Ice cream cones, bubbles, sidewalk chalk- there's a bunch of things that come to mind easily when we imagine summer with our children. Even the parents with the best of intentions get stumped some days though on what they could do to mix things up and keep it fresh and exciting.
So, that's what we're going to help with today!
Summertime offers a fantastic opportunity for children to explore their artistic nature, do some hands-on activities, and form those really important lasting memories.
Creative summer crafts not only keep kids cheerfully busy during their break from school but also help develop some important skills like fine motor abilities, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
In this article, we will chat about a bunch of summer craft ideas tailored to different age groups and interests so that every kid can find something they enjoy (and every parent can tolerate at least).
From easy crafts for the littlest of toddlers to exciting projects for bigger kids, and even some delicious, edible crafts, there's something for everyone.
So, let's jump into the world of fun and creative summer crafts and inspire your children to make the most of their summer break!
Easy Summer Crafts For the Littlest of Toddlers
Encourage your toddler's artistry by letting them experiment with non-toxic, washable paints on paper or even canvas.
This sensory activity helps develop fine motor skills and color recognition.
Cupcake Liner Flowers:
Using colorful cupcake liners, pipe cleaners, and some glue, toddlers can build adorable flowers to brighten up any space.
This simple activity helps with hand-eye coordination and shape recognition.
Scented Rainbow Bubbles:
Mix water, dish soap, and food coloring in a child-safe bowl, then add a few drops of child-safe essential oils to create scented bubbles. Mix different colors and scents for that rainbow affect they'll adore.
Toddlers will love blowing and chasing these colorful, fragrant bubbles outdoors.
Paper Plate Sun Catchers:
Help your toddler make beautiful sun catchers using paper plates, tissue paper, and clear contact paper.
This craft encourages creativity and teaches about colors and light.
Googly Eye Creatures:
Give them different colors of construction paper or foam sheets, googly eyes, and glue for your toddler to create their own imaginative creatures.
This activity encourages imagination and fine motor skill development.
Using household items like bottle caps, corks, or sponges, toddlers can make fun patterns and designs on paper or fabric.
This activity helps develop hand-eye coordination and introduces the concept of patterns.
Tissue Paper Collage:
Provide squares of tissue paper in different colors, along with glue and paper, for your toddler to make a vibrant collage.
This activity encourages creativity and teaches about color mixing and layering.
DIY Sensory Bottles:
Fill empty water bottles with colorful beads, glitter, sequins, sand or small toys, then seal the caps with glue.
Your toddler will enjoy shaking and exploring these sensory bottles while developing their visual tracking skills.
Ice Cream or Popsicle Stick Puppets:
Help your toddler create simple puppets using popsicle sticks, markers, and stickers or cut-out shapes.
This craft encourages imaginative play and storytelling.
Collect leaves, flowers, twigs, or other natural materials during a nature walk, then help your kid glue them onto a large sheet of paper or cardboard to make a beautiful nature-inspired collage.
These easy summer crafts for toddlers are designed to be fun, engaging, and developmentally appropriate, providing a great way for little ones to explore their inner artist and learn through play.
Summer Craft Ideas For Bigger Kids
DIY Tie-Dye Shirts:
Teach your kids the art of tie-dyeing by using fabric dye, rubber bands, and white t-shirts or towels.
This craft helps children to experiment with colors and patterns while creating their own wearable art they can be proud of.
Homemade Wind Chimes:
Collect sticks, seashells, beads, or other decorative items and string them together using fishing line or twine.
Hang the wind chimes outside when you're done for a lovely, musical decoration.
Painted Rock Garden:
Help your child to collect and paint rocks with vibrant colors and unique designs.
Arrange the painted rocks in a garden or along a walkway for a fun outdoor display that'll have them smiling every time they walk by!
DIY Bird Feeders:
Use recycled materials like milk cartons or plastic bottles to create simple bird feeders. Kids can decorate them with paint or other embellishments and then fill them with birdseed.
You can use suction cups to attach them to a window, nail them to a tree, or just leave them out on the deck.
Magazine Collage Art:
Collect old magazines and have your children put together some unique collages by cutting out images, shapes, or words.
This eco-friendly craft helps practice those important cutting skills.
