5 Easy back to school crafts for kids

After a long summer packed full of endless adventures and fun, it’s easy to forget that ‘back to school’ is fast approaching. It can be a daunting and emotionally overwhelming time, with kids often feeling nervous in anticipation of their inescapable return to learning. This high-pressured environment can leave both children and parents feeling stressed, as time begins to run out and the rush to find essential school supplies hits its peak.

However there’s no need to fear; this is a perfect opportunity to get prepared and spend some quality time with your kids before they head back to school. We’ve compiled a list of 5 EPIC tips that will get your little ones excited about the big day. The possibilities for creativity are endless and the resources you need can all be found around the house. Easy peasy!

And if you’re looking for a few tips on how to safely encourage your child to use scissors and master a few other basic ‘making’ skills, why not also take a look at our beginners guide to teaching craft skills to young children.

A tin can being recycled as a back to school craft for kids

Idea 1: Make a magnetic locker pencil holder

Help your kids get organised for the new school year without the price! This personalised pencil holder is fun and easy to make, and will jazz up any locker or desk.

What you need:

  • A used tin can – label removed and contents eaten!
  • Coloured paper – as jazzy as you like
  • Felt – whatever colour you prefer
  • Button magnets – 5 should do
  • Hot glue gun – adult supervision may be needed
  • Decorative bits and bobs – buttons, beads or thread
A decorative wrap for a recycled tin can being recycled tin can craft for kids
A tin can being turned into a back to school craft for kids

How to make:

  1. Wash your tin can and pat dry.
  2. Wrap coloured paper around the can to measure what size you’ll need to cover it. Remember to leave a 1-inch gap for the magnets to be stuck.
  3. Create your design! We chose a ladybird.
  4. Glue the coloured paper to the can.
  5. Next, wrap the felt around the can to measure length, and cut two strips approximately 1-inch wide.
  6. Use a hot glue gun to stick the strips along the top and bottom of the can. This will protect your kid’s fingers from any sharp edges. You can also easily tuck any extra material inside the top and around the bottom to keep your pencil holder looking neat. (This also works well with double-sided sticky tape!)
  7. Stick the button magnets along the back of the can in the gap that you left.

Top tip: Decorate the can however you like. You can write your name across it, stick on beads and buttons, or doodle on it. Make it your own!

Pencil topper craft for kids

Idea 2: Scary monster pencil toppers

Scare off those back to school nerves with your very own monster pencil topper. These are so simple to make and a great gift to give to new and old friends after a long summer break!

What you need:

  • Felt – whatever colours you like
  • Scissors – adult supervision may be needed
  • Googly eyes – how many will your monster have?
  • Hot glue gun – PVA glue can also be used
  • Pencils – to put your topper on!

How to make:

  1. Choose the colour you want your monster to be. (Using two different colours of felt works really well!)
  2. Measure the felt by wrapping it around your pencil and cut out a rectangle. This should be roughly 3cm wide and 8cm in length.
  3. Cut strips vertically down the felt, leaving enough space at the bottom for your monster’s eyes!
  4. Wrap the felt around the pencil and stick the ends together with the glue gun.
  5. Stick on some googly eyes to really make your monster come to life!

Top Tip 1: If you squirt some glue inside your new friend’s head, this will stop him sliding down your pencil and nibbling on your finger!

Top Tip 2: Repeat steps 2-4 to create a multi-coloured monster! (But remember to make sure your second layer is wide enough to fit around the first layer of felt!)

Idea 3: 'No sew' scrunchie

This cute accessory can be made using materials that are readily available around the house. The ‘No Sew’ scrunchie is a great tool for helping children feel invincible when they go back to school. Not only is it a little piece of home, it also gives them confidence while they wear their new school uniform (that’s usually big enough to last them years!)

What you need:

  • Hair band – an elastic band will also work
  • Scissors – adult supervision may be needed
  • Fabric scraps – netting and felt work well, but grab whatever you can find!

How to make:

  1. Cut out rectangular strips of material at your desired length (15cm X 5cm is a good start).
  2. Fold the material in half creating a loop at one end.
  3. Take your elastic band and poke the folded fabric strip through it. Pull the two loose ends of fabric through the loop you created (at the other end) and pull tight – the fabric should now be secured around the elastic band.
  4. Repeat this process until the band is filled up.
  5. Once that’s done, you can trim the edges of the fabric so that they are all the same length or leave them all different – it’s completely up to you!
Felt creature made to help a child have confidence going back to school

Alternatively, the ‘no sew’ technique could be used to make a mascot for your desk or tray back at school. With a pom pom, use the same loop and poke technique to create a crazy fabric creature by wrapping you scrunchie around it. Add some googly eyes, and you have a frizzy friend to keep you company at school!

Idea 4: Yarn backpack tags

Get granny’s knitting wool and make your own backpack tag. You can create a range of EPIC accessories by picking your own shape and design, plus only a handful of materials are needed!

What you need:

  • Key ring – without a tag
  • Wool or yarn – use as many colours as you like!
  • Cardboard – to make your shapes
  • Scissors – adult supervision may be needed
  • A pen – to draw out your design
A yarn school back pack tag being made by a child

How to make:

  • Draw your desired shape onto a piece of cardboard (We chose a heart and a star).
  • Tie a knot of the wool in the centre of your shape.
  • Start wrapping the wool around your shape until no card is visible.
  • Once finished, cut the end of the wool and tie into a knot. Make sure to poke it under the other wool so it looks neat!
  • Thread a key ring through some of the wool or make a small hole in the cardboard, and hang on your bag.

Top Tip 1: If you chose to make a star shape, make sure you start wrapping the wool from the points, as this will stop your star having a thicker middle and looking more like a splodge!

Kids home made healthy lunch

Idea 5: Mission Impossible 'back to school' routine

Make your little one’s ‘back to school’ morning routine into a cool mission by creating a lunch assembly line.

Fill food buckets with the different parts of their packed lunch (like drinks, snacks, and fruit) and let them move down the line picking their options. You can even give them a time limit to add a little EPIC urgency.

Not only will this get your kids excited about lunch (even if they’re dreading their lessons) it will also make them feel like they’ve had a choice. It may even show you what their food preferences are too. Although if they’re anything like our kids these seem to change on a day-to-day basis! 😫

Hopefully these back to school tips and tricks will help make the return to reality after the summer holidays a fun time for all of the family to enjoy together.