Summer vacation is a time when parents struggle to find ways to entertain their children.
Free time to play in the sun and special summer excursions are great, but it’s also wonderful to create opportunities for learning and creativity. Summer crafts are a great way to get kids to exercise their creative musclesâ¦ and away from the screens.
Younger children are happy and entertained by simple crafts that can be built using basic materials. There are several wonderful projects you can make using paper, craft sticks, tape, and glue.
For toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary-age children, I like to choose crafts that include a picture of the child or the child’s handprint. Craft items that become toys or vehicles to âpretend to playâ after they are created are also fun.
Consider creating an image of a camping scene where the image of the child emerges from inside the tent. Start with a piece of white card stock. Next, cut out a tent from a piece of colored card stock, cut and fold the center of the tent to create doors, and glue the photo of the child and the tent to the piece of white card stock. You can also add a tree with crumpled tissue paper sheets and finish the picture using crayons to add sun, grass, sky and clouds.
Cardstock, crayons, stickers, tape, and craft sticks can be used to create a ‘pretend’ of popsicle or a fan that can actually be used to cool off on a day. hot.
Binoculars can also be made by decorating two empty toilet paper rolls with crayons and stickers, then gluing the rolls together with a piece of masking tape. You can hang the binoculars on a string before setting out on a scavenger hunt or birding adventure.
Older children prefer crafts and more sophisticated materials. Yarn crafts are a favorite in my house. Last week we made a fantastic photo hanger using a stick my boys found in the woods. We wrapped it in different colors of yarn, tied a hanger to each end and added two small clothespins with hot glue. My boys can hang it in their bedroom and use the two clothespins to display a favorite photo.
The yarn can also be used for knitting, doing weaving projects, creating âGod’s eyeâ ornaments, wrapping yarn-covered monograms, and making pom poms. Recently my youngest son and I used little popsicle sticks, googly eyes and yarn to make adorable little turtles. The possibilities for crafting with yarn are truly endless.
Embroidery thread and felt are also useful materials to have on hand. If you Google “friendship bracelets tutorials” you will find everything you need to create a wide variety of embroidery thread bracelets designs. Embroidery thread can also be used with felt for simple sewing projects like finger puppets or ornaments. Because the felt does not fray, it is an ideal material for sewing projects for beginners.
Paint is another great option for kids of all ages. There are many YouTube videos that teach children (step by step) how to paint a wide variety of pictures. There are also many online âpainting nightsâ that you can register for.
Painting rocks is another simple craft option. Walking around collecting stones is a fun adventure, and painting them with pictures, words and phrases allows artists to use their imaginations and give their own touch to their creations.
Summer is the best time for kids to get tricky. Look up Pinterest or visit my blog if you need a little more inspiration. Have a good DIY!