Cardboard Box Creations:
Boxes hold a certain magic for kids that most of us have experienced before. Encourage your kids to transform old cardboard boxes into imaginative creations, like playhouses, robots, or vehicles.
Watercolor Resist Art:
Have your child draw a design on watercolor paper using a white crayon or oil pastel. When they paint over the design with watercolors, the hidden drawing will magically appear!
This craft teaches about color mixing and the resist technique.
Best Ideas For Kids Wanting Yummy Craft Ideas
Fruit Kabob Art:
Encourage healthy eating by having your child create artistic fruit kabobs using various fruits, skewers, and cookie cutters for fun shapes.
This activity promotes healthy while having fun!
Pretzel Log Cabins:
Use pretzel sticks, peanut butter as mortar, and different small, healthy snacks to build edible log cabins.
If you have any Lego lovers in your home, this delicious crafting experience will likely be a favorite!
DIY Edible Paint:
Mix yogurt or vanilla pudding with food coloring to create edible paint.
Kids can use this paint to create designs on paper, cookies, or even directly on their plates!
Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods:
Melt chocolate and have your child dip pretzel rods into the melted chocolate, then roll them in sprinkles or other toppings.
This delicious craft is perfect for developing skills while having some yummy fun!
Using string or yarn and a variety of cereals or candies with holes, kids can create their own edible necklaces.
This tasty craft helps develop fine motor skills and pattern recognition.
Popsicle Stick Puzzles:
Have your child draw or paint a picture on a row of popsicle sticks, then mix them up to create a unique puzzle they can be proud of.
More Fun Summer Crafts Inspiration
Rainy Day Crafts:
Explore crafts suitable for indoor fun during rainy days, like trying out homemade playdough, newspaper paper mâché, or yarn-wrapped letters.
Color Mixing Activities:
Introduce kids to color theory with crafts that involve mixing colors, like marble painting, watercolor art, or the magic milk experiment.
Fine Motor Skill Crafts:
Suggest activities that promote the development of fine motor skills, like threading beads, weaving, or simple sewing projects.
Essential Oil Crafts:
Incorporate child-safe essential oils into crafts, like scented playdough, sensory bottles, or homemade air fresheners.
Offer ideas for heart-inspired crafts that can be given as gifts or used as decorations, like string art hearts, paper quilling, or heart-shaped suncatchers.
Helping kids stay busy with summer arts and crafty things not only keeps them entertained during their time away from school but also helps them to develop skills.
As you dive into these fun summer crafts, remember to adapt projects to your child's interests and abilities, and most importantly, enjoy the time spent together. It's true what they say about long days and short years!
So, get your craft supplies out, gather your children, and have so much fun this summer!
Questions and Answers
What are some easy summer crafts for kids?
Easy summer crafts for kids include finger painting, paper plate sun catchers or another paper craft, tissue paper collages, and simple nature-inspired crafts like leaf rubbings or rock painting.
How can I keep my kids entertained during summer break with creative activities?
To keep your kids entertained during summer break with creative activities, consider setting up a designated craft area with various art supplies and a rotating selection of craft ideas, allowing for both guided and independent exploration.
Plan some simple at-home science experiments that they'll love doing while they learn- we have plenty of ideas here if you need some:
How can I incorporate nature or outdoor elements into summer crafts for kids?
To include nature or outdoor elements in your summer crafts in addition to the birdfeeder or rock painting activities suggested already, consider crafts like making leaf prints, creating flower pressings, assembling stick sculptures, or stacking rocks.
Can you recommend any summer crafts that focus on developing specific skills, like fine motor skills or color recognition?
For crafts that focus on developing specific skills, try threading beads or weaving for fine motor skills, color mixing activities for color recognition, or pattern-making crafts like mosaic tiles or beadwork.
Can you suggest any online resources, blogs, or websites for finding summer arts ideas?
Arty Crafty Kids has tons of free or cheap art project ideas for all year round, including the summer season. Check out their website here for more summertime craft inspiration.
Our friend Jessica has some awesome resources for fantastic fun kids and adults alike over at her site, CreativityChronicles:
Red ted art is another popular online resource for seasonal crafts, holiday crafts, paper crafts, free or cheap crafts, and plenty of crafting advice and tutorials.