Looking for a simple and cheap ways to keep your kids busy? We have put together a collection of 33 very simple activities with drinking straws you can use with your toddlers and preschoolers any day of the year! Older kids will enjoy many of these activities with drinking straws as well!
Who would have though there are so many things to do with something as simple as straws?!
Pick a pack of drinking straws and have fun!
If you are unwilling to purchase plastic or paper drinking straws, you can easily make your own paper straws using old newspapers and magazines.
SIMPLE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS WITH DRINKING STRAWS
You will find here ideas to use drinking straw activities that will promote many different types of learning through play:
- fine motor skill practice,
- gross motor skills,
- sensory play,
- STEM activities – math and building games,
- easy art projects & crafts
- so much more!
Bubble painting is a super simple drinking straw activity and perfect for hot summer days! Although bubble painting is an art techique, it can also be considered a sensory activity with a visual and tactile stimuli. Even if you don’t make art prints with bubbles, kids will have fun making bubbles! Source: Housing a Forest
If your toddler is not keen about getting messy, you can offer them a sensory bag! This particular sensory bag is filled with playdough and cut drinking straws to add texture. They will love pushing straws into playdough and moving it around. Interested to learn more about making a sensory bag? We can help you make your first sensory bag today! Source: Learning and Exploring Through Play
You have a perfect excuse to invite your toddlers and preschoolers to work on their scissor skills – let them cut and make their own beads for jewelry! You can do this activity both with plastic or paper drinking straws. And as a bonus, they also work on another aspect of fine motor skills – threading. Source: Kids Activities Blog
Independent play at it best! Our friend Emma handed over a pack of drinking straws to her son and he played with them for quite some time. He even decided to sort drinking straws by color! Not much is needed to involve kids and peak their interest! Source: Adventures and Play
With an empty container and a pack of drinking straws, you can easily create a homemade tool for your toddler to practice fine motor skills. (You will need a hand punch tool.) And, let me tell you: in the beginning it will be tricky! However, this is a great way to practice their hand-eye coordination AND patience! Source: Kitchen Floor Crafts
If you need a calm down tool for your toddlers, you can make a sensory bottle! We created this sensory bottle without any liquids. Truthfully, I am always afraid my toddler will drop a bottle, it will crack and spill. This sensory bottle has even a glow-in-the-dark effect! Source: Best Toys 4 Toddlers
For little builders, variety of building materials is always desirable. In this case, they used drinking straws and pipe cleaners to create a variety of 2D and 3D objects. Pipe cleaners serve as connectors. Would your child enjoy building with these materials? Source: Meaningful Mama
Few toothpicks and couple drinking straws are all you need to create super quick and fun fine motor activity for your toddlers! You can extend an activity and offer beads instead of drinking straws for further practice. Source: Best Toys 4 Toddlers
Another super simple STEM activity for beginners – building bridges with drinking straws is perfect for preschoolers and kindergarteners. They will get in touch with so many new words and scientific expressions with so little effort. Source: The Imagination Tree
Project where we combine fine motor practice, learning and fun! Let kids work on their scissor skills to cut down the drinking straws and then use pipe cleaners to form letters. This activity can be used for name recognition as well. Source: Meaningful Mama
Science can be so much fun! Just look at these straw rockets! Kids can come up with their own designs and enjoy playing! This is perfect activity for a summer camp or birthday party. All kids involved with love it! Project we shared here is perfect for Valentine’s Day or RAK day. We also love this adorable spring and summer shooting craft with little bugs! Source: Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
We made this simple activity in under 10 minutes! Head to your recycle bin and pick some paper rolls to form tunnels. Both of my daughters enjoyed this although it was a bit tricky in the beginning. Pom poms are light and fly easily! There are so many ways you can play without spending any money with items from your recycle bin! Source: Best Toys 4 Toddlers
Did you know that you can make a paper kite with drinking straws? And it’s very simple to make them! This craft for kids combines STEM and imagination. Invite kids to make them and let them fly! Source: Creative Jewish Mom
A piece of contact paper and few straws and kids are ready to make their own pieces of art! Since this art is transparent, you can use it as a suncatcher! Now kids can admire their artwork every time they look through the window! Source: Nurture Store
These butterflies made of drinking straws, pipe cleaners and clothespins are totally adorable! This is a good example how a craft can assist with building fine motor skills through cutting, threading to gluing. Make few of these lovely butterflies over spring or summer. Source: Krokotak
Few beads, a pipe cleaner and a drinking straw – you are reading to make your own pipe cleaner pal! Best part of these little friends is that they have movable body parts and kids can pose them in any way they want. Source: Parents
Make an instrument with drinking straws. It’s easy, just look at this straw pan flute! To make the flute, they will need to work on their math with measuring and fine motor skills with cutting and taping. When done, let them explore how sound is made! Source: A Dab of Glue Will Do
Creating a maze with drinking straws in a cardboard box and playing with it is an amazing project for a bigger group of kids. The bigger the box, more fun they will have playing with it! Let them choose the toys they will guide through the maze in turns! Source: Teach Preschool
Adorable fireworks art is super simple to make with drinking straws! Your kids will love it! Change up the color combination to your liking to get a different effect and according to a theme or a holiday! Red and blue color combo is perfect for patriotic holidays. Source: Crafty Morning
For a rainy day, set up a straw javelin throw game for kids. It’s easy to set up and provides a great way to work on their gross motor skills. Set this up when your toddlers have lots of extra energy to burn! Source: Toddler Approved
Make a simple flowers for spring or summer with cupcake liners and drinking straws. These flowers would be a lovely gift idea for Mother’s day or a token of appreciation for their teachers on first or last day of school year! Source: Learning4Kids
This fine motor activity needs to be prepared ahead since kids need to paint Q-tips and let them dry. Once Q-tips are dry, they can work with their little fingers to match q-tips and drinking straws in the same color. Source: Mess for Less
Use a sensory tub filled with the drinking straws as a base for sensory play. Since drinking straws are not food stuff, this sensory bin can last for long time. Just add some of your toddler’s favorite toys inside to change up the setting and they are ready for play! Source: I Can Teach My Child
If your toddler loves to dip their fingers into playdough, use an opportunity to introduce this hands-on pre-writing activity to them. You only need a chunk of playdough and few pieces of drinking straws to make learning letters fun! Source: Kids Activities Blog
Making the rainbow necklace is a fun way to greet coming of spring season! Love how it’s made in rainbow colors and how fun and cheerful it looks. You can, of course change up colors. Maybe shades of blue and gray for a rainy day activity?! Source: Planning Playtime
Now you can make your own skipping rope at home. So simple! Just use pieces of drinking straws and thread to recreate your own rope. This is a fun activity to combine fine and gross motor skills because, after cutting and threading, kids get to jump over the rope! Source: And Next Comes L
Your kids are too young to learn knitting or how to crochet? Weaving using drinking straws is a good introduction activity for complete newbies! This activity also provide fine motor practice and takes a lot of patience to complete. Source: One Little Project
Who knew you can make a flying glider with 2 paper strips and a straw?! Let kids pick the colors for their own gliders, assist them to assemble them and let them play as much as they like. Simple and fun! It would be a great project for summer camp or a birthday party as well! Source: Red Ted Art
Limitless possibilities! Each piece of the mosaic art made with drinking straws will be unique for a child who made it. This art project has an amazing benefits for your toddler’s fine motor skills – from cutting to gluing these little pieces. It will take a lot of skill! Source: Picklebums
Love this! Play a game of kerplunk with your toddlers! All you need is a container with holes (like IKEA Caddy Utensils Storage), pack of drinking straws and some pom poms and you are ready to go. Invite your toddlers to thread drinking straws through the holes, it will provide a nice fine motor practice for them. Source: Mery Cherry
Rainbows are always fun to make! And this sensory rainbow provides a lovely tactile experience to toddlers. All you need is a bit of shaving foam and few drinking straws. If you are afraid that kids might put their hands into mouth after touching shaving cream, you can replace it with whipped cream! Source: Mess for Less
If your kids love blowing bubbles as much as mine, offer them a new way to have fun with bubbles and make giant bubbles. It is really easy to make bubble blowing frame with drinking straws and string! Source: Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls
What Else from Your Kitchen Can Be Used for Play and Learning?
Apart from drinking straws, you probably have rubber bands and bottle caps in your home? Sugar cubes are useful too! Use them with your kids! These are cheap materials and tools you can use to work with kids on fine motor skills and they provide many more benefits!
Did you know that you can offer a colander to your toddler to play with? We have 5 ideas how to use colander for play you can try! And, there are 15 more ways how to use common kitchen cupboard items for play and learning! Don’t forget to have fun!