Summer is the perfect time to get crafty with your kids, and there are plenty of crafts that you can make together to keep them busy during those long summer days.
In fact, making crafts can be a great way for you to bond with your kids in a fun and creative way. Not only will these projects help keep your little ones busy this summer, but they’ll also give you the chance to spend some quality time with them!
➡ Frontiers – Determinants of Cognitive Development in the Early Life
➡ Child Development and Early Learning – NCBI
While some parents may be dreading sending their kids back to school, it’s a comforting thought that there are still a few months left for them to spend outside playing in the sunshine. Since summer is so short and has many rainy days, it’s important to find things for your kids to do that will get them entertained and off the couch.
There are plenty of easy projects you can do with your kids that won’t take any time away from the pool, beach or other summer fun, and will be some great keepsakes for years to come.
For example, you could create a personalized storybook for your children. Just print out some photos of your family on cardstock and slide them into clear sleeves or plastic covers (these can be found at craft stores). Then attach scrapbook paper over the top using glue dots or rubber cement. You can add text onto these pages by printing out a story onto computer paper and then attaching it to the front of the photo sleeves with another kind of glue. When your little ones have filled up their storybooks with pictures of themselves and loved ones, they’ll have a special memento that they can look through whenever they want to feel closer with you or their siblings.
Below I’ve included some simple crafts you can try out this summer:
You probably have some shells that your kids have collected over time. Why not use them to make some cool room décor or gifts for friends?
Shells can be used to create unique glass bottle vases, bookends, coasters, and more! For a neat effect, try hot-glueing multiple shells together for bigger items. What about stringing shells together with beads and decorations to make a long bracelet or necklace? You could also collect different-sized shells and glue them together to form a picture frame. The possibilities are endless!
Some of the most beautiful things that can be made with shells are wreaths. You can make a traditional wreath of colorful shells (this one is especially pretty), or you can use the colors of the shells themselves to decorate a wreath in shades of their natural hues.
Shells also make great items to display on shelves or windowsills—just wash them off and arrange them in groupings. Some crafty people have even cut out images from old copies of National Geographic magazines, then glued the shell shapes into place to create artwork.
Clay is a wonderful material for kids to work with because of how malleable it is. It’s so pliable that even the youngest kid can use her hands to shape it, and it’s also inexpensive and readily available in most craft stores, so you don’t have to worry if your kid breaks something he or she was working on.
That’s why I love these clay critters! They’re a great way for little hands to be creative, and they’re a fun way to encourage kids to get outside and get some fresh air. Plus, you can make them all sorts of different colors, which makes them even more fun. You could even keep your kids’ collection of clay critters in the garden or by the front door as a welcome sign when they come back from school! I really hope you enjoy this craft idea.
Summer Adventure Calendar
Summer is for adventure! Whether you’re camping in the mountains, diving into your city’s urban jungle, or at home enjoying the fresh air from your front porch, summertime is a time to get out there and explore. So make sure you keep track of the fun you have with a summer adventure journal!
The idea for this craft came when my family organized a trip to spend a week with cousins at their lake house. We decided to set up an “adventure journal” that could be used over and over again by each generation of kids who visit. We drew out pictures of animals we saw while hiking and camping, as well as of our favorite activities—swimming, sailing, fishing, etc.
Each day we’d write down which activities we were going to do that day and then draw pictures next to them. It turned out to be something we all looked forward to doing after dinner: even those who weren’t old enough to write would sit next to us and happily color away!
When it was time for our younger cousins to write in the journal on their own—with help from older kids—they took it very seriously! The best part about this project is that it can be scaled up or down depending on how much time you have and how ambitious you are.
Perfect for whipping through the air without worrying about slicing someone’s eye open, ribbon wands make great whimsical props for all kinds of photo opportunities, from pretend tea parties to flower-picking expeditions. Gather up some ribbons in different colors and textures (sheer and solid are good for this), plus a pair of scissors and a hot glue gun.
Cut your ribbons into 6″-8″ strips, then twist them together to tie the ends together. Glue the twisted ribbon end to a dowel or stick, making sure you don’t get any excess glue on the ribbons themselves.
ou can make your ribbon wand any size you want, depending on how many yards of ribbon you have to work with. The more ribbons you use, the longer your wand will be. Make sure to leave plenty of room at the top for an easy grip!
When your little one is ready to play, just hand them their new toy! They’ll run around the house waving it like they’re in charge of an entire store full of ribbons—and they may never want to put it down again.
Make a crown out of flowers.
Gather some fresh flowers (roses, daffodils, or carnations are a few good examples) and some wire that can be easily bent into a circle. Cut the stems off the flowers and arrange them on the wire in whatever pattern you desire. When you’re finished, bend the ends of the wire together to hold all of the flower stems together. You have now made a beautiful crown for your child to wear at summer picnics and parties!
Make a puppet with an old sock
While it’s easiest to use an actual sock for this activity, many families may have too many socks as it is! If that’s the case, use a paper towel tube instead. Stuff it with paper or fabric scraps to make it firm enough to handle like a puppet without falling apart—but not so much as to make it hard to move around.
This simple craft is a great way to spend an afternoon with the kids. With just a few materials and a little bit of imagination, you can create a fairy crown that will make your child feel like royalty from the moment she puts it on her head.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have some spare time this summer to plan a fun trip into town with your children. This could be to the local library for story time or a visit to the museum. But why not plan something even more special? Find yourself some cardboard tubes (these are good in craft shops) that are long enough to fit comfortably around your child’s head. You’ll also need wire and elastic bands, which you can find at any hardware store or department store.
Choose which color you want your crown to be, then cut out strips of colored paper measuring about 1 inch by 6 inches or so. You can use crayons to color them or markers—any material will do, as long as it’s sturdy enough that it won’t tear easily.
Once you’ve done that, weave these strips into the cardboard tube in an attractive pattern, making sure that they overlap so that they form three-dimensional shapes (it’ll look more like a crown that way).