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100 Summer Craft Ideas for Kids, Page 3
Seasonal Crafts and Activities
- Red White and Blue Tie-Dye – Purchase a tie-dye kit and some white t-shirts. Deck out the family in red, white, and blue tie-dye!
- July 4th Eggs – Who has time to dye Easter eggs in the spring, right? You don’t have the dying kit? No worries! Just use ½ cup room temp water, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and a few drops of red and blue food coloring! Break out the washable paints and brushes to decorate! Use a white crayon for the crayon-resist, or put rubber bands on the eggs before dying. Add a tablespoon of oil to the dye, and you get tie-dyed eggs!
- Father’s Day – Decorate a father’s day card for dad. Make him a sweet poster or silly sign for his garage.
- Seashell Necklaces – Look on the beach for those little seashells with tiny holes. Take them home and use your bead string to make a seashell necklace!
- Picture Frame – Decorate a wooden frame and insert your favorite family vacation photo.
- Beach Buckets – Buy some permanent paint pens and decorate your beach buckets, in preparation for your trip. Bonus: when a random kid runs off with your toys, you can easily claim them as yours!
- Christmas-in-July Gumdrop Trees – Buy those green Styrofoam cones, gumdrops, and tooth picks. Cut or snap toothpicks in half. Wrap the Styrofoam cone in aluminum foil. Insert gum drops into the cone using toothpicks. Continue around until it’s covered!
- Christmas-in-July Gingerbread Houses – Order a Gingerbread House Kit online (next year get one half-price at the end of the season) and assemble it for a Christmas in July party! You won’t be hurried and rushed! Use SignUpGenius to invite your guests.
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- Thanksgiving-in-July Edible Turkeys – Mix it up and have a neighborhood Thanksgiving-in-July celebration! Make edible turkeys! You will need Double Stuf Oreos, candy corn, small peanut butter cups, malted milk balls, and frosting. Find an instructional video online to show your guests. Use SignUpGenius to gather the ingredients needed for the party!
- Road Trip Bingo Boards – Make your own homemade road trip bingo boards with nine squares that you each color in with passing landmarks. Bingo board can be different, or assign a side of the road to each person. Ideas include: horse, cow, rest area, National or State Park sign, fast food chains, police car, ambulance, fire truck, train tracks, gas station, grocery store, and certain state license plates.
- Vacation Journal – Decorate a spiral notebook and write down the days you are on vacation, with lists of landmarks or special relatives. Later you can tape in pictures and write down memories, even if they don’t write in it every day.
- Vacation Map – Before your trip, print a map of your route and highlight areas of special interest. Take it in the car and put a sticker on each major landmark.
- Hummingbirds – Research flowers and colors that attract hummingbirds. Make a special garden or spot on your deck that attracts them. Do some research to figure out which month of the summer they are most prevalent in your region.
- Trace a Bird – Observe hummingbirds or go bird watching. Research the bird you saw and buy some tracing paper. Print out the picture and draw it on the tracing paper. Color, cut it out, and hang it in your window for the light to shine through!
- Photo Hike – Go for a hike and take pictures along the way. Print them out and create a collage when you get home.
- Firefly Lantern – Buy clear plastic cups, poke holes in the sides and cover the top with Press-and-Seal paper (find this in the aluminum foil aisle). Send your kiddos outside to capture fireflies. Put them in the cups and watch them light up the night. Be careful with these guys, and be sure to release after a few minutes.
- Constellation Map – Research the stars for your month and region, and print out a diagram of the constellations. Lie on the ground on a clear night and draw the constellations, or highlight them from your printout.
- Amusement Park Replica – After visiting an amusement park, break down a cardboard box so it’s flat. Then cut out small pieces of cardboard or upcycled materials to assemble a roller coaster, bumper cars, or other favorite rides.
- Family Shirts – Buy some fabric paint and bright colored t-shirts. Design matching family shirts for a vacation day when you all need to be easily identified in a crowd. Silly ideas include: #1 Mom or Dad, Surly Teenager, If Found Call (cell#).
- Slip-n-Slide – By some painter’s plastic and spread it out on a gradual incline on your lawn. Put sandbags down or use tent stakes to secure it to the grass. Squirt liquid dish detergent on it, and turn on the hose or sprinkler over it! It’s a cheap water park!
- Underwater Pictures – Buy waterproof cases for phones or small devices. Take underwater pictures in the pool or in the ocean. Assemble in a collage app and post online when you get home!
- Vacation Collage Memory Book – Take vacation pictures for each day of your vacation. Then assemble these in a collage app to make a vacation memory book!
- Cardboard Mermaids – Using a piece of cardboard, instruct the kids to draw mermaids/mermen with their own facial features. Cut them out and hang on the wall! You could also take a selfie and draw the body, then attach together.
- Halloween Costumes – The fall is a busy time of year, so use summer downtime to create your child’s Halloween costume!
- Hair Day – Get some hair wax and chalk, then color and spike your son’s hair. Use rollers to curl your daughter’s hair. Watch instructional videos and do a waterfall braid or fishtail! Practice on dolls first.
Completely Independent Crafts for Ages 2 and Up
- Coloring books – Seriously, coloring is a relaxing and calming activity for people of all ages. Sit down with your little one and start coloring. Let them keep going while you go get something done.
- Stamps – Get some stamp pads, stamps and paper. Put the kids to work on a table you don’t care about.
- Stickers – Stickers actually require some fine motor skills, so this is a good independent activity for a preschooler. Toddlers may need extra help. Buy some pretty stickers and paper. Make grandma or grandpa a card. You’d be surprised how entertaining this can be for a young child.
- Dot Art – Buy those dot art bottles we used in Bingo games back in the day. They even have dot art coloring books now. Plain paper works, too. Kids love this!
- Beads and Pipe Cleaners – Buy some beads and pipe cleaners, and start making bracelets or necklaces. Bring these supplies on vacation and put grandma/grandpa to work doing this with your child!
- Cereal Bird Feeders – String Cheerios on pipe cleaners or twine and hang out for the birds!
- Water Colors – Little kids love paint. Give them watercolors, paintbrushes and paint, and they will be happy for a while.
- Outside Play Dough – Play Dough is too messy for you? Take it outside on the driveway. Put newspaper down. Hose off the concrete at the end!
- Driveway “Paint” – Get paintbrushes and buckets of water. Tell your child to paint the driveway, or the deck. Practice writing their letters and numbers.
- Homemade Sidewalk Paint – This is a great activity for your older kids to do with younger children. Take some sidewalk chalk and smash it. Scrape it into different cups and fill with about ¼ cup of water. Get paintbrushes and paint a picture on the driveway (or playhouse). One idea is a big sign that says: We love you, mom or dad (or whichever parent is headed home soon!).
Emily Mathias is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC.
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