get a couple sheets of felt at walmart for about $0.25. punch a bunch of holes on them and let the kids thread yarn through them. the older might be able to do pictures with it. then you can take the yarn out and do it again! it also helps with hand eye coordination.
I am stealing that idea too! My daughter will really enjoy that. She has a lace and learn book, but the string is too short for easy manueveing. Love the idea Elizabeth, and cheap too! My favorite kinds of projects.
When my daughter was about 18 months old I bought her a new sand and water table on ebay for only 24 dollars+ 8 for shipping. It has been wonderful! It even came with 4 sand molds. I saved some plastic food containers and bought some beach toys/rakes from the dollar tree and let her go to town. She loves it, and I love the fact that I can sit in a chair for a while :) Both your kids are at the perfect age for one and it really tires them out to play outside with it. Not sure if you have one, but what a great purchase! If you don't, you may want to post a wanted add for one, as the weather is beautiful and people are going to be spring cleaning soon.
i also keep old lids to things like butter tubs. then i let my daughter paint them. because they have the lip up, it doesnt matter that she uses a ton of paint, it still wont spill off. also, since you have little girls, you can have them help you make things like hair bows. they dont have to be anything fancy, they will love them because they made them with mommy. oh, and one of the really fun things to do, save your old makeup and draw a face on a paper plate and let them make it up. it can get really funny.
Here's some websites that have some great craft ideas for the kiddos:
How about "musical insturments" a tamborine made out of a folded in half paper plate with pinto beans in it. Decorate with markers glitter (we even threw on some feathers). Or a guitar outta rubberbands and a shoe box. We also made a mask out of a paper plate. My son was about one and a half when we did these.
yeah instruments are always fun to make for kids, they get to do with them what they want. Then rainmaker was always a big hit for my kids. i let them do the tape, and put the rice in, and color there stick how they wanted, just kept baby wipes handy for that maker that made it elsewhere besides the stick ya know!
I know its not a craft but when i was little i loved dressing up! dress up and play whose "mommy" and "baby", or make up names and places your going. could be fun even if your out of craft supplies, tear open your closet! lol