It’s only a matter of weeks now before the weather really starts to change and we get some hot and dry weather. It’s also only a matter of weeks before the kids get their long school break, meaning that it’s the job of moms everywhere to think of things for them to do. The last thing most of us want is for them to squander the summer sat indoors, playing video games.
The good news is that crafts can get kids exploring their environment and learning new skills away from screens. What’s more, they’re almost always dirt cheap. Check out some of these ideas.
Bubble painting is a lot of fun but also very messy, so this is one kid’s craft activity you’ll want to do outside. Essentially, bubble painting involves mixing regular paint together with washing up liquid and then using the mixture to blow bubbles onto sheets of paper on the floor. When the bubbles make contact with the paper, they bust and create beautiful patterns. Encourage your kids to try out different combinations of colors. They could use blue, green and yellow to capture the essence of a sunny beach, or they could experiment with orange, red and violet and create something which looks more like a sunset.
Make Bottle Cap Insects
In the summer, insects are out in force. It’s this time of year when children will come into contact with ladybugs, ants, termites, spiders and all sorts of other creepy crawlies. If you notice that their interest has been piqued by insects, why not get them to make their own? Making bottle cap bugs is super cheap. All you really need are some bottle tops (which would otherwise have gone in the bin) and some craft materials, like wings and googley eyes. Show your kids an example of what they could make on the internet and then get them to work on their own.
Sun Glasses With A Twist
If you’re going to be decorating sunglasses, it’s probably a good idea to find a cheap plastic pair somewhere rather than use your best transition lenses. If you’ve got some old sunglasses lying around, either from the cinema or from a cracker, use these.
To decorate sunglasses, you’ll need sequins, feathers, some glue, and glitter. Rub the glue on the rims and then apply the decorations step by step. First get your kids to add the sequins, then the feathers and finally, the glitter. This can get a little messy, so have the vacuum cleaner on standby.
You probably remember a time when you were young when you went outside and did some coloring in in the sun. It was one of those great, lazy experiences. What’s more, thanks to the internet, it’s basically free. You can download things like Shopkins coloring pages which will keep your kids entertained all afternoon. Who knows, in a few years time, they could be bona fide artists.
Make Some Flower Prints
The flowers in your garden are beautiful, but they don’t last long. By mid-May, daffodils are long gone, and it’s another year before they’ll pop up again. But by and large, the summer is a flowery season, meaning that there’s no better time of the year to make flower prints. Making flower prints can be a little tricky. You can buy ready-made prints from the craft store, or you can try to make your own. Either way, it’s a lot of fun.
Build A Dream Catcher
Roald Dahl introduced us to the idea of catching dreams in his classic children’s novel, The BFG. Then along came the 2015 film adaptation and children everywhere were reintroduced to different kinds of dreams, like Golden Phizzwizards and trogglehumpers. If your kids love the BFG movie and the book, why not get them to build their own dream catchers?
It’s a simple process. Essentially, all you’ll need are some paint brushes, scissors, paper plants, feathers, plastic jewels and double-sided tape. Cut holes in all your paper plates, then paint them and decorate them with all the different materials. Finally, hang them up in the garden like webs to trap any stray dreams which might be floating around the in the backyard.
Understanding herbs is an essential part of learning how to cook. So getting kids used to being around different types of herbs bodes well for the future. If you’ve got some basil seed lying around, get your kids to make up some pots with soil from the garden. Then show them how to plant the basil seeds so that they will grow into beautiful basil plants. In a few months, you’ll have some basil leaves you can use in your cooking.
If you want to take your herb planters a step further, you can decorate them in any way you like. How about making them look like turtles by attaching a turtle head and legs to the sides of the container?
Stenciled Terra Cotta Pots
Decorating terra cotta pots is a great idea for any parent who is expecting to host a lot of children all in one go. Kids love decorating terra cotta pots, especially if they are able to stencil their own names. To make decorated terra cotta pots, you’ll need paint, scissors, and stencils, try these ones from Stencil Revolution. Don’t worry if you haven’t got any stencils from the shop, you can make your own from cardboard. In fact, cardboard might actually be a better choice than plastic, given that Terra cotta pots are curved at the base.
Crazy Tropical Birds
Summer is a great time for birds. Finally, food is abundant and the days are long. For kids, it’s an excellent opportunity to make their own tropical birds. Doing so is easy. All you need is the cardboard from the inside of a used loo roll, some paint, googly eyes and brightly colored feathers from the craft shop. Then all that’s required is putting it all together and painting on their feet. Don’t worry if they look crazy - this just means you’ve done it right.