Can you believe school is almost out? Summer is right around the corner. Soon the kiddos will be running around the house looking for something to do.
It’s hard enough to get your kids off of their electronics. Add in all the extra free time they have during summer break and the struggle is real.
Once your kiddos have finished their chores (speaking of, have you seen our free chore chart template?), why not challenge their creativity on with some fun summer DIYs? Here are ten awesome crafts to keep kids busy in between those family road trips you’re planning this summer.
1. Catch lightning bugs.
Do you call them lightning bugs or fireflies? Either way, these jars are easy to make using some fun glow in the dark stickers.
- Mason jars
- Glow in the dark firefly stickers
- Mason jar lid with holes
These jars are a simple DIY to celebrate one of our favorite signs of summer. All you’ll need to do is attach your glow in the dark stickers. Then wait for it to get dark and catch some fireflies. Sit back and watch them glow! Be sure to set them free when you are finished.
2. Make giant bubbles.
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup baby shampoo
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
This recipe is made with baby shampoo, so you don’t need to worry about soap getting in your kids’ eyes. All you’ll need to do is mix the water, baby shampoo and corn syrup in a shallow container. The bubble wand is made from two straws and an 18-inch piece of thin rope. Slip the rope through the straws and tie with a square knot. Slide your knot into one of the straws. Now dip into your bubble mix and watch out for those giant bubbles!
3. Make Ooey Gooey Slime.
- 1 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoon contact lens solution
- 12 ounces white school glue
- Your choice of food coloring
This is an all-time kid favorite – slime. First pour the glue into a large mixing bowl. Add the baking soda and mix together. Then add the food coloring of your choice as well as the contact lens solution. Mix until slime forms and it begins to get harder to stir. Take the slime out and knead with your hands. If the slime is too sticky, you can add 1/2 tablespoon more of the contact lens solution. Enjoy!
4. Make can stilts.
This craft is an oldie, but goodie! Your kids will love making their own stilts.
- Large tin can (washed and dried)
- Foam paint brushes
- Metal bottle opener
First, paint your cans a fun color. Your kids will enjoy doing that part. They can use a round foam paintbrush to make polka dots or whatever design they think up. Let it all dry. Then punch two holes on either side of the cans with a bottle opener. Have your little one stand on the cans to measure how long to cut your ropes. Thread the rope through the holes and tie a square knot.
Strap them on and enjoy! Make two pairs and challenge each other in a stilt race!
*Parents: Make sure to stand by your child as they walk with their stilts to help them balance and avoid injury.
5. Make extra large coloring pages.
- Sharpie pen
- White paper
- A local office supply store
- Colors and markers
Have your kiddos draw a picture on a regular sheet of white paper with a black sharpie pen. They could draw the ocean, their family, their pets or a map of your town. Let them get creative. Have fun! Once they are finished, take your drawings to your local office supply store. For a few dollars, they can blow up your child’s picture and print it out. Take your extra large drawings home and let your kiddos color away.
6. Make balloon flip-flops.
- Cheap pair of flip-flops
- 3 bags mini balloons, 50 count
You will start in the middle of the flip-flop. Tie on each balloon with just a single knot. Make sure your knot is on top of the flip-flop. It will be much more comfortable when you go to wear them. Then you’ll start tying the balloons down one side of the flip-flop and then down the other. Repeat with the other flip-flop.
*Tip: Instead of balloons, try this DIY with small pieces ribbon or yarn!
7. Make coffee filter butterflies.
- Coffee filter
- Pipe cleaner
- Googly eyes
- School glue
First, paint your coffee filters with watercolors. Let it dry, and then you’ll fold it in half.
To assemble your butterfly, pinch together the middle of your folded coffee filter with your fingers. Then slide the coffee filter into the grasp of your clothes pin. Wrap the pipe cleaner around the other end of the clothes pin. You can twist the ends around a pencil to make them curly. Finally, glue on two googly eyes. All finished!
To use these whimsical flyers as artwork holders for your fridge, simply glue a magnet to the back.
8. Make no-bake playdough.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 4 tablespoon oil
- 1 and 1/2 cups water
- Food coloring
First, mix the oil, water and food coloring together. Next, add the flour and salt. Then mix until pliable. You can just use your hands to do that part. Cover in the refrigerator until ready to play.
*Tip: This recipe makes a bunch. You will have four good sized balls of playdough. You might want to cut the recipe in half if you don’t need quite that much.
9. Make egg carton bugs.
- Cardboard egg carton
- Craft paint
- Foam brushes
- School glue
- Hole punch
- Googly eyes
- Pipe cleaners
- Green shred (optional)
To make this DIY, first cut the egg carton into pieces. You can do all different combinations. One spot for spiders and ladybugs, two spots for ants and longer ones for caterpillars and worms. Then let your kiddos paint their “bugs” however they want. Let them dry. Then you can use a hole punch to make spots for the antennas and legs. (This is probably an adult’s job!) Stick your pipe cleaners through the holes. You can curl them with a pencil if you’d like, too. Last but not least, add some googly eyes to give your critters sight!
We used the top of the egg carton to give our DIY bugs a “home.” Painting it green and adding some green shred to make “grass” added to the setting.
10. Make melted crayon art.
- White card stock
- Electric grill
- Foil paper
*This craft is for older kids only! It’s important that it is done under adult supervision as well.
Set an electric grill on warm. Cover with a piece of foil paper. Put a piece of white cardstock on top and draw with a crayon. The warm grill will melt the crayon as you draw! You will be amazed at the vivid colors and ease of drawing. Your finished drawing will almost have a painted look. Get creative and have fun!
Bonus: *11. Make DIY string art.
Not only is the result beautiful (and giftable), but string art is also time-consuming – a great activity to keep kids entertained with something other than a TV or tablet for about an hour. Hop on over to our DIY string art tutorial to get started!
What fun summer DIYs do you have planned for your kiddos? Let us know in the comments below or share with us on social media using the hashtag #LifeStorageDIY!