bricks to good learning use.
- Let’s play a fun game!
- Here are a bunch more STEM activities for kids!
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.