100 Summer Craft Ideas for Kids
The kids are excited to be out of school, but it won’t be long before you get the first “I’m bored!” Crafts can be calming, and they teach children to focus. Head to the store with (or without) the kiddos to stock up on some supplies. But first, here are 100 summer craft ideas to inspire you!
No Prep Necessary, Basic Supplies
- Aluminum Foil Barbie Clothes – Use your roll of aluminum foil to design instant Barbie clothes. Host a fashion show at the end!
- Sailboat Race – Build a sailboat out of materials from around the house, setting a 20-minute time limit for construction. Head to the bathtub to see if it can stay afloat. Blow on it to make it sail! Give out awards for best-constructed or fastest boat.
- Teach-a-Craft – Instead of a family game night, have a family craft night. Ask each family member to assemble materials and teach their favorite craft to the rest of the family.
- Art Wall – Buy wooden coat hangers with built-in clips. Paint and personalize the coat hanger. Hang it on the wall and use the clips to hold artwork.
- Family Library – Install a bookshelf in a group space, then paint a homemade “Family Library” sign. Have a child create a check-in/check-out system. Another child can “label” the genres on the shelf.
- Painted Butterflies – With shaped paper, paint one side of a butterfly, and then fold while wet to make perfectly symmetrical colored wings.
- Greeting Cards – Make a sweet card for grandma/grandpa and send it by (*gasp) U.S. mail. Show your child how to stamp and address an envelope!
- Star Chart – If your kiddo has trouble completing their morning, after school, or nighttime routine, design a star chart. Print out copies, decorate, and put on a clipboard. Hang a pen on it with a piece of yarn. Kids love clipboards!
- Paper Airplanes – Print online instructions on how to fold the perfect paper airplane. You could even go all out and buy some cardstock!
- Children’s Hospital Cards – Art with a purpose! Make cards for the local children’s hospital, then take your child to drop them off in the hospital lobby.Nursing Home Art – Nursing home rooms can be dreary places. Paint some pictures and take them to the residents of a local nursing home.
- Dog Toys – Use old clothes or buy some material and cut it into strips. Tie the strips together to make long chains. Donate them to the local pet shelter.
- Teacher Appreciation – Make cards for their future teachers, or the ones they miss from last year!
- Still Life in the Garden – Send your older children outside with a stool and a sketchbook. Instruct them to draw something they love outside. Fresh air and creativity!
- Minecraft Creeper – Your child is fixated on Minecraft? Drag them away from the screens! Print out a picture of a creeper, get an old cardboard box and paint it! Bonus - use it as a Halloween costume!
Minimal Prep, Some Supplies Needed
- Vases – Paint a bud vase for little summer flowers. Craft kits are available online, or paint a glass vase; use mod podge and tissue paper squares; or glue on ribbon.
- Sand Art Pictures – Use fine colored sand, and cardstock or foam with a sticky back. Draw your design, then use a small knife to cut the paper along the lines. Peel off the bits of paper and sprinkle different colored sand as you go. Craft kits are also available.
- Sand Art Bottles – Find interesting bottles and layer fine, colored sand in different colors. Seal off the top. Add small shells from your beach trip!
- Bird Houses – A little glue and a load of popsicles sticks will do the trick! Line them up and secure the frame, then decorate! Hint: Popsicle sticks offer infinite possibilities, and craft stores sell boxes of them. Clear glue is great for this activity.
- Puppets – Make popsicle-stick-puppets or paper-bag-puppets. Decorate and have an improvisational puppet show!
- Beading – Buy some cheap beading string and beads at the store. Start simple and work your way up to more complicated jewelry!
- Good Deed Beads – Print online instructions or watch a video on how to make “Good Deed Beads.” You will need thick string and beads. Each time your child is ‘caught doing something good,’ she moves a bead down. Great activity for Vacation Bible School!
- Photo Booth – Paint a backdrop on an old sheet or piece of poster board. Put on dress-up clothes (or raid mom’s closet), and take silly photos in front of the backdrop. Use the photos for thank you cards!
- School Supplies – Your kiddo has a messy room during the school year? Use shoeboxes and old pencil cases to organize school supplies for next year. Personalize and label the containers.
- Air Dry Clay – Purchase Air Dry Clay at the store. Put some newspaper down and tell the kids to have at it! Make vases or pinch pots for mom or grandma.
- Handprint Flowers – Trace your child’s hand and cut it out. Draw a flower, cut that out and paste it to the center of the handprint. Using a glue gun, attach the handprints to pipe cleaners and place in a vase.
- Tissue Paper Flowers – You’ll need tissue paper and pipe cleaners. Cut 6-10 rectangles of tissue paper, measuring about 4”x6” each. Layer the rectangles on top of each other. Then fold accordion style, as if you are making a fan. Using scissors, round off the edges. Twist a pipe cleaner around the center of the fan for the stem. Pull the outside of each piece of tissue paper toward the center. Continue around until you have a fluffy flower!
- Coffee Filter Flowers – Flatten three coffee filters and lay them on top of each other. Fold accordion style, as if you are making a fan. Twist a pipe cleaner around the center of the fan for the stem. Open up each petal one by one. Use watery paint to paint the edges of the petals and watch the color bleed down into the filter!
- Collages – Gather magazines and tell your child to cut out pictures of what he loves; then, make a collage. It’s beautiful to see their personal tastes.
- Felt Phone Cases – Trace a cell phone or tablet PC on a piece of felt. Allowing for a little extra room, cut out two pieces of felt and use a glue gun to seal it on three sides, then decorate. Voila, a phone or tablet case!
- Minecraft Lego Models – Minecraft is just digital Legos, right? Drag your kid off the video game and use Legos to create a ‘real’ Minecraft village.
- Homemade Doll/Stuffed Animal Clothes – Using felt or old clothes, cut out doll or stuffed animal clothes. Use a glue gun to ‘sew’ the clothes, or if your children are older, teach them to sew by hand or with a machine. It’s a great life skill!
- Lego Maze – Have a hamster that just sits in his cage? Find a flat piece of cardboard and build a Lego maze for your pet!
- Upcycled Hamster Amusement Park – Use upcycled materials from around the house to build a fun place for your pet hamster! Look around for shoeboxes, plastic jars, paper towel rolls…the possibilities are endless!
- Upcycled Marble Race – Gather materials to build a towering marble race. Challenge siblings or friends to build the biggest or fastest one!
- Fish Tank Background – Measure the back of the tank and draw a custom background for it! Affix with double-sided tape.
- Goofy Photos – Using printed photographs of family members, cut the bodies off of them. Paste the heads on paper and add silly drawings, or put someone else’s body attached to the head! This is sure to give the kids the giggles.
- Paint-by-Number – Draw a picture for your child and write numbers on each section, for the different colors. Give them a color code, so they can ‘paint by number.’
- Model Cars – It’s always fun to hit the craft store and buy an old-school model car kit for your aspiring driver.
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