Particularly fun summer craft ideas for kids to do over the summer vacation are ones that all ages can contribute to, and that produces something that is genuinely useful and beautiful. Summer crafts can be rewarding for older children and adults where young children can also play an essential part in.
Summer Project For The Family
With a few materials and some good ideas, summer will fly by, and your kids will learn new things that will help them do well when they heads back to school.
Build and Decorate A Garden Den
A fun summer project is building a garden den to play in. It takes a couple of weeks, and should last for years. You can make a den outside with wood. Once the children have grown up, it can be turned into a useful garden shed or summerhouse. A treehouse is a possibility, but an equally good hideout begins effectively with a hut.
The outdoor den construction stage needs most input from older family members, but everybody can help in little ways. Sanding wood and hammering nails in are not all that difficult and very young children can help by passing up tools, screws, and nails.
Once the structure is complete, you move onto painting and decorating, which is fun for all ages. The outside of the den needs painted, the inside needs pictures, furniture, rugs, and decorations and these provide the opportunity for countless more crafts.
Summer Crafts With Toddlers To Kindergarten
These easy summer craft ideas are always popular choices for toddlers and young children!
Leaf Printing Craft
Leaf prints art are easy to make as a summer craft idea. Collect leaves of all different kinds, and brush them lightly with washable ink or paint. Press the wet side down carefully on a piece of paper and go over the back with a roller to be sure all the tiny details transfer. These prints are often gorgeous enough to frame, and can also be used for making greeting cards and decorative papers. Label the print with the common and scientific name of the plant for added educational value.
Popsicle Sticks Crafts
When rain prevents going outdoors, it’s time to use up all those Popsicle sticks you’ve been saving and make one of these 100 Popsicle stick crafts. Make a log cabin to show how the early settlers lived. Your kids can make Popsicle stick picture frames to hold your vacation photos. Make puppet crafts such as Three Little Pigs Story Puppets Craft With Printable Template and Goldilocks And The Three Bears Puppet. Craft books and web sites give instructions for making popsicle stick airplane and many other items out of Popsicle sticks.
Summer Crafts For Tweens
These 2 summer crafts DIY will keep your tween busy for hours!
Balloon bowls are so much fun to make! This is something to do with balloons after a party and definitely a fun summer craft idea for the kids. You might want to tie the knots extra tight so they don’t go down too quickly. Then you layer on small pieces of newspaper soaked in light glue (such as wallpaper paste), not completely covering the balloon. You want to leave a gap towards the top to create a bowl/vase shape. Leave each layer to dry, which won’t take long in the hot summer sun.
Once a few layers of have dried to create a solid structure you pop the balloon, leaving behind a paper mache bowl. Decorate these any way you like, with paint, beads, glitter, etc., and finish with a coat of varnish. The older the children the more elaborate the decorations can be. When finished, these bowls are handy for keeping small toys, pencils, screws, lego blocks, and any other small, fiddly odds and ends in.
A Family Book
You can combine paintings, photographs, small essays, poetry, drawing, collages, and a range of art projects in a family book. There are two ways to do this summer craft. You can carefully stick the artwork into a scrapbook and write directly into it. Or you can scan or photograph all your paintings and projects and print them off and bind into a very professional looking book.
Everybody in the family, from toddlers to teenagers, can contribute something. Your kids can keep adding to the book every month or create one just for that summer. If you decided to print it, then copies could be made for grandparents as very personal gifts. A family book preserves ephemeral artwork and is a lovely record of part of a family’s life.
Summer Crafts For Teens
Summer is also a fantastic time to study nature, and to gather natural materials for craft projects. Shells, rocks, twigs, leaves, and other natural materials make beautiful and educational projects.
Night Sky Map Craft
After a long day of play, making a night sky map can be both enjoyable and an informative craft. Provide dark blue or black posterboard, and light chalk or fluorescent paint markers. Spread a blanket on the ground on a clear night, and draw the star formations you see. Back indoors, use books to identify the major stars and constellations. Read some of the Greek and Roman myths that inspired the names of your constellations.
One very useful book is “365 Starry Nights” by Chet Raymo. It contains maps of the sky at various times of the year, is full of information about the stars, and tells the stories associated with the constellations. Use sequins in different sizes to highlight the stars, and label the major stars and constellations. Your finished creation will make a beautiful display
Turning An Aquarium Into A Vivarium
Another fun summer project your children will absolutely love is making a vivarium. Gather a 5 or 10 gallon aquarium, rocks, soil, and small mosses and plants. For a more permanent installation, substitute light potting soil and terrarium plants for the natural materials. Add an upside down jar lid filled with water, and conceal the edges for a natural look. Landscape the setting, using rocks to bank the soil.
Be sure to add some hiding places. Now add small animals to turn your terrarium into a vivarium. Preying mantises are fascinating to watch and small lizards like anoles make good inhabitants. A toad may enjoy your accommodations, and a caterpillar will often form a cocoon or chrysalis in captivity if provided with the right leaves for food. Pet store finds can be used for more permanent inhabitants. Help your children research the diet and habits of your chosen creature. Those animals that don’t do well in captivity should be returned to the wild within a few days.
Getting the whole family involved in a summer craft project can be a real bonding experience. You just need to find something satisfying and challenging enough for older children, yet that allows the youngest to play their part. Also, don’t forget to pick one that will produce something the family actually wants or needs. The process is fun, but the result is important too.