Memorial day marks the “unofficial start of summer.” Cookouts, watermelon, swimming, warmer, longer days. Lots of fun to be had for sure. School is about to end and mom’s (and dads) will be looking for things to do with their kids. Sure, there are swim teams, tennis lessons, summer sports, camps, vacations. What about those “inbetween” days when you are scratching your head wondering, “What can we do today?”
In this article we will list 10 crafty things to do with your kids this summer Some will be free, others, just a few dollars to spend. Either way, it will be something to do together and something FUN, to beat the ho hum, boredom that can hit any household this summer.
1. Make a Summer fun chart!!!
Make a chart or list of all the fun and exciting things you plan to or want to do this summer. Include the vacations, the summer camps and list things you hope to do on said trip. Decorate a cork board with sun, beach ball, sand castle, shovel and pail cut outs or stickers, add pictures of the family enjoying time together last summer, the point is to create the checklist and BE CREATIVE. Jamie over at The crafting chicks blog offers an awesome idea for a summer activity chart.
2. Make a summer scrapbook.
We all take a mulitude of pictures these days and scrapbooking can now be done digitally or by hand. Many stores such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart, even Target offer a wide range of scrapbooking supplies.
Recommended supplies are: acid free, solid colored and patterned cardstock, glue sticks, photo splits, decoratve stickers, scissors, ribbon, mini brads, letter stickers, acid free pens and markers and fun stamps.
Create small 5×5 scrapbooks of your summer adventures. It’s fun to see the kids create pages of memories from their summer. Take notes as you are doing things to remember for journaling after creating your pages.
3. Melt some old crayons in the sun
North Carolina in the summer can be down right HOT!!!! A majority of homes in NC have old, broken crayons from years gone by that are just WAITING to be re-purposed into something fun, new and exciting. Why not use those cookie cutter and old crayons and make some fun, multi-colored crayon shapes.
Place aluminum foil over a paper plate. Place cookies cutters on the plate, fill with old, broken crayons, and let them sit in the hot, hot, Carolina sun. Once they are melted, move them inside to cool. They will pop right out of your cookie cutters and provide some much needed entertinment for your little ones.
4. “Paint” the driveway with tennis balls and “paint”
Let’s face it, kids LOVE to get dirty, they love to make a mess, and they love having fun. This activity combines ALL 3 and is completely washable.
Combine cornstarch and water to the cosistency you would like(the cosistency of milk or a tad thicker works just fine for this project) add food coloring(lots of it) mix and soak a tennis ball in the “paint” let the kids have at it, painting the driveway!!!!Roll the ball, bounce it. Stick your hands and feet in the paint and just explore and have a geat time!!!
5. Go on a nature walk and make nature frames
We are so lucky in NC to have a multitude of parks, many with hiking/walking trails. Take the kids exploring on trails at parks like Bur-Mil Park’s big loop trail. Collect nature’s treasures such as leaves(watch out for poison ivy), twigs, acorn shells, and rocks. Take pictures while on your walk of the kids or the scenery for their nature frames.
Michael’s carries $1 wood frames. you can paint them, or leave them in their natural state. Glue the treasures from your walk to the frame in patterns and shapes, and add the pictures you took!
6. Teach the kids how to cook
It sounds daunting? It sounds messy? It sounds impossible? Not so!!!! Teaching your young ones to cook is not only fun for them, but it’s something they will carry with them into the future. You don’t have to teach them how to make chicken cordon bleu. Start simple!!! Cookies from scratch. Let them measure the dry ingredients, crack the eggs(into a separate bowl to avoid small shell pieces in the mix), pour in chocolate chips, do the mixing, drop the dough on the cookie sheet. So what if they aren’t perfect. The point is to have fun together. Simple Bites blog has a few recipes specifically for kids.
7. Go on a photo scavenger hunt
Ths can be done outside with some simple cues(a stop sign, a bench, a `dog, etc) or if you have some old magazines laying around, make a game out of finding pictures in them. Make a fun photo collage with all your pictures. If you have preschool aged children use it as an oprotunity to contuinually teach them what certain objects are. If you have older children, challenge them to find letters in architecture. Spell out their names with their findings.
8. Host a movie night and invite friends over
This one is fun and easy!!!!! You can make “popcorn cupcakes”(chocolate cupcakes with yellow and white frosting(using a round decorator tip), put together bunches of red vines or twizzlers, make slushies, and send out ticket invitations!!! Have one of your kids act as the ticket taker when guests arrive, set up the snack bar station (so they can choose their slushie/snow cone flavors), and of course, don’t forget to show your movie.
9. Build a fort
Whether you do this inside or outside, this is guarenteed to provide hours of enjoyment for your kids. Have a picnic inside your fort. Tell silly stories! If you build more than one, space them out and have the kids write and “mail” letters to each other. Help them discover the “lost art” of snail mail letter writing.
10. Decorate canvas sneakers
Kids LOVE to paint!!!! Purchase some inexpensive canvas sneakers and some fabric paint and let their imaginations run wild. Pick a theme for them to paint. Maybe you wan to have shoes for your upcoming trip to the beach, or you have a family reunion planned! No matter what the occasion, the kids are SURE to love this one.