School’s out and your children are home! Summer is usually kids' favorite time of year, but not always so for parents. It can be tricky finding activities to keep your little ones occupied during this time off from school. Other than days by the pool or trips to the beach, you’ll want some DIY ideas, craft projects and creative activities to bring some excitement into the seemingly endless dog days of summer. If you live where the heat is scorching during the day, no problem. We’ve got a couple of ideas to occupy youngster indoors as well as outdoors that range from watercolors to creating a coloring book. So let’s get started:
1. Coloring books
According to the famous painter Pablo Picasso, “Every child is an artist.” Coloring is a great way to spark their imagination. A great craft project that you can do together is creating a personalized DIY coloring book for your little one.
- First, make a decision about what size you'd like to make your coloring book. Most popular is the standard 8.5 x 11 inch final size.
- All craft projects are better with a theme and this DYI project is no exception. Just having a conversation about what your child wants to color is a great way to interact and decide on the coloring book’s subject matter. Some fun themes could include sports, animals, foods, flowers or their favorite cartoon. Doing a quick web search will unearth numerous websites that offer free, printable children’s coloring book illustrations.
- To keep the pages together, you’ll want to bind your DIY coloring book.
- The simplest way to bind your finished coloring book together is with a row of staples.
- For a more finished look, though, you might want to use liquid glue.
- Or use a hole-puncher and create three holes in the area to be bound along the left margin of the book (one near the top of the pages, one in the middle and one near the bottom). Then, you could thread twine or decorative ribbon through the holes, bring together the ends and tie them into a bow or knot.
- After you’ve printed out a few pages from your web and worked with your child to join the pages together, pull out a new box of crayons and let their creativity take over.
Developing coloring books together with your children is a great bonding experience. These booklets have the advantage of being able to be an inside activity, or grab the colored pencils and fill in between the lines outside at a picnic table. The joy of a personalized coloring book is seemingly endless.
Regardless if you live by the ocean or inland in a city setting, nothing says summer like see shells. Gather all of the shells your kids have collected along the beach and turn them into a summer rainbow. It you don’t have a collection, just about every art or tourist shop sells sea shells for craft projects.
Since most shells are light in color, kids find them a bit boring. Let watercolors take over and paint them into a rainbow of fun hues. Ridged shells are often the most interesting to use watercolors because the paint will flow down the ridges. Best of all with this DIY project, there is no right or wrong way to using the watercolors on the sea shells. As an added bonus, this DIY craft project will usually keep children busy for hours.
The results of this craft project are practical, too!
- You can glue the sea shells to a picture frame
- Make a collage
- Use them to teach names of colors
It is often difficult to find activities for children of various ages to engage in together. But painting anything with watercolors is great for siblings to do together.
3. DYI Fancy Shades
Kids should be wearing sunglasses to protect their precious eyes. They’ll be more enthusiastic to do so if they can design their own frames. This craft project is super simple since all you have to do is provide children with any plain pair of specs and let them embellish and create their own style. Sequins, buttons, gems and just about anything that is kid-friendly is perfect for this DIY project that creates a one-of-a-guide frame…just let the kids guide the fun.
What child doesn’t love bubbles? Craft project guru Martha Stewart can guide your through the process of making amazing bubble wands with just a few twists of wire. Blowing the perfect bubble depends on equal parts science and magic. You’ll love the giggles this DYI craft project creates for both you and your family.
Data shows that over 45% of American families take a summer vacation. A wonderful craft project that will become a treasured reminder of any summer trip is to create a DIY vacation memory jars. Too often, children forget the precious details of family trips or visits to relatives in other states. You can keep vacation memories a little stronger and a little longer with vacation memory jars. Filled with souvenirs collected on trips and even pictures developed afterward, these glass jars are like little worlds that can be visited again and again. Kids can also add to them or rearrange them anytime they like. And we guarantee you’ll appreciate having these special containers in your home as much as your children do.
Whatever your choice of DIY craft projects this summer, select an activity that will be fun for both you and your entire family. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Creating something as simple as a coloring book or painting a watercolor masterpiece together with your child will create memories of a special summer for years to come.