Basic Bookmaking: Use white or colored paper and a stapler. You can add a cover with themes depending on children's interest (wrapping paper, magazines, art work).
More elaborate bookmaking with older kids - you can sew the pages together and make a really nice cover by covering some cardboard with nice paper.
Flip Books:Using small post-it pads, draw a picture on each page that looks just a little bit different than the one on the previous page. When you flip the pages really fast, you can see some action.
Paper Chains:Kids can really get into these: Take many strips (about 2 x 8 inches or 5 x 20 cm) of construction paper (white paper will do too) and staple the first one into a circle. Form the next circle and loop it through the first one. Keep on going until your chain has the desired length. This is a fun project when you use "seasonal" colors, like red, white and blue for the 4th of July celebration, or orange and black for Halloween.
Origami:Use any kind of paper to fold fun things out of paper. Pick up a book at your library for ideas.
CLAY & CO
Make your own Silly Putty: You need ½ cup of Elmer's Glue, or any kid-friendly white glue, liquid starch (local drug store, grocery store) and food coloring if desired. Put glue in a small bowl and add liquid starch until it covers the glue. Add food coloring. Start mixing with your hands - it is very messy at first. Keep squeezing until it gets the consistency of Silly Putty or a very soft rubber ball.
Oobleck:You need ½ cup of corn starch or potato starch (very powdery) and water, food coloring if desired. Stir water into the bowl with starch, bring to the consistency you like. Very messy, best done in the kitchen next to a sink, or outside.
Sculptures: Use cereal boxes, boxes from shipping, tissue boxes, empty toilet paper rolls, bottle caps and corks, empty and clean yogurt containers, and uncooked pasta to make fun sculptures or houses. You can glue or tape everything together, depending on the comfort level of the child, and paint the sculptures. If you use tape, try to get masking tape, which is easy to remove.
Cooking:Especially elementary school-aged kids enjoy cooking. They can help with basic cooking, making fun sandwiches, bagel faces. Be cautious with everything concerning safety. Use only plastic knives if children cut. Point out danger spots in the kitchen (oven and stove, knives, running hot water, microwave and more)! Pick up a kid's cookbook at your local library, or look online for recipes.
Cooking:Don't forget that children love to role play. They may take their favorite stuffed dog for a walk or play a big fantasy role play with you in the backyard or on the playground!
If you put up a play with the children, make sure the parents will watch it! Use furniture inside to get the right setting for your play.
Games:You probably remember a lot of card games, marble games, games with dice from when you were younger. These are a lot of fun to teach to kids